2020: September wrap-up

September 2020 WRAP-UP

Not too sure where September went!
We have had some absolutely ideal weather, and I have used the opportunity to do some binge reading in the garden, in the sun.
The big excitement this past month was my 10th blogiversary on the 29th. I did a special post for it, and gave the name of the 2 winners.
So now, I’m going to try to do a monthly throwback Thursday post.
I’m also planning on doing a Newsletter, with special content.

📚 For now, here is what I read in September.
Only 7 books, but a few more pages and minutes than last month.

7 books:
4 in print 
=  with 1,212 pages, a daily average of 40 pages/day
3 in audio
= 31H25
, a daily average of 1H02 

3 in mystery:

  1. Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez – audio
  2. The French Widow, by Mark Pryor – ebook, for review
  3. All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny

2 in nonfiction:

  1. The 1st & 2nd Book of Chronicles (yes, I have actually decided to count these as 1) – audio, for The Classics Club
  2. Vesper Flights, by Helen McDonald – audio, for review

1 in literary fiction:

  1. The Readers’ Room, by Antoine Laurain – for review

1 in fantasy/YA/hstfic:

  1. Le Livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

  All the Devils Are Here  The Readers' Room

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 41/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 84/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 22

OTHER BOOK I REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

Don't Look for Me

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

We have 2 books available for reviews on France Book Tours
One is a middle grade/ historical novel.
The other is a mystery/women’s fiction set in Provence and Dordogne.

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

The Readers' Room

click on the cover to access my review
And go visit France Book Tours,
as it is one of the books offered as giveaway!

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

The top 8 books to read in September

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Feed Your Fiction Addiction
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Deb at Readerbuzz
Karen at Booker Talk

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,230 posts
over 5,350 followers
over 204,100 hits

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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in October,
and some major milestone!!


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How was YOUR month of September?

2019-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up_300

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!

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Book review: Don’t Look For Me

Don't Look for Me

Don’t Look For Me
by Wendy Walker
St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan
9/15/2020
Psychological Thriller
Mystery/Suspense
352 pages
Goodreads

***

These last six years or so have seen a renewed interest in psychological thrillers and a publication of many popular titles, which unfortunately eclipsed some less commercially visible authors. With Don’t Look For Me, Wendy Walker is now publishing her fourth book in this genre. If you weren’t paying attention already, now is certainly the time to invest.

With this sharp and riveting new thriller by Wendy Walker, take your psychological novel reading to a higher and deeper level.

These last six years or so have seen a renewed interest in psychological thrillers and a publication of many popular titles, which unfortunately eclipsed some less commercially visible authors. With Don’t Look For Me, Wendy Walker is now publishing her fourth book in this genre. If you weren’t paying attention already, now is certainly the time to invest.

Walker embarked on her writing career with significant experiences in law and psychology. In her first three psychological thrillers, she adeptly drew from these two toolboxes to craft refined and compelling mysteries with a strong emphasis on what we know about trauma and memory.

In Don’t Look For Me, while still focusing on trauma psychology, she also turns to child psychology, and to the relationship between adults and children.

The book opens in Connecticut with Molly on her way home during a very stormy night. For five years, she has been living with the heavy burden of having accidentally run over her own daughter. She cannot forgive herself, and she believes her husband and other two children hate her for it. So she often entertains the idea of leaving them, thinking they would be happier without her. She stops at a gas station, but it is closed because of the storm, so she accepts the help of a truck, with a man and a little girl inside. And then Molly never gets home.

Then the rest of the book is built in alternating chapters: the odd-numbered chapters start on Day 13 and are from the point of view of Nicole, Molly’s older daughter, who is trying to figure out what happened to her mother. They are written in the third person and in the past tense. The even-numbered chapters start on Day 2, they are in the first-person narrative, and in the present tense, Molly is the narrator. So the only thing you know at that point is that Molly is alive. And this is all I can really tell you about the plot.

I thoroughly enjoyed this extremely efficient narration pace. As the story develops, the chapters get shorter and shorter, making the story speed up and the suspense boil over with intensity. The last twelve chapters have a great number of twists and unexpected turns.

