2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: August checkpoint

tbr 2022 rbrbutton

#TBR2022RBR

Adam is asking us how we are doing so far with this challenge.
Since the June checkpoint, I have finished three books.
I’m almost done with a 4th (Ensemble, c’est tout), but I am reading it with one of my French students, so I cannot read more than a set number of pages per week.
I’m also currently reading Eventide, by Kent Haruf.

A is for Alibi A is For Alibi,
by Sue Grafton
Mystery
308 pages / 7H39

Published in 1982

I thought I REALLY needed to try this series.
It started ok, then a bit muddled. And really, no surprise at all about the main killer. So obvious.
But most of all, I could less and less bear Kinsey Millhone. There are way too many descriptions of her everyday meals and snacks. And really, I am not interested in her sex life at all.
I listened to the book, and the narrator Mary Peiffer fit the bill, she was good. And had the perfect voice for a person in real life I would end up finding annoying and uninteresting.

Did I make many enemies here?


The First Men in the Moon,The First Men in the Moon

by H. G. Wells
Science-fiction

137 pages
Published in 1901

I was very surprised when I started reading how funny it was, I was definitely not expecting that from this classic scifi. I learned then that it’s a satire on Jules Verne’s novel on the same topic – so now I’m rereading this one (De la Terre à la lune), that I read as a kid back in France, to see how Wells varies from Verne.
Keep in mind this was written in 1901, so it was extremely fascinating to see how we imagined the moon back then, what you could find there, on or in it.
Incidentally, these past weeks, scientist have revealed that they have discovered some types of caverns on/in the moon! So who knows, maybe Selenites do exist!
There are awesome passages on the social description of the creatures there, and major criticism about human society, especially our love for war – a thing lunar people cannot fathom at all and find so absurd. And 13 years later, we were at it again…
And still in 2022…
This is really an excellent classic scifi.

The Daughter of Time

The Daughter of Time,
by Josephine Tey
(Inspector Alan Grant #5)
Historical mystery
206 pages

Published in 1951

I was very impressed by The Man in the Queue, the first book in the Inspector Alan Grant series. Impressed especially by the richness of vocabulary, an element you don’t often find these days in the mystery genre.
So I intended to read the other volumes in order, but then EVERYONE was telling me their favorite was #5: The Daughter of Time.
So I decided to listen to you. And I am sure glad I did!

VERDICT: Unique and fascinating perspective: analyze historical enigmas with the eyes of a modern police inspector.

Click on the cover to read my full review.

📚 📚 📚

Here is my full list for this challenge:

  1. Thomas Jefferson’s Crème brûlée: How a Founding father and his slave James Hemings introduced French cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell 6/12/22
  2. Le Voyage d’Octavio, by Miguel Bonnefoy 5/22/22
  3. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry 5/21/22
  4. Stuart Little, by E.B. White 5/18
  5. The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells 7/22/22
  6. Eventide, by Kent Haruf (currently reading)
  7. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey 8/21/22
  8. Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda (currently reading)
  9. Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit
  10. Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, by Haruki Murakami
  11. Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence, by Peter C. Bouteneff
  12. A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton 7/13/22

Alternates:
11. Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French, by Harriett Welty Rochefort
12. The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, by Graham Robb

TBR 2022

HOW ARE YOU DOING SO FAR WITH YOUR CHALLENGES?

Sunday Post #62 – 7/17/2022

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

Here is what I posted this past week.
I have not posted daily for #ParisinJuly this week.

I finished 3 books:

📚  JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

The Martins

📚 The Martins, by David Foenkinos
Literary fiction
Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

US Expected publication:
July 22, 2022, by Gallic Books
Received for review

Here is my final word:

VERDICT: Neat French metafiction on the world of books, authors, and characters, with insightful snapshots on social behaviors. Could life be as strange as fiction?

Come back on July 21 to read my whole review.

L'Écluse n1

 

📚 L’Écluse N.1 (Maigret #18),
by Georges Simenon

Mystery
Published in 1933
Translated in English as Lock No. 1
Read with a French student

I like the ambiance of Simenon’s books, but the plot in this one is a bit confusing for me. I am not sure I understood everything that’s going on here.

This is about relationships between people, men and women, some cheating on others, some others wrong about who is cheating on whom. I think.

A is for Alibi

 

🎧 A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton
Mystery
Published in 1982

I thought I REALLY needed to try this series.
It started ok, then a bit muddled. And really, no surprise at all about the main killer. So obvious.
But most of all, I could less and less bear Kinsey Millhone. There are way too many descriptions of her everyday meals and snacks. And really, I am not interested in her sex life at all.
I listened to the book, and the narrator Mary Peiffer fit the bill, she was good. And had the perfect voice for a person in real life I would end up finding annoying and uninteresting.

Did I make many enemies here?

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

The First Men in the Moon

📚  The First Men on the Moon, by H. G. Wells
Science-fiction / classic
Published in 1901

It counts for The Classics Club

Still working on this one, and enjoying it a lot. Quite funny!

“His “first men in the moon” prove to be the eccentric Mr. Cavor and his traveling companion, Mr. Bedford, who navigate a gravity-defying sphere through space before executing a rough landing on the moon. As castaways from earth, they practice lunar locomotion, get lost in the wilds of a moon jungle, and confront intelligent life forms living in lunar caverns. Through the adventures of these two earthlings, the author is able to look at mankind from a distance and, in his words, “burlesque the effects of specialization.” The result is a delightful tale filled with adventure, romance, and fantasy that is still capable of stirring the imagination of readers in the 21st century.”

Confessions

🎧 Confessions, by Kanae Minato
Thriller
Published in Japanese in 2008
Translated into English by Stephen Snyder in 2014
One of the Japanese books I didn’t have time to read this year during the Japanese Literature Challenge

I’m glad I found the audio version through my public library. The narrator Elaina Erika Davis is excellent, great tone with constant underlying threat, perfect for the story.
So far, it’s a lot on bullying and revenge, with terrible consequences. But I have heard it’s going to get even worse…
Great psychological study!

“After calling off her engagement in wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.
But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge.
Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions explores the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Eventide

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I read Plainsong, the first book in this series in 2013, and really enjoyed the writing. So it’s high time to tackle this one that’s been collecting dust on my shelf.
This is part of my effort for the TBR Challenge
Yes, still planning to begin this one soon!!

“Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Prisoners of Geography

📚  Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics, by Tim Marshall
Nonfiction/History/Politics/Geography
Published in 2015

“In the bestselling tradition of Why Nations Fail and The Revenge of Geography, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers.
All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas, and concrete. To understand world events, news organizations and other authorities often focus on people, ideas, and political movements, but without geography, we never have the full picture. Now, in the relevant and timely Prisoners of Geography, seasoned journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.
In ten, up-to-date maps of each region, Marshall explains in clear and engaging prose the complex geo-political strategies of these key parts of the globe. What does it mean that Russia must have a navy, but also has frozen ports six months a year? How does this affect Putin’s treatment of Ukraine? How is China’s future constrained by its geography? Why will Europe never be united? Why will America never be invaded? Shining a light on the unavoidable physical realities that shape all of our aspirations and endeavors, Prisoners of Geography is the critical guide to one of the major (and most often overlooked) determining factors in world history.

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

Sunday Post #61 – 7/10/2022

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

Here is what I posted this past week.
I usually post only once a week, but I have been trying to do a daily post for #ParisinJuly, so that’s a lot of posts.

And I finished 1 book:

📚  JUST LISTENED TO 🎧 

Cyrano de Bergerac

📚 Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand
Published in 1897

I had a lot of fun re-listening to this play – and also watching the play/movie with Depardieu.
The rhymes are both clever and hilarious most of the time, though there are some very romantic passages.
The plot is ultimately romantic, both funny and extremely sad.
It’s also about the power of language, about honor and faithfulness.
A great classic, probably actually very hard to translate with the rhymes, and if you don’t have the rhymes, you miss so much of it, I would think.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

I am reading quite a few books at the same time right now, insane really, I’ll focus on only three here for today:

The Martins  The First Men in the Moon

📚  The Martins, by David Foenkinos
Literary fiction
US Expected publication: July 22, 2022, by Gallic Books
Received for review

I recently discovered Foenkinos, with The Mystery of Henri Pick. Very enjoyable!
I’m almost done with The Martins, it’s so good too. Also about an author, and his struggle and ways of writing a book.

‘Go out into the street and the first person you see will be the subject of your next book.’
This is the challenge a struggling Parisian writer sets himself, imagining his next heroine might be the mysterious young woman who often stands smoking near his apartment … instead it’s octogenarian Madeleine. She’s happy to become the subject of his book – but first she needs to put away her shopping.
Is it really true, the writer wonders, that every life is the stuff of novels, or is his story doomed to be hopelessly banal? As he gets to know Madeleine and her family, he’ll be privy to their secrets: lost loves, marital problems and workplace worries. And he’ll soon realise he is not the impartial bystander he intended to be, but a catalyst for major changes in the lives of his characters.
Told with Foenkinos’s characteristic irony and self-deprecating humour, yet filled with warmth, The Martins is a compelling tale of the family next door which raises questions about what it means to be ‘ordinary’, and about the blurred lines between truth and fiction.
 ”

📚  The First Men on the Moon, by H. G. Wells
Science-fiction / classic
Published in 1901

It counts for The Classics Club

I bought this in a library book sale years ago. I had totally forgotten that H. G. Wells could be so hilarious. I really have fun with this one. Great satire, on Jules Verne’s book for instance.
It’s also fun to see how we could depict and imagine the moon terrain in 1901!

“His “first men in the moon” prove to be the eccentric Mr. Cavor and his traveling companion, Mr. Bedford, who navigate a gravity-defying sphere through space before executing a rough landing on the moon. As castaways from earth, they practice lunar locomotion, get lost in the wilds of a moon jungle, and confront intelligent life forms living in lunar caverns. Through the adventures of these two earthlings, the author is able to look at mankind from a distance and, in his words, “burlesque the effects of specialization.” The result is a delightful tale filled with adventure, romance, and fantasy that is still capable of stirring the imagination of readers in the 21st century.”

🎧 A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton
Mystery
Published in 1982

I had this one on a dusty bookshelf, and ended up listening to it (great narrator). About time.
It’s good, I enjoy her description of characters, California a few decades ago, and her humor, but I’ll probably not go on with the series.
I’m no longer in that type of mood right now.

“A IS FOR AVENGER. A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. She’s a twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments but with a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes.
A IS FOR ACCUSED. That’s why she draws desperate clients like Nikki Fife. Eight years ago, she was convicted of killing her philandering husband. Now she’s out on parole and needs Kinsey’s help to find the real killer. But after all this time, clearing Nikki’s bad name won’t be easy.
A IS FOR ALIBI. If there’s one thing that makes Kinsey Millhone feel alive, it’s playing on the edge. When her investigation turns up a second corpse, more suspects, and a new reason to kill, Kinsey discovers that the edge is closer–and sharper–than she imagined.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Eventide

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I read Plainsong, the first book in this series in 2013, and really enjoyed the writing. So it’s high time to tackle this one that’s been collecting dust on my shelf.
This is part of my effort for the TBR Challenge.

“Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Holes

📚  Holes, by Louis Sachar
Young Adult? Middle grade?
Published in 1998

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.”

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?