Book review: The Plotters

The PlottersThe Plotters
by Un-Su Kim
Translated from the Korean
by Sora Kim-Russell
DoubleDay Books
1/29/2019
First published
in Korean
in 2010
Genre: Thriller
304 pages

When I use the adjective quirky to describe a book, more often than not, the book is French. This time, it is Korean. I believe this is only the third book I have read translated from the Korean. The Vegetarian was definitely quirky. The Plotters, a thriller featuring some type of Korean Mafiosi, totally fits the bill.

Click to continue reading

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Bout of Books 24: final recap

boutofbooks 24

#boutofbooks
#bob24igphoto

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 7 RECAP – and final recap

Bout of Books 24 is over.
I read a total of 761, which is less than my target of 805. And I finished 2 books.
It’s an average of 108 pages per day, which is actually slightly less (111) than my previous book of books. Still, I’m happy about being over 100 pages a day.

I also did a few challenges, and several instagram challenge. I didn’t have time to join the Twitter chats. I followed a few new book bloggers, but not too many, as most seem to be too many decades younger than me, and I start feeling the gap in our reading interests.
All in all, a good experience.

I will be posting about the winner tomorrow Hope to seeing you at Boot of Books 25 on May 13.

Let me tell you a bit more on what I read:

prayers by the lakePrayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic
Saint Nikolaj Velimirovic  (1920-1956) was a bishop in the Serbian Orthodox Church. He’s very famous for the Orthodox, for his numerous writings, especially The Prologue from Ohrid, a collection of lives of the saints and homilies for everyday of the year.
The book I’m reading right now, Prayers by the Lake is a “century”, that is, a collection of 100 prayers written in a “poetic prose” style. They re very profound and intense, and use a lot the imagery of nature. So a few per day gives you a lot to chew on.

Are We French Yet

 

Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle
I finished this book. It’s a good collection of memoirs of a couple of American expats spending a few months every year in Provence. Funny, cute, and right on target. I’ll be reviewing it for France Book Tours at the beginning of February.

 

berlin alexanderplatz

 

Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin
I started reading this with NYRB Goodreads group.
Like several other readers in this group, I’m struggling, but trying to persevere with it. It’s weird, and the style is reminding me a bit of Ulysses, by James Joyce, though slightly easier so far. But I have heard it’s going to get worse… So I may DNF it, we’ll see.
Have YOU read it? What did you think? Should I keep going?

Hear our Defeats

 

Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé
Another intense and a bit weird book as well. Though Gaudé’s writing is amazing. I have to chew a bit more on it before writing my review, to be able to highlight the ultimate meaning of the book. It’s like a collage of major defeats in world history, (Hannibal, American Civil War, etc), with some contemporary elements.

The Plotters

 

The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim
As I had finished my ebook, I decided to start another one, and chose this one, as I have to review for the end of the month.
An unusual Korean thriller set in Seoul, with a special kind of mafia. It starts with lots of humor, but gets darker…
I really enjoy his writing style

don quijoteDon Quixote, by Cervantes
I started to read it all (why do I keep reading classics that are not on my list of 50 classics I set myself to read over 5 years?), when I realized Nick was doing a readalong on it. Actually, he’s quite busy, so not posting much about it. Yesterday, I discovered Silvia was also doing a readalong, with lots of resources.
I read excepts of it as a young teen, but I don’t think I read it all. Though so far, everything sounds very familiar.
What strikes me when I reread classics that I read decades ago (far too young for most of them), I realize at the age I read them, it seems I was unable to identify the humoristic part of them. Is it something characteristic of young readers? I wonder, unless it means my world back then (before I actively rediscovered my Christian faith), must have been quite gloomy.
I experienced the same thing a couple of years ago when I reread Proust. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of humor in Proust, but again, I had never see it before.
Don Quixote contains so many hilarious premises and scenes! As such, and with other metatextual elements, it was a revolutionary novel for its time. I’m also interested in the many passages related to books, to the effect of reading on your life. There’s even a reflection on translation.

The MoonstoneAudiobook: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins
Another classic, and this time, it IS on my Classics Club list!
I enjoy it a lot, even though so far I preferred The Woman in White by the same author. It’s like a saga about a special precious stone passed along, so it requires attention to follow what’s going on, especially as an audiobook. The change of narrators for different periods does help a bit.

 

And here is what I read on Day 7:

  1. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 129 pages

Total for Day 7:  129
TOTAL:761/805

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 6 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 6:

  1. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 12 pages
  2. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 94 pages
  3. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  4. Audiobook [28 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 11 pages

Total for Day 6:  129
TOTAL so far: 632/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day. Some people liked the picture, fine, but no one answered! You were supposed to try to guess my favorite genre from my montage (bad quality, because I too a picture of my computer screen). Any idea?

Be sure to enter my giveaway – last day!

Check my Bout of Books 24 ultimate goal

SCHEDULE

Challenges

**This is the overall list for the challenges offered during Bout of Books 24. Make sure you check the blog each day of the read-a-thon for instructions and details on how to complete the daily challenges**

Monday 1/7
Introduce yourself #insixwords

Tuesday 1/8
Character dinner party

Wednesday 1/9
Six degrees of separation – based on an idea I submitted

Thursday 1/10
Synopsis rewrite

Friday 1/11
If this, then that

Saturday 1/12
Dream cast

Sunday 1/13
Stretch goal

Twitter Chats
(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Monday: 8pm CST (TZC)
Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 5 RECAP

Not sure why, but this was another rather slow day.

