Cecilturtle leaps to 75

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Cecilturtle leaps to 75

Editado: Dez 26, 2023, 9:16 am

Ooo 75 feels like a big number but with every great year starts a great challenge!

My total usually hovers around 60-65, but I'd like to curb my endless scrolling of social media and this seems like good - and much more rewarding - motivation!

My reading goals this year: continue chopping away at my ROOTs, read more in French (my mother tongue), read more graphic novels, tackle those Big Fat Books... and still have time to hike, take photographs and maybe go to work because retirement is still 5 years away... it's possible right?

Thank-you for following my journey!

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

Editado: Jul 2, 2023, 1:54 pm

Editado: Fev 1, 2023, 5:58 pm


1. Hiver arctique by Arnaldur Indridason (Iceland)
2. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (United States)
3. L'Onde Dolto (tome 1) by Séverine Vidal, Catherine Dolto, and Alicia Jaraba (France)
4. La civilisation, ma Mère!... by Driss Chraïbi (Morocco)
5. Le pari par Dominique Demers (Canada)
6. Yallah Bye by Joseph Safieddine and Kyung-Eun Park (Lebanon)
7. A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny (Canada)
8. Moms who Drink and Swear by Nicole Knepper (United States)
9. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (United States)
10. L'Île des oubliés by Victoria Hislop, Roger Seiter and Frédéric Vervisch (Greece)

Editado: Fev 28, 2023, 12:05 pm


1. La fille de papier by Guillaume Musso (United States)
2. French Exit by Patrick deWitt (France)
3. Homicide by Philippe Squarzoni and David Simon (United States)
4. Crocodiles by Philippe Dijan (France)
5. Dial M for Merde by Stephen Clarke (France)
6. Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs (Israel)
7. Petit traité sur le racisme by Dany Laferrière (Unites States)
8. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson (United States)
9. Cet été là by Mariko et Jillian Tamaki (Canada)
10. Mind your Manners by Claire Wallace (Canada)
11. Les Villages de Dieu by Emmelie Prophète (Haiti)

Editado: Abr 12, 2023, 3:00 pm


1. Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry (Spain)
2. Sa Majesté des chats par Naïs Quin, Pog et Bernard Werber (France)
3. La Brume by Mireille St-Pierre (Canada)
4. L'enfant perdue by Elena Ferrante (Italy)
5. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (United States)
6. H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker (Paraguay)
7. Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson (United States)
8. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin (Pakistan)
9. The Wildfire Season by Andrew Pyper (Canada)
10. The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun (United States)

Editado: Abr 19, 2023, 9:51 am


1. The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century by Amia Srinivasan (United States)
2. Manger Bambi by Caroline de Mulder (Belgium)
3. Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty (Australia)
4. The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun (United States)
5. Tombé dans l'oreille d'un sourd by Grégory Mahieux and Audrey Levitre (France)
6. Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys (France)

Editado: Jun 27, 2023, 11:17 am


1. A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Brazil)
2. La Soif by Jo Nesbø (Norway)
3. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (England)
4. No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (France)
5. La Vérité sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert by Joël Dicker (United States)

Editado: Jun 27, 2023, 11:17 am


1. Subdivided by Jay Pitter and John Lorinc, eds (Canada)
2. Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy (Ireland)
3. Les Imposteurs by John Grisham (United States)
4. Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote (Canada)
5. Le Cahier bleu by Michel Tremblay (Canada)

Editado: Jul 31, 2023, 7:57 pm


1. A Thousand Years of Yesterdays by H. Spencer Lewis (United States)
2. Le Guerrier solitaire by Henning Mankell (Sweden)
3. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (Netherlands)
4. Sur la dalle by Fred Vargas (France)
5. Mediator by Eric Giacometti and François Duprat (France)
6. Les Années by Annie Ernaux (France)

Editado: Set 1, 2023, 9:46 am


1. This is not a Book by Michael Picard (International)
2. Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown (United States)
3. Un café avec Marie by Serge Bouchard (Canada)
4. Bain de sang by Jean-Jacques Pelletier (Canada)
5. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs (Canada)
6. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Norway)
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald (United States)
8. Mémoires d'un tricheur by Sacha Guitry (Monaco)
9. Aimez-vous Brahms? by Françoise Sagan (France)

