Sunday Post #73 – 01/08/2023

 

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for

Sunday Salon      Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#MailboxMonday #itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

2023 is starting very slow, with lots of time at church for our Nativity (yesterday), and more events until Tuesday.
But I did manage to post my usuall annual stats, and even to review the first book I finished.

Posted this week:

Here are the book I finished this past week:

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

The Red Thumb Mark

🎧 The Red Thumb Mark
(Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries #1),
by R. Austin Freeman
Mysteries
Published in 1907
224 pages
9H32
It counts for The Classics Club

This was a satisfying beginning to a new series for me.
I was really looking forward to the medical-legal elements, but they mostly really come near the end.
Even though this is not officially an inverted detective story (as apparently the author is famous for), it was all pretty obvious from the beginning, but the fun was to see how Dr Thorndyke was going to prove the man innocent with his scientific methods.
I listened to the book, and this edition has a long introduction by the editor, who insisted a LOT on the fact that he took out some elements that were too racist.
I’m not too eager on that type of edits, that makes past styles and authors judged according to our current standards, but that was the only audio version I could find, through my library.
The narrator Luke Barton was good at changing his voice for all the characters, including crazy old ladies.
I am planning on listening to volume 2.

 

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Death of a Red Heroine

📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages

I had to read a good amount of pages for books I’m reading with French students, so I couldn’t go faster on this one, though it’s really good.
It was chosen for me by my local public library staff, as part of their Winter Reading Challenge.

I like all the historical and political background.

“A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.”

Week-end à Zuydcoote📚 Week-end à Zuydcoote,
by Robert Merle

French historical fiction
Published in 1949
244 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

My French student F. wanted to try a French historical novel. Among the titles I proposed, she chose this one, set during WWI, in June 1940 at Dunkirk.
It was actually trasnalted into English as Weekend in Dunkirk.

This book is raw, and yet a lot of humor at the same time. It tells the life of a group of French soldiers trapped in the pocket of Dunkirk, for two days, after the Franco-British defeat.
The humor at the beginning makes me fear this is going to get from bad to worse for the four friends…

after the Franco-British defeat.

L'Os de Lebowski📚  L’Os de Lebowski,
by Vincent Maillard
French mystery
Published in 2021
202 pages
Reading with French student S.

S. wanted to read a contemporary French mystery, and in my list, she chose this one.
This is my first book by Maillard. I like the humoristic style, and I’m at the point where the plot starts getting intriguing!

The book hasn’t been translated into English.
It’s narrated in the first person by Jim Carlos, a gardener working at Prés Poleux, owned by a rich family.
Jim has a very lazy dog (Lebowski), who spends its time sleeping, but one day it manages to dig, and finds a human bone (hence the title: Lebowski’s bone).
So, whose bone is it? What happened to that person?
Why is the bone on this property?
And then, Jim disappears…!

L'empire de la mort

🎧 L’Empire de la mort (N.E.O. #3), by Michel Bussi
French YA fantasy
Published on June 16, 2022
640 pages
16H24

I really enjoyed the first two volumes in this series,
so it’s good to go back to these characters.

It is set in post-apocalytic time in and around Paris and Versailles, with different groups of young people who survived a weird cloud that may have killed all adults.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

 

Hell Screen📚 Hell Screen,
by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Japanese short story
Published in 1918
Not sure yet of the translator
58 pages
It counts for the Japanese Literature Challenge
and The Classics Club

I have read several short stories
by this author,
but not this one yet.
I can’t remember why I put it on my TBR,
but I want to keep the surprise right now,
so am not looking at the synopsis.
I’ll tell you more about it later.

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Wine and War

 

📚  Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure,
by
Don and Petie Kladstrup
Nonfiction, history, wine, France, WWII
290 pages
Published in 2001

“The remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vinters who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II.
In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown-until now. This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.”