Here is what I read on Day 5:

  1. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 48 pages
  2. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 1 page!
  3. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  4. Audiobook [15 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 6 pages

Total for Day 5:  67
TOTAL so far: 503/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day, and the like this/try that challenge

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 4 RECAP

Yesterday was an exhausting day, with a very long and difficult article to translate, among other things. Plus, I had a conference call I absolutely needed to attend for my Church, and that was in the evening on my usual reading time.
Yes, one of my jobs is now to translate daily articles related to worldwide Orthodox news. And now, I’m thrilled to be translating from French to English, instead of the usual way round. Which means, you can now read my work, if you are interested in what’s going on in the world. Obviously, my English is not perfect, but I hope it is getting more and more acceptable.
So the reading result for the day is quite pathetic, and it’s putting my total below my expected average for this week.

Here is what I read on Day 4:

  1. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 20 pages
  2. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 11 pages
  3. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 13 pages
  4. Audiobook [23 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 7 pages

Total for Day 4:  51
TOTAL so far: 436/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 3 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 3:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 74 pages – FINISHED
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 5 pages – FINISHED
  3. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 7 pages
  4. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  5. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 6 pages
  6. Audiobook [24 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 11 pages

Total for Day 3: 115
TOTAL so far: 385/805

The challenge was based on an idea I submitted, so here is what I did. I’ll be visiting blogs today to see what YOU did with it.
And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 2 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 2:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 43 pages
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 55 pages
  3. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 14 pages
  4. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 6 pages
  5. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 11 pages
  6. Audiobook [36 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 12 pages

Total for Day 2: 141
TOTAL so far: 270/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 1 RECAP

Yesterday, January 7, was the big day to celebrate Christ’s Nativity for me. I’m an Orthodox Christian, and my Church follows the Julian calendar, which runs 13 late compare to the Gregorian (civil) calendar. So December 25 + 13 days = January 7.
It’s actually nice to be far from the crazy commercial stuff surrounding the Christmas frenzy and be able to focus only on the essential.
After the Church celebration, we had a very simple meal at home and time with friends.
But in the evening, I was able to have regular reading time.

So here is what I read on Day 1:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 56 pages
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 46 pages
  3. Audiobook [1H07]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 27 pages

TOTAL so far: 129/805

Because of the very special day, as explained above, I didn’t have time to participate in the challenge of the day, nor in the Twitter chat.
But I posted a giveaway!

Save

Bout of Books 24: Day 5 recap

boutofbooks 24

#boutofbooks
#bob24igphoto

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 5 RECAP

Not sure why, but this was another rather slow day.

Here is what I read on Day 5:

  1. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 48 pages
  2. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 1 page!
  3. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  4. Audiobook [15 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 6 pages

Total for Day 5:  67
TOTAL so far: 503/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day, and the like this/try that challenge

Be sure to enter my giveaway

Check my Bout of Books 24 ultimate goal

SCHEDULE

Challenges

**This is the overall list for the challenges offered during Bout of Books 24. Make sure you check the blog each day of the read-a-thon for instructions and details on how to complete the daily challenges**

Monday 1/7
Introduce yourself #insixwords

Tuesday 1/8
Character dinner party

Wednesday 1/9
Six degrees of separation – based on an idea I submitted

Thursday 1/10
Synopsis rewrite

Friday 1/11
If this, then that

Saturday 1/12
Dream cast

Sunday 1/13
Stretch goal

Twitter Chats
(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Monday: 8pm CST (TZC)
Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 4 RECAP

Yesterday was an exhausting day, with a very long and difficult article to translate, among other things. Plus, I had a conference call I absolutely needed to attend for my Church, and that was in the evening on my usual reading time.
Yes, one of my jobs is now to translate daily articles related to worldwide Orthodox news. And now, I’m thrilled to be translating from French to English, instead of the usual way round. Which means, you can now read my work, if you are interested in what’s going on in the world. Obviously, my English is not perfect, but I hope it is getting more and more acceptable.
So the reading result for the day is quite pathetic, and it’s putting my total below my expected average for this week.

Here is what I read on Day 4:

  1. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 20 pages
  2. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 11 pages
  3. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 13 pages
  4. Audiobook [23 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 7 pages

Total for Day 4:  51
TOTAL so far: 436/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

 

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 3 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 3:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 74 pages – FINISHED
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 5 pages – FINISHED
  3. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 7 pages
  4. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  5. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 6 pages
  6. Audiobook [24 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 11 pages

Total for Day 3: 115
TOTAL so far: 385/805

The challenge was based on an idea I submitted, so here is what I did. I’ll be visiting blogs today to see what YOU did with it.
And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 2 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 2:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 43 pages
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 55 pages
  3. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 14 pages
  4. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 6 pages
  5. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 11 pages
  6. Audiobook [36 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 12 pages

Total for Day 2: 141
TOTAL so far: 270/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 1 RECAP

Yesterday, January 7, was the big day to celebrate Christ’s Nativity for me. I’m an Orthodox Christian, and my Church follows the Julian calendar, which runs 13 late compare to the Gregorian (civil) calendar. So December 25 + 13 days = January 7.
It’s actually nice to be far from the crazy commercial stuff surrounding the Christmas frenzy and be able to focus only on the essential.
After the Church celebration, we had a very simple meal at home and time with friends.
But in the evening, I was able to have regular reading time.

So here is what I read on Day 1:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 56 pages
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 46 pages
  3. Audiobook [1H07]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 27 pages

TOTAL so far: 129/805

Because of the very special day, as explained above, I didn’t have time to participate in the challenge of the day, nor in the Twitter chat.
But I posted a giveaway!

Save