Book review: Languages of Truth

Languages of Truth

Languages of Truth:
Essays 2003-2020
by Salman Rushdie
Random House
5/25/2021
368 pages
Nonfiction/Essays
Goodreads

Buy the book

My discovery of Salman Rushdie’s writing is definitely not the normal one.
I have yet to read his most famous books. The only novel I have read so far is Quichotte, which I found quite impressive.

Even though I totally disagree with the author’s views on religion, I find him to be one of the most profound minds in literature today, and one of the most articulate voices, alongside the alas departed Umberto Eco, one of his friends, as expected. Les grands esprits se rencontrent.

So when I realized a volume of recent essays was being published —Languages of Truth is the third collection of his essays– I knew it was appropriate to spend more time with this brilliant author.  

Click to continue reading

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.

📚 JUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧

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?”

📚 CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧

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.

📚 BOOK UP NEXT 📚

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.”

📚 LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚

A Beginner's Guide to Japan China in Ten Words

📚  BOOKS RECEIVED RECENTLY  📚

Received for review, from Gallic Books:

  The Sleeping Car Murders  Rider on the Rain  

Trap For Cinderella

GIVEAWAYS AND BOOK AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW

JULY GIVEAWAY:
your choice between 6 books!

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


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HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

The top 7 books to read in July 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in July 2021

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

La Disparition    Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

  The Code Breaker   Languages of Truth

📚 Les Revenentes, by Georges Perec
Published in 1972 – reading with a French student
I recently finished La Disparition, by the same author. Translated as A Void in English. It was a fascinating mystery, where the letter e was never used once! And the English translator managed that feat as well!
Now in Les Revenentes, as you can guess from the French title, the only vowel used is the e!! Translated as The Exeter Text.

📚 Dictionnaire amoureux du polar, by Pierre Lemaitre
Published on October 22, 2020
Great passages on other thrillers, some rather dark, and a lot of humor, which I didn’t realize Lemaitre had, among so many other talents.

📚 The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson
Published on March 9, 2021 – won through Goodreads
This is so good, like anything by this author.
This is so fascinating. Great technical details, clearly explained for all. There’s a lot also about patents and legal fights.

📚 Languages of Truth: Essays, 2003-2020, by Salman Rushdie
Published on May 25, 2021 – received for review through Netgalley
I was very impressed by Rushdie’s writing in Quichotte.
I love this author’s smart brain!
And I’m going to add so many books to my TBR, mentioned in these essays.

READING NEXT

History in English Words

📚 History in English Words, by Owen Barfield
Published in 1926
Will be reading for The Classics Club – this was my latest spin, I am one month late

“This popular book provides a brief, brilliant history of those who have spoken the Indo-European tongues. It is illustrated throughout by current English words—whose derivation from other languages, whose history in use and changes of meaning—record and unlock the larger history.”

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

     Evil Under the Sun   Impact

📚 Evil Under the Sun (Hercule Poirot #24) by Agatha Christie
Published in 1941
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“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?”

📚 Impact, by Olivier Norek
Published in October 2020

I have listened to another thriller by this author, which I enjoyed a lot. This book is also a thriller, related to what we are doing to our planet, I think I’m going to enjoy t as well.

📚 I will probably also listen to Hercule Poirot #25 and #26
📚 And now that I’m done listening to the whole Old Testament, I’ll be listening to the New Testament. More slowly, because in parallel, I plan to read a very recent translation by David Bentley Hart. 

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR JULY

I haven’t done yet the following two points I was intending to do in June:

I am also in the process of streamlining all my Categories and Tags.
And of transitioning France Book Tours to another theme, and other forms of marketing!

Reading wise, working on my #20booksofsummer21

Eiffel Tower Orange

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