📚 MAILBOX MONDAY: NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

 

Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?
BE SURE TO LEAVE THE LINK TO YOUR POST

The top 9 books to read in January 2023

Here are
The top 9 books
I plan to read in January 2023

January-February (not March this year) is the Japanese Literature challenge, in which I’ll be participating (more about that on January 11).
Besides that, I’m not really planning on any other challenge in 2023, trying to focus on my own personal challenges (reading more books in Spanish, Italian, and possible easy picture books in Japanese), on classics, and on my unruly TBRs, while keeping space for random reads.
Plus my French students keep me busy with reading French books as well!

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret

📚 Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret,
by Georges Simenon

Mystery – short stories collection
Published in 1944
624 pages
Reading with French student E.
It counts for The Classics Club

This is the first collection of short stories in the Maigret series (written between 1936-1938).

We have a few stories left.
I really enjoya lot these short stories.
He is a master who can come up with interesting characters and great original plots in so few pages. In them, Maigret tends to be even more grumpy than usual, so there’s definitely some hidden humor here as well.

Week-end à Zuydcoote

📚  Week-end à Zuydcoote,
by Robert Merle

French historical fiction
Published in 1949
244 pages
Reading with French student F.
It counts for The Classics Club

It is set during WWI, in June 1940 at Dunkirk.
It was actually trasnalted into English as Weekend in Dunkirk.

I had not read any book by Robert Merle for a very long time, so it’s nice to go back to his writing.
This book is raw, and yet a lot of humor at the same time. It tells the life of a group of French soldiers trapped in the pocket of Dunkirk, for two days, after the Franco-British defeat.

L'Os de Lebowski📚  L’Os de Lebowski,
by Vincent Maillard
French mystery
Published in 2021
202 pages
Reading with French student S.

S. wanted to read a contemporary French mystery, and in my list, she chose this one.
This is my first book by Maillard. I like the humoristic style, and I’m at the point where the plot starts getting intriguing!

The book hasn’t been translated into English.
It’s narrated in the first person by Jim Carlos, a gardener working at Prés Poleux, owned by a rich family.
Jim has a very lazy dog (Lebowski), who spends its time sleeping, but one day it manages to dig, and finds a human bone (hence the title: Lebowski’s bone).
So, whose bone is it? What happened to that person?
Why is the bone on this property?

Death of a Red Heroine📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages
Reading for my public library
Winter Reading Challenge
(book chosen for me by the satff)

I like the plot, and all the political background, with the Communist regime and the work ethics of the place.

“A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

I’ll be joining the Japanese reading challenge, and hopefully will read 3 books for it this month:

Hell Screen📚 Hell Screen,
by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Japanese short story
Published in 1918
Not sure yet of the translator
58 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

I have read several short stories
by this author,
but not this one yet.
I can’t remember why I put it on my TBR,
but I want to keep the surprise right now,
so am not looking at the synopsis.
I’ll tell you more about it later.

Master of the Uncanny

 

📚 Okamoto Kidō: Master of the Uncanny,
by
Kidō Okamoto
Japanese short stories (before 1939)
Translated by Nancy H. Ross
168 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

“Born just after Japan transitioned from the Shogunate to Meiji, Kidō grew up in a samurai-oriented world being transformed by the West in many ways. As a reporter he covered domestic development and overseas wars, while also marrying a traditional geisha, eventually becoming a playwright and author. In addition to a number of well-received plays, he also penned more than fifty horror stories over a roughly ten-year period starting in the mid-1920s. Just prior to this period, the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 destroyed almost everything in Tokyo that remained from the Edo era, and Japanese horror itself was transitioning from the traditional uncanny stories to more modern horror structures.

While many of Kidō’s stories are retellings of tales from China and other nations, he also drew on a diverse range of traditions, including the heritage of Edo-era storytellers such as Ueda Akinari and Asai Ryōi, to produce a dazzling array of work covering the entire spectrum from time-honored ghost tropes to modern horror. The majority of his stories were collected in four volumes: Seiadō kidan (1926), Kindai iyō hen (1926), Iyō hen (1933), and Kaijū (1936).

Kidō remains popular for his elegant, low-key style, subtly introducing the “other” into the background, and raising the specter of the uncanny indirectly and often indistinctly. His fiction spans an enormous range of material, much of it dealing with the uncanny, and as a pioneer in the field his work formed the foundation for the new generation of Japanese authors emerging in post-Restoration literature.

