Book review: Perfect Little Children

Perfect Little Children

Perfect Little Children
by Sophie Hannah
William Morrow/HarperCollins
336 pages


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Sophie Hannah is I believe the only author who’s received the official permission to write new episodes with the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (who by the way, celebrates this year the 100 anniversary of his creation!). I have read two of these, and her fourth is coming up in August 2020: The Killings at Kingfisher Hill. She has been writing many other mysteries, independently from this series. Perfect Little Children is her latest, and a new chance for us to enjoy Hannah’s writing skills.

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Sunday Post #19 – 1/5/2020

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
Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

I’m baaaaack! Last time I wrote for The Sunday Post was in January 2016!
One of my 2020 resolution is to post short reviews of books I have just finished (and keeping long review formats only for books received for review).
Plus, I’d like to start a type of book journaling, we’ll see how this goes.
So I think the Sunday Post will work well for that – though I may not be able to link it until late afternoon, because of Church commitments.

Click on book covers to access synopsis or review



by Katherine Applegate
Feiwel and Friends
Childrens Books
245 pages

I really like Applegate’s style: it’s very simple, though at the same time beautiful and very real. She always tackles important themes. In this one, we meet young Jackson.
He understands much more than his parents tell him, and he knows they are major financial problems. Because of that, they will probably have to go back and live in their van, as they did some time ago. When things get too tough, Jackson suddenly meet Crenshaw, a very special giant cat.
These are difficult issues, homelessness, how kids cope with adversity, poverty, and hunger, for instance by living in their head with imaginary friends. But Applegate, as usual, does it in a delicate way, with lots of tenderness and wisdom.
Highly recommended.


Perfect Little Children Theological Territories

Perfect Little Children
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date February 4
A woman goes to have a peek at the place where her former friends are now leaving. She sees their kids, but they have not aged, whereas they should be 12 years older.

Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date April 15
It is so unusual to find Orthodox theology on Edelweiss or Netgalley. Plus I have read an enjoyed another book by this author, so of course I had to request it.

Audio book

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea
Am listening for The Classics Club
“That a nation should construct one of its most resonant national ceremonies round a cup of tea will surely strike a chord of sympathy with at least some readers of this review. To many foreigners, nothing is so quintessentially Japanese as the tea ceremony–more properly, “the way of tea”–with its austerity, its extravagantly minimalist stylization, and its concentration of extreme subtleties of meaning into the simplest of actions.”




📚 I managed to finish my first book of the year, Crenshaw (see above) = 1/110
📚 I also started listening (35 minutes) to the Book of Genesis. Indeed it recently dawned on me (finally!), that I could listen to the whole Bible, a nice way to revisit it. So I plan to do this. I found a good recording of it on YouTube – I chose The King James, which is close to the Orthodox translation.
📚 I also figured out a way of reading 2 ebooks at the same time, without having to switch back and forth between 2 books on my kindle. Actually, I didn’t realize I could read books sent by Edelweiss Plus on the kindle app!! So I’m now reading a theological book on my kindle, and a mystery on my phone (see titles above), through the kindle app. Works great!
📚 Perfect Little Children: What’s going on? I have some ideas, but I may be wrong. In the mean time, I enjoy the flow of the writing and the suspense. Sophie Hannah is masterful.

📚 Perfect Little Children: It’s getting really weird, and now there are many more issues about the reliability of the narrator. I enjoy how her teenagers, especially her daughter, is trying to help explain what’s going on.
📚 Theological Territories: I have read the introduction, that basically presents each of the 26 essays. Some of them may totally be over my had, as they refer to authors I have not read.

📚 Listened to the book of Genesis for about 15 minutes. I really enjoy the experience, it’s like rediscovering the text.

📚 Theological Territories: Read the 1st chapter on Rowan Williams’s The Tragic Imagination. I don’t really agree, as I will explain in my review, for instance with this statement: “As aesthetic experiences go, tragedy is probably among the least intellectual.”



 Everything is Illuminated  The Salt Path

Everything is Illuminated
Recommended by my niece
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.
A reviewer wrote: “a very complicated narrative structure”. I am intrigued!

The Salt Path
Recommended by Booker Talk
“Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.”



Downloaded for free
Classic recommended by my niece.
Colette write about her Mum and her childhood


  Bout of Books 27   Japanese Literature 13

January 6-12: Bout of Books 27
It starts on Monday, but I’ll probably won’t be able to read much the first two days!

1/6: Book review: Lady Clementine
1/7: Top Ten Tuesday, if I have time, about Most anticipated 2020 titles
1/8: Book review: Dreamland
1/9: My top 12 favorites of the decade!
1/10: Book review: Figure Drawing for Kids

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13
You are going to read a lot about Japanese Literature here for three months!!



The top 8 books to read in January 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in January 2020

Click on the covers to know more


  Perfect Little Children


Perfect Little Children
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date: February 4, by William Morrow
After The Mystery of Three Quarters, I’m eager to read Hannah’s latest book.

“All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.
Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.
But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.
They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.
They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?”

As mentioned yesterday in my December wrap-up, I’m in a Katherine Apllegate binge.
“In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.”

Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date: April 15, by University of Notre Dame Press

I haven’t read any collection of theological essays for  while. I discovered this Orthodox author 15 years ago, with The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?, so I was happily surprised to find his latest available through Edelweiss, it’s rather unusual to find Orthodox authors there!


Sanshiro The Ten loves of Mr Nishino


This will be a Japanese binge, for the Japanese Literature Challenge #13.
Sanshiro (1908) is also what I got for The Classics Spin #22.
“One of Soseki’s most beloved works of fiction, the novel depicts the 23-year-old Sanshiro leaving the sleepy countryside for the first time in his life to experience the constantly moving ‘real world’ of Tokyo, its women and university. In the subtle tension between our appreciation of Soseki’s lively humour and our awareness of Sanshiro’s doomed innocence, the novel comes to life. Sanshiro is also penetrating social and cultural commentary.”

The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino and Inhabitation are books I got through Edelweiss last year!!

And if I need more titles, it will be more Japanese titles.


The Red House Mystery

The Book of Tea (1906)
Listening both for The Classics Club and for the Japanese Literature Challenge.
“That a nation should construct one of its most resonant national ceremonies round a cup of tea will surely strike a chord of sympathy with at least some readers of this review. To many foreigners, nothing is so quintessentially Japanese as the tea ceremony–more properly, “the way of tea”–with its austerity, its extravagantly minimalist stylization, and its concentration of extreme subtleties of meaning into the simplest of actions. The Book of Tea is something of a curiosity: written in English by a Japanese scholar (and issued here in bilingual form), it was first published in 1906, in the wake of the naval victory over Russia with which Japan asserted its rapidly acquired status as a world-class military power. It was a peak moment of Westernization within Japan. Clearly, behind the publication was an agenda, or at least a mission to explain. Around its account of the ceremony, The Book of Tea folds an explication of the philosophy, first Taoist, later Zen Buddhist, that informs its oblique celebration of simplicity and directness–what Okakura calls, in a telling phrase, “moral geometry.”

The Red House Mystery (1922)
Will be listening for The Classics Club
“The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit.
In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host’s disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder?”


Listed on the homepage

List of books I can swap with yours


📚 Post my fun end of the year stats, and do another special on best of the decade!

📚 As part of 2020 resolutions, I plan to do a weekly recap where I will write short reviews of books I finished that week – keeping my longer review format only for books received for review

📚 As I enjoy more and more audiobooks, I finally realized I should listen to the Old Testament. So I’ll be starting that in January.

Eiffel Tower Orange