Editado: Set 26, 2023, 2:34 pm


1. Fanfan by Alexandre Jardin (France)
2. The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (Bookworld)
3. Niré by Aki Shimazaki (Japan)
4. J'aimerais tant que tu sois là by Jodi Picoult (Ecuador)

Editado: Out 28, 2023, 6:06 pm


1. Wordslut by Amanda Montell (United States)
2. Les têtes à Papineau by Jacques Godbout (Canada)
3. The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne (Germany)
4. Cultish by Amanda Montell (United States)
5. Under My Skin by Lisa Unger (United States)
6. Pageboy by Elliot Page (Canada)

Editado: Dez 1, 2023, 3:57 pm


1. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (United States)
2. Kukum by Michel Jean (Canada)
3. Dites-leur que je suis un homme by Ernest J. Gaines (United States)
4. The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella (England)
5. The Secret Language of Symbols by David Fontana (international)
6. When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson (Scotland)

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 9:08 am


1. The Cat Who Moved a Mountain by Lilian Jackson Braun (United States)
2. Ces enfants d'ailleurs by Arlette Cousture (Poland)
3. Sigló by Ragnar Jónasson (Iceland)
4. Resilience is Futile by Julie S. Lalonde (Canada)
5. The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble (South Korea)
6. La Conspiration by Maggie Hall (France)

Dez 30, 2022, 11:12 pm

Welcome to the 75ers! Looks like you’ve got a good plan for the year - social media is the bane of my reading too. 😀

Dez 31, 2022, 5:23 am

Happy new thread and new year :)

I read your "introduction" on the other thread - it just so happens, that I'm living in Copenhagen, Denmark, and visited Faroe Islands in 2022. I've been there a few times, and it's a perfect place for a photographer.

Dez 31, 2022, 6:10 am

Wishing you a comfortable reading year in 2023, and welcome to the group.

Dez 31, 2022, 9:54 am

>16 ctpress: I just can't wait!!

Thank-you for the warm welcome, Everyone!

Jan 1, 2023, 8:48 am

Enjoy your 2023 reads!

Jan 1, 2023, 3:47 pm

The fun thing about a New Year is that you get to carry over reads started the previous year :D

I have my first title with Hiver arctique by Arnaldur Indridason, a library book about the terrible murder of a 10 year-old boy. It's dark and slow, but I found the ending very moving.

Jan 2, 2023, 9:37 am

I finished another book started last year, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. There were some really interesting cases but the conclusion was too summarily described, leaving me a bit puzzled as to the point of the book.

Jan 2, 2023, 11:05 am

Happy new year, and happy reading in 2023!

Editado: Jan 2, 2023, 4:29 pm

>22 mstrust: thank-you, Jennifer! All the best to you in 2023!

Editado: Jan 5, 2023, 1:29 pm

I've decided to pay more heed to graphic novels this year and to this end, I've finished L'Onde Dolto (tome 1) by Séverine Vidal, Catherine Dolto and Alicia Jaraba, the biographical account of Françoise Dolto's radio show in 1976-1978.

Dolto was a pediatrician and psychoanalyst who revolutionized people's perception of children, by helping parents relate differently with their children. The radio show was a write-in for parents and Dolto would discuss various issues, everything from sleep, to fights to anxiety and give them tools to deal with common situations.

The book is delightful, with simple, effective drawings, showcasing Dolto's philosophy, childhood that shaped her thinking, and career, as well as the behind-the-scenes of the show. My own mother raised me on these precepts, so it was really fun for me to learn more about this extraordinary woman, and her daughter (herself a doctor) who helped her in this endeavour.

Jan 8, 2023, 11:19 am

I love the opportunity to dust off old tomes and discover a pearl of a book.

La civilisation, ma Mère!... by Driss Chraïbi is exactly that! Optimistic, luminous, generous without being naive, it describes a young mother's coming of age, thanks to her two sons who give her the greatest gift of all: freedom.

Jan 8, 2023, 11:25 am

>25 Cecilturtle: That looks an interesting one, Cecile.

Jan 8, 2023, 3:39 pm

>26 PaulCranswick: I just loved it, Paul! It's also an allegory for Morocco's independence, but I really do think it can be read at face value as a homage to women.

Editado: Jan 11, 2023, 7:21 pm

Well, I thought I was reading a new book, thinking that I'd already read a book by this author and - hm - it was the same book from some 15 years ago! Clearly I didn't remember much...