This selection (12 stories) presents a dozen of his best stories: pieces which remain in print almost a century later, and continue to enchant readers—and writers—today. Finally, English-reading audiences can enjoy his strange visions as well.

I am a Cat📚 I am a Cat,
by Soseki Natsume

Japanese lit
Published in 1905
Not sure yet of the translator
470 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

I have reads several books by this author, but mnot yet this one, one of his most famous!

“Written from 1904 through 1906, Soseki Natsume’s comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.
A classic of Japanese literature, I Am a Cat is one of Soseki’s best-known novels. Considered by many as the most significant writer in modern Japanese history, Soseki’s I Am a Cat is a classic novel sure to be enjoyed for years to come.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

  The Red Thumb Mark L'empire de la mort

🎧 The Red Thumb Mark (Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries #1),
by R. Austin Freeman
Mysteries
Published in 1907
224 pages
9H32
It counts for The Classics Club

I have heard a lot about this author recently, so I was eager to discover Dr Thorndyke.
Richard Austin Freeman (1862-1943) was a British writer of detective stories, mostly featuring the medicolegal forensic investigator Dr Thorndyke. He invented the inverted detective story and used some of his early experiences as a colonial surgeon in his novels.

“In this first book of the series, Dr. Jervis encounters his old friend Dr. Thorndyke; soon after they are drawn into a mystery in which a man is accused of murder and his own bloody thumbprint – evidence that cannot be denied – places him absolutely at the scene of the crime. But for Thorndyke, things may not be quite as straightforward as they seem. Can one forge a thumb print? As Thorndyke investigates, it becomes apparent that he is too much of a threat, and must be removed…”

So far in the book, I don’t find as much medicolegal forensics as I expected, and the focus is more on Thorndyke’s friend Jervis. But still, I like it and am planning to listen at least to volume 2 to see if indeed there’s more medicolegal stuff.

🎧 L’Empire de la mort (N.E.O. #3), by Michel Bussi
French YA scifi
Published on JUne 16, 2022
640 pages
16H24

I really enjoy this author. He is actually just as good in YA scifi as he is in thrillers.
I really loved a lot the first 2 books in this series, so am really eager to keep going.
It is set in post-apocalytic time in and around Paris and Versailles.

I will probably listen to other books, try to read a book in Italian, and go on with an Orthodox book I have been reading with the catechumens in our church.

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR DECEMBER?

https://linktr.ee/wordsandpeace

Sunday Post #72 – 01/01/2023

 

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for

Sunday Salon      Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#MailboxMonday #itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

What better way to begin 2023 than with a Sunday Post!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
and of course tons of awsome books to discover in 2023!

2022 ended with some great books for me.
As usual, during this coming week I will post detailed stats, but suffice it to say for now that I’m very happy with my 2022 year of reading:
140 books read, so that’s 20 more than my goal (117%).

I only posted once this week:

Here are the 2 books I finished recently:

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

Progress Report

📚 Progress Report,
by Roman Lando
Self-published
on 12/9/2022
Scifi technothriller
239 pages

VERDICT: Fabulous sci technothriller with kickass characters and excellent plot, to start your 2023 year of reading with a bang!

These days, I rarely request a review copy and even less often accept one. But when Roman Lando contacted me about his self-published scifi technothriller, I thought the genre had some potential. I was hooked when I read the synopsis and the first pages.
I am so glad I accepted to read Progress Report. I devoured it in a couple of days and can close my 2022 reviews with a bang!
Click on the cover to read my ecstatic review! 

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

🎧 The Wonderful Adventures of Nils/
The Further Adventures of Nils Holgersson
by Selma Lagerlöf

Classics children’s lit
Published in 1906-1907
17H06
It counts for The Classics Club

This is a wonderful children’s classic.
The young naughty boy Nils is transformed into an elf and travels all over his country on the back of a goose.
It’s a delightful way of presenting the whole of Sweden, its geography and landscapes, though sometimes some passages are a bit long.
It’s all mixed with the style of fantasy and fairy tales (for instance with animals talking, and the use of repetitive structure of sentences).
And ultimately, it’s a delightful coming of age story.

I listened to this book through the Cloud Library App (provided by my public library), and their version is actually from Librivox.
The narrator is Lars Rolander, who is Swedish I believe. That was great for the correct pronunciation of place names, etc. He is excellent at dialogues, at making different voices for all the animals. Alas, he is not as good when it comes to the narrative itself, and sometimes quite boring in these lines, with often the same intonation. Sad, as he is so good for the dialogues.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Death of a Red Heroine

📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages

Every year, my publisc library organizes a Winter Reading Challenge: you tell them the books you like or don’t like, and the last four books you’ve read, and the staff picks a book for you to read.
As I highlighted my love for Japanese mysteries, I guess they thought I had to expand my horizon to Chinese thrillers!
I’m only around page 50, but finding it very good so far.

“A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.”

Week-end à Zuydcoote📚 Week-end à Zuydcoote,
by Robert Merle

French historical fiction
Published in 1949
244 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

My French student F. wanted to try a French historical novel. Among the titles I proposed, she chose this one, set during WWI, in June 1940 at Dunkirk.
It was actually trasnalted into English as Weekend in Dunkirk.

I had not read any book by Robert Merle for a very long time, so it’s nice to go back to his writing.
This book is raw, and yet a lot of humor at the same time. It tells the life of a group of French soldiers trapped in the pocket of Dunkirk, for two days, after the Franco-British defeat.

The Red Thumb Mark

🎧The Red Thumb Mark
(Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries
#1),
by R. Austin Freeman
Mysteries
Published in 1907
224 pages
9H32
It counts for The Classics Club

I have heard a lot about this author recently, so I was eager to discover Dr Thorndyke.
Richard Austin Freeman (1862-1943) was a British writer of detective stories, mostly featuring the medicolegal forensic investigator Dr Thorndyke. He invented the inverted detective story and used some of his early experiences as a colonial surgeon in his novels. 

“In this first book of the series, Dr. Jervis encounters his old friend Dr. Thorndyke; soon after they are drawn into a mystery in which a man is accused of murder and his own bloody thumbprint – evidence that cannot be denied – places him absolutely at the scene of the crime. But for Thorndyke, things may not be quite as straightforward as they seem. Can one forge a thumb print? As Thorndyke investigates, it becomes apparent that he is too much of a threat, and must be removed…”

This edition I’m listening to, narrated by Luke Barton, has a good and fairly developped introduction on and by the author.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Gaspard Melchior & Balthazar

📚  Gaspard, Melchior & Balthazar,
by Michel Tournier
French historical fiction
288 pages
Published in 1978
Was translated into English as The Four Wise Men

I ended up reading lighter books, so haven’t started this one yet.
Thankfully, my Nativity comes only on January 7th, so when I finally start reading it, I should still be in the Christmas season!

“Displaying his characteristic penchant for the macabre, the tender and the comic, Michael Tournier presents the traditional Magi describing their personal odysseys to Bethlehem–and audaciously imagines a fourth, “the eternal latecomer”‘ whose story of hardship and redemption is the most moving and instructive of all.
Prince of Mangalore and son of an Indian maharajah, Taor has tasted an exquisite confection, “rachat loukoum,” and is so taken by the flavor that he sets out to recover the recipe. His quest takes him across Western Asia and finally lands him in Sodom, where he is imprisoned in a salt mine. There, this fourth wise man learns the recipe from a fellow prisoner, and learns of the existence and meaning of Jesus.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Owls

 

📚 Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, by Mary Oliver
Nonfiction, poetry, essays
88 pages
Published in 2003

“Within these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty-six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life-hawks, hummingbirds, and herons; kingfishers, catbirds, and crows; swans, swallows, and, of course, the snowy owl; among a dozen others-including ten poems original to this volume. She adds two beautifully crafted essays, “Owls,” selected for the Best American Essays series, and “Bird,” one that will surely take its place among the classics of the genre.”

📚 MAILBOX MONDAY: BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

 

Progress Report

See details above

Click on the cover to see my review
And share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?
BE SURE TO LEAVE THE LINK TO YOUR POST