Sunday Post #43 – 7/11/2021

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    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

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

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

Click on the logos to join the memes,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

Weeks go by too quickly, and I haven’t participated in this meme for three months!
I am glad to be back, to try to post short reviews of recent reads.


I already read 7 books this month. Here are four of them, I don’t have time to do more today.

La Disparition The Code Breaker

  The Apothecary Diaries vol 1 Evil Under the Sun

📚 La Disparition/Les Revenentes et autres lipogrammes, by Georges Perec
Published in 1969 and 1972

Georges Perec is probably the most important author in the Oulipo group, authors who try to write differently. Another writer I really enjoy in this group is Italo Calvino.
This volume has fabulous essays on Perec and his work, short works, and two larger ones: La Disparition and Les Revenentes.
La Disparition was translated as A Void in English. It’s a very famous work, as it was written without ever using the letter e! The English translator managed the same feat! Besides the ludic aspect, it’s also a very smart work, focused indeed on a disparition. So it also reads like a thriller. It was fascinating to see all the ways the author used to be able to a-void the e, just as essential a letter in French as in English.
The book can be hilarious, but it also contains many wow moments, seeing the prouesse of the author.
And from the title of the next work, Les Revenentes (The Exeter Text in English), you can easily guess what type of lipogram is used in this one: now there’s no vowel but the e! I found it less interesting at the level of writing, as the author uses much more freedom to get around not using any over vowel. And the content was very shocking, too sexual, erotic, and even perv!

📚 The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson
Published on 3/9/2021 – Won through Goodreads

VERDICT:  Essential, fascinating, and easily accessible presentation of Jennifer Doudna. A must if you want to stay up to date on CRISPR and its moral questions.
You can read my full review here

📚 The Apothecary Diaries vol.1, by Natsu Hyuuga
Manga published in Japanese in 2017, in English in December 2020
– read for the Books in Translation Reading Challenge

It is sometimes hard for me to find a manga I would really enjoy. I actually think I found this one first on a French blog. This is not all too common teen romance type of manga. It has an extra historical dimension, as it focuses on life in the inner palace.
Young Maomao was trained in the art of herbal medicine, but at one point she was kidnapped. She ends up as a lowly servant in the inner palace.
But she starts going up in ranks when she helps identify the cause of all the royal babies dying. Then handsome eunuch Jinshi notices her and promotes her as a court food taster. I’m now curious what Jinshi has in store for her in the next volumes.

🎧 Evil Under the Sun, by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #24)
Published in 1941
Listened to for the Classics Club, and personal project to listen to all of HP.

Great plot, though I found the denouement going on and on.

“It seems that no matter how hard he tries, Poirot never quite gets a holiday. This story sees him in Devon, Agatha Christie’s home county, and, of course, among the scantily clad sunbathers, a murdered woman is found.
It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun… she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena’s arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent ‘crime of passion’ have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?”


Languages of Truth Alphabet

Five Little PigsI don’t have time to write about these, but you can at least click on the cover to see on Goodreads what they are all about.


When All Light Fails

📚 When All Light Fails, by Randall Silvis
(Ryan DeMarco Mystery #5)
To be published in August1st, 2021
Received through Netgalley

This will be the concluding volume in this series, so I really want to read it, even though vol 4 was very dark.

“When powerful men pull strings to get what they want… someone almost always ends up dead.
There’s not much that would convince retired police sergeant Ryan DeMarco to take on another private investigation case, but he can’t refuse a nine-year-old Michigan girl begging for help finding her biological father. The road trip to the Upper Peninsula promises DeMarco and his partner, Jayme, a chance to heal from their last case, which ended in a traumatic brush with death for DeMarco. But things aren’t as they first appear in the woods of Michigan, and the seemingly simple paternity investigation soon morphs into something deadly.
The deeper DeMarco, Jayme, and the rest of their team dig, the more ugly truths they reveal, all while doing their best to keep one member of their team, from falling prey to her own kind of darkness. This investigation just might be the most emotionally troubling one DeMarco and Jayme have yet encountered, for there are plenty of people who will do whatever it takes to shut them down before the truth comes to light.”


A Beginner's Guide to Japan China in Ten Words


Received for review, from Gallic Books:

  The Sleeping Car Murders  Rider on the Rain  

Trap For Cinderella


your choice between 6 books!

request today, review when it’s comfortable for you
The House of Shudders 2Historical novel – WWII



Six degrees of separation: from the screw to the deerstalker


Six degrees of separation:
from the screw to the deerstalker

Yeah, feels good to be back!
I finally found time to join this meme – last time was in March.

Using my own rules for this fun meme hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (see there the origin of the meme and how it works – posted the first Saturday of every month), I started with a famous classic and ended up with the detective with the deerstalker!

Will you dare follow me to track them?

Here are my own quirky rules:

1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title offered and find another title with that word in it
3. Then use the first word of THAT title to find your text title
4. Or the second if the title starts with the same word, or you are stuck

  The Turn of the Screw No Turning Back

  No Woods So Dark As These A Walk in the Woods

  The Most Beautiful Walk Conan Doyle for the Defense

1. The Turn of the Screw
A classic om my Classics Club TBR, I hope to read it soon!

2. No Turning Back
I did cheat a bit, from turn to turning

VERDICT: With a nice flow in the writing and rich diversity of genre and content, Dan Burns offers a captivating collection of short stories. A great invitation to lean forward and jump.

3. No Woods So Dark As These
VERDICT: Not your usual page-turner: Randall Silvis is great at mixing crime and metaphysics.

4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
From my review (that was 10 years ago, and I was not writing a “verdict” back then!):
Bryson writes very well, he’s so funny and witty, while giving you great information at the same time, such as ecological, historical, and geological facts in this book.
NB: I did end up walking a bit on the Appalachian Trail!

5. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
From my review:
I really enjoyed very much his book, full not only of fun and personal anecdotes, but also rich in plenty of cultural, historical,  and literary references.
It really gives you the desire to pack and go, and follow him with his book as a guide, through the fun tours, well organized.
It reminded me that, as he says, the best walk is the one you make up yourself.

6. Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer
VERDICT: A must read for all Sherlock Holmes’ fan. A well researched piece of literary critique.


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Book review: No Woods So Dark as These

No Woods So Dark As These

No Woods So Dark as These,
by Randall Silvis
Poisoned Pen Press
448 pages



As I reread the review I wrote for book three in this series, I was struck by the commonalities it shared with book four. No Woods So Dark as These has indeed all the signs and qualities of another masterpiece by Randall Silvis. And yet no two of his books are alike.

VERDICT: Not your usual page-turner: Randall Silvis is great at mixing crime and metaphysics.

Please go to Criminal Element to read my full review.

But there’s an extra quotation I’d like to share:

It was after ten when DeMarco finally stepped out into the yard and saw that the sky was high and clear and cobalt blue, with only two slender streaks of white cirrus clouds above, as if a painter had used the blue canvas to clean his brush. (chapter 15)

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What’s the latest thriller you really enjoyed?