In connection with this point, it was really neat to see the meaning of the title evolve as the plot advanced.

And to add to the suspense, the atmosphere of many scenes is extremely well conveyed.

The road feels like a tunnel, carved between the walls of brown cornfields which flank the road on both sides and go on as far as the eye can see. Darkness now hovers above and below, and from side to side. It’s everywhere…

Neglected farmland, dilapidated houses, abandoned factories–they stand like tombstones. I wonder where people live. Where they buy groceries. Where they work and go out to dinner. Why they don’t leave.

You can feel yourself drive on this road:

Nic hated this road. She hated the way it fell off at the shoulder into dirt and gravel and how the dirt hung in the air long after being kicked up. She hated the thick, brown cornfields that stood high on either side like a scene out of a Stephen King novel.

Nicole’s investigation is more complex than it seems at first glance. She didn’t keep an eye on her younger sister as she was supposed to. So like her mother, she has her own share of guilt about the death of little Annie. This translates into depression, alcohol abuse, and sexual involvement with strangers. When she hears about a possible lead, she goes to find the help of the police and revisit the places where Molly might have been seen the night she disappeared: did her Mum run away? Did something happen to her?

To go back to the author’s professional background, many passages highlight how real-life experiences can be so different from psychology and counseling textbooks. Many interactions in the novel between adults and children do indeed sound very real and complex, and not as clear cut as some diagnostic manuals tend to imply.

I have already reviewed All Is Not Forgotten (2016), Emma in the Night (2017), and The Night Before (2019).

VERDICT: With this sharp and riveting new thriller by Wendy Walker, take your psychological novel reading to a higher and deeper level.

Please go to Criminal Element to read my full review.

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2020: August wrap-up

August 2020 WRAP-UP

I can’t believe it’s already the end of Summer. I’m already dreading winter…
But it also means lots of other great upcoming books to read. More about that tomorrow.
Let’s focus today on what I just read.
I managed to read 28 books for 20 books of Summer. I hope to have time to post a recap on that on September 3rd.

📚 For now, here is what I read in August.
It’s actually a pathetic 7 books. I thought I had read a lot. So the only explanation is that I’m actually in the process of reading lots of books – for readalongs. So only a few pages a day.
Oh also, I have spent some evening time obsessed by foreign language learning (Italian and Russian)!

I’m glad I participated in Bout of Books and had a great reading week, that helped a bit with the monthly stats.

7 books:
3 in print 
=  with 1,005 pages, a daily average of 32 pages/day
4 in audio
= 23H29
, a daily average of 45 minutes

5 in mystery:

  1. Il Ă©tait deux fois, by Franck Thilliez – French audio
  2. The Inugami Curse, by Seishi Yokomizo – ebook, received or review
  3. The Big Four, #5 by Agatha Christie – audio, for The Classics Club
  4. Don’t Look For Me, by Wendy Walker –  for Criminal Element. Review live mid September
  5. Killer Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury – ebook, received or review. Counts for The Classics Club

2 in nonfiction:

  1. The First Book of Kings – audio, for The Classics Club
  2. The Second Book of Kings – audio, for The Classics Club

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

Killer Come Back to Me Don't Look for Me

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 42/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 79/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 5

BOOKS I REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

Marie Antoinette's World No Woods So Dark As These The English Grammar Workbook for Adult

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

We have 2 books available for reviews on France Book Tours
One is a historical novel with a famous musician in Paris.
The other is a horror novel based on a super famous French classic!
And I’m going to post a third one very soon: a Middle Grade historical novel!

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Marie Antoinette's World

click on the cover to access my review
Which shows that negative reviews can bring you lots of readers!!

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Classic Spin #24
A book I haven’t even started!!

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

The Classics Club
please go visit, and why not join if you are not a member yet?

TOP COMMENTERS 

Deb at Readerbuzz
Karen at Booker Talk
Karen at The Simply Blog

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,215 posts
over 5,340 followers
over 200,870 hits

*

Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in September,
and some major milestone!!


Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of August?

2019-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up_300

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!