And so I just rediscovered Le pari by Dominique Demers, a Franco-Ontarian author. Max is a young and ambitious woman, fleeing her past and eluding happiness. The book is sometimes shy of being melodramatic, but Demers deftly avoids the pitfalls thanks to her storytelling abilities. The ending is even surprising, stepping away from a traditional conclusion... which I found both frustrating and delightful!
A great way to while away the winter.

Jan 12, 2023, 9:35 am

Happy reading in 2023!

Jan 12, 2023, 10:52 am

>1 Cecilturtle: I have been a member of this group since its inception in 2008 and I can assure you that we have never kicked anyone out for not reaching the magic number of 75 :) Welcome!!

It looks like your reading year is off to a wonderful start!

Jan 13, 2023, 3:32 pm

>29 FAMeulstee:
>30 alcottacre:

Thank-you for your encouragement! It's fun to be back in my piles of books!

Jan 16, 2023, 3:50 pm

I have finished a great graphic novel,
Yallah Bye by Joseph Safieddine, based on the author's real life experience of the 33-Day War, a conflict which opposed Lebanon against Israel in 2006.
I remember the headlines, but had not really understood the stakes. This very intimate telling was a sobering history lesson for me. It is very emotional, without being gory nor minimising the impact of the war. I highly recommend it.

Jan 17, 2023, 7:39 pm

I've finished A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny.

I'm a big fan of Penny's and I would say this one is excellent but not her best. It is definitely thrilling with multiple threads all woven around a massive painting, the Paston Treasure, which makes the construction unique and engaging (and my metaphors mixed-up and terrible).
There were some disappointments: I figured out the murderer too quickly and there were some sloppy details. Still, I had fun and would recommend it.

Jan 17, 2023, 7:42 pm

>32 Cecilturtle: Thanks for that one, Cecile. A must find book, I think.

Jan 17, 2023, 8:09 pm

>34 PaulCranswick: It's all the more powerful that the protagonist (based on the author) was in France while his family (parents, sister and hemophiliac brother) had gone ahead on vacation to Lebanon in Tyre when the attacks began on the Southern border, a few kilometres away. It describes the anguish of being separated, the difficulties in communication and the helplessness of the situation. Emotional but beautiful.

Jan 17, 2023, 8:23 pm

>35 Cecilturtle: I can certainly empathize with the anguish of separation, Cecile. COVID and travel bans kept me away from England and my dear Mum in her last days and the thought of your loved ones suffering whilst you wait on the sidelines helpless is a difficult thing to face.

Jan 17, 2023, 8:27 pm

>36 PaulCranswick: My sympathies, Paul. That must have been very difficult.
I live in Canada and my family is in France, so I know how tough it can be to be on the sidelines.

Jan 17, 2023, 8:32 pm

>37 Cecilturtle: Thank you, Cecile and I am always so pleased when we have new members of our little virtual community finding their feet so easily. xx

Editado: Jan 28, 2023, 12:27 pm

I finished Moms who Drink and Swear by Nicole Knepper. There was all too much swearing for my liking although I did occasionally laugh out loud.

Jan 28, 2023, 5:08 pm

>39 Cecilturtle: I suppose it was to be expected from the title, Cecile!
Have a great weekend.

Jan 29, 2023, 5:42 pm

>40 PaulCranswick: I was definitely forewarned :P

Jan 31, 2023, 4:27 pm

I finished Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, a slightly-better-than-what-I-expected romance, which is a win since I wanted a nice, light read to recover from a sore back.

Editado: Fev 1, 2023, 5:57 pm

I read L'Île des oubliés last night, a graphic novel by Frédéric Vervisch adapted from Victoria Hislop's novel The Island.

It's a fascinating account of Spinalonga, an island off the coat of Crete, where resided a colony of lepers for about 50 years (first half of the 20th c.). It's only contact with the outside world was through Plaka, a tiny fisherman's village. The drawings are very elegant and beautiful - I read straight through, completely wrapped up in the tale!

Apparently this story was turned into a mini-series as well - with a unique historical background and a story high in colour and drama, I can see it being an addictive show!

Fev 4, 2023, 9:45 am

I have finished La fille de papier by Guillaume Musso, a metafiction where a character from an unfinished book drops into the author's life to urge him to finish the book. It's a great premise with a disappointing ending. Nonetheless I enjoyed the fast pace, adventure and romance.

Fev 4, 2023, 4:01 pm

I just loved French Exit by Patrick deWitt, clever, offbeat and poignant despite some very dark topics. I highly recommend it, although judging by the reviews, it seems to be a "love it or hate it" type of book.

Fev 4, 2023, 7:32 pm

>45 Cecilturtle: I must try something by Patrick deWitt soon, Cecile. Clever, offbeat and poignant are a good combo.

Fev 4, 2023, 8:08 pm

>46 PaulCranswick: I also really enjoyed The Sisters Brothers - deWitt is definitely quirky but his work is really original, crossing genres with humour and intelligence. I yet have to see one of his books on the screen, but that may well be the next step!

Fev 5, 2023, 9:02 am

I really loved this graphic adaptation of David Simon's Homicide by Philippe Squarzoni, about a homicide squad in Baltimore in the 1980s. It's a dull and thankless job: by playing with the size of the drawings, sometimes read vertically, or times horizontally, the author adds a lot of movement. The images are very sharp but thanks to the use of shadows, emotions are well illustrated.

I'm enjoying my renewed interest in graphic novels: I have a new appreciation for how image and words really work together and the many ways in which this can be done.

Fev 6, 2023, 4:15 pm

This weekend's read-a-thon was productive. I was able to finish another book Crocodiles by Philippe Dijan, a collection of short stories, focused on the extremes of human relationships.
I'd read another by Dijan and had not loved it, so I was a bit weary of this one. Turns out I really enjoyed it!

Fev 12, 2023, 10:54 am

I've finished Dial M for Merde by Stephen Clarke, a hilarious look at French foibles which people who've experienced France from up close will appreciate.

Fev 18, 2023, 11:09 am

Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs was such a great read: murder and mystery based on some ancient bones that could veer the course of religious history. It's based on true accounts of anthropological research done in Masada, Israel. I really enjoy how Reichs mixes fiction and history: I feel smart and entertained ;-)

Fev 19, 2023, 4:32 pm

Every year for Black History book, I pick up a book or two from Black authors to learn. This year my local library branch recommended Petit Traité sur le racisme by Haitian-Canadian Dany Laferrière (A Little Treatise on Racism).

I'm a huge fan of this author and I was not disappointed. This book is a homage to Black North American artists, writers, thinkers, activists and all their accomplishments. He talks about their struggles, their triumphs, and his own experiences. He mixes prose and poetry and reminds us of the power of the written world. He does not shy from harsh realities but neither does dramatize them: this is a quintessentially optimistic book. It is short but - wow - is it ever powerful!

Fev 22, 2023, 11:47 am

Trucking along well this February! I've finished The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson. The narrator and protagonist was really annoying/ immature at time, but the scavenger hunt based on literary clues was fun. A nice, light read.

Fev 22, 2023, 7:51 pm

It's Freedom to Read Week in Canada and, at the library's recommendation, I picked up Cet été là by Mariko et Jillian Tamaki (This One Summer) set in the Muskokas. Two young teens meet the way they have for many summers. But this year is different: despite Windy's baby fat and Rose's gangling limbs, they've switched their attention to their changing bodies and the world around them. With sexual awakening, an unwanted pregnancy, reference to a "lesbian day camp" and a miscarriage, I guess there's plenty to ban. But what a mistake that would be. I loved this coming of age story of two young girls straddling childhood and adulthood, too old for one and too young for the other.
The pictures are soft and evocative... I devoured the 300+ pages in one sitting!

Fev 28, 2023, 9:24 am

I finished the sometimes useful, sometimes interesting, sometimes downright hilarious Mind your Manners by Claire Wallace, a dictionary of etiquette from 1953.

By the way: it's rude to use an ashtray if it's a wedding gift on display and it's also rude to wipe your lipstick-stained fingers on the bathroom wall. Just sayin'.

Fev 28, 2023, 12:03 pm

I finished Les Villages de Dieu by Emmelie Prophète, set in a gang infested neighbourhood in Port-au-Prince. Its violence and poverty is shocking, as Cécé recounts what she sees on a daily basis, hidden behind her phone and Facebook account. It's both a clinical description as Cécé sets a distance between herself and her environment, and a heart-rendering story of the people who live there.

Mar 4, 2023, 10:09 am

I've finished my first book this year from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry. I find that this list has hits and misses (for me anyway), but it allows me to discover authors I would otherwise not necessarