My top 8 books for the 1954 Club

The 1954 Club

The #1954Club

For several years, Simon at Stuck in a Book, has been organizing club years, in which he encourages everybody to read books published in the same year.

This time, he chose 1954

I think the main idea is to draw a literary portrait of that year.
If you are curious, you can check which books were published during that year, on this Goodreads list or on this one (less complete, but you can compare with the books you have read), or on this wikipedia page.

Before focusing on The 1954 club, it seems I had read 7 books published that year:

  1. The Bridge over the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle
  2. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  3. The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5), by C.S. Lewis
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  6. Bonjour Tristesse, by Françoise Sagan

And more recently, with a review:

The sound of wavesThe Sound of Wavesby Yukio Mishima

For the #1954club, I read the following:

Death Going Down

 

Death Going Down,
by María Angélica Bosco
Published in 1954
as La muerte baja en el ascensor
Translated from the Spanish
by Lucy Greaves
November 24, 2016 by Pushkin Vertigo
160 pages
Mystery
Goodreads

As I currently try to focus on my TBR, I looked on my Goodreads TBR shelf, and there was only one book published in 1954.
It’s a mystery, a genre of classics I usually enjoy. And this book also qualifies for my Books in Translation Challenge.

I had never read anything by Argentinean author María Angélica Bosco (1917–2006).
She won the “Emecé Literary Prize” (Premio Emecé Argentina) in 1954 (the year of its creation) thanks to this novel.

First, I have to say I really enjoyed the title, even though we quickly realize its meaning. Still, I found it more attractive than the original in Spanish, which I found too explanatory: La muerte baja en el ascensor.

Though it is indeed what happens.
Pancho Soler comes home in Buenos Aires completely drunk one August night at 2am. He calls the elevator. He opens the door and finds a dead woman in it. Who is she? Who killed her? How? Why?

Definitely the type of discovery that might help you sober up quickly:

“He felt a desperate need to shout in protest. Why did this have to happen to him?”

I really liked the opening of the book a lot, with its neat descriptions of Soler and his discovery. Obviously, he is the first suspect. Did he do it?
The officers then focus on each person living in the apartment building. So it is a type of variation on the locked room mystery genre.
Each of these inhabitants could really be the guilty party, as they all have something to hide, in their past (many immigrants made their way to Argentina after WWII), their activity, or their relationships.

Bosco has  some interesting turns of phrases or images, such as this one about Superintendent Ericourt:

“He had nothing of the prowling predator, but all the fearsome patience of an elephant scanning the ground with its trunk for the piece of food it has dropped”.

Or

“Lahore squirmed gently in his seat, like a cat that feels someone is tying a dog to its tail.”

I also liked the clever ending, which I realize I should have guessed much earlier on.

My year 1954 recap:
Beside María Angélica Bosco, I didn’t have time to read any other book for this event. Still, 1954 has an impressive list of biggies, world wide.

HERE IS THE LINK TO ALL THE BOOKS REVIEWED
FOR THE #1954CLUB

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE?
CLICK ON THE 1954 CLUB LOGO TO DISCOVER MANY MORE REVIEWS
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK PUBLISHED IN 1954?

2022: February wrap-up

FEBRUARY 2022 WRAP-UP

With the world events, I debated sharing about the books I have read.
Praying is definitely more important than reading at this point, but I guess some of you may experience comfort in the usual routine, so here we go.

February had only 28 days, so it seemed I read less. In fact, my average page per day was higher than in January, and I also had more listening time for audiobooks.

So far, I have managed to review everything.

📚 Here is what I read in February:

12 books:
9 in print 
with 2,082 pages, a daily average of 74 pages/day
3 in audio
= 40H05
, a daily average of 1H25

4 in mystery:

  1. Intuitio, by Laurent Gounelle – French audio
  2. Gataca [Bred to Kill], by Franck Thilliez – French audio
  3. The Final Days of Abbot Montrose, by Sven Elvestad – Norwegian classic
  4. Maigret chez les Flamands (Maigret #15), by Georges Simenon – read with a French student

3 in literary fiction:

  1. Star, by Yukio Mishima
  2. Lean on me, by Serge Joncour – publication day today!
  3. Les Dimanches de Monsieur Ushioda, by Yasushi Inoue

2 historical fiction:

  1. Chemin de femmes [The Waiting Years], by Fumiko Enchi
  2. Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield – audio

2 in nonfiction:

  1. Agatha Christie Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World, by Mark Aldridge
  2. A Brush With Birds: Paintings and Stories from the Wild, by Richard Weatherly

1 in picture book:

  1. Strega Nona, by Tomie dePaola

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

Gataca The Waiting Years

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 107/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 6/12 books
2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: 0/12 books
2022 books in translation reading challenge
: 9/10+

Total of books read in 2022 = 27/120 (23%)
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 30

NO OTHER BOOK  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

Books available for swapping

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE

Posted on my homepage

And we offer a Book Box!

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Sunday Post #51

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy
Greg at Book Haven
please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

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And here are the books
I plan to read in March
(
video)

📚 📚 📚

How was YOUR month of FEBRUARY?

2022-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up400

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

Book review: Star

Star

Star
by Yukio Mishima
First published as スタア in 1961
Translated from the Japanese
by Sam Bett

New Directions
4/30/2019
96 pages
Literary fiction / Novella
Goodreads

Star is a very interesting portrait of Rikio, a young movie star.
It gets even richer when you realize Yukio Mishima wrote this novella shortly after acting himself in “Afraid to Die”, where he played the role of a yakuza, just like Rikio in the movie he is working on. It makes for an interesting parallel with his own life – including its end.

Click to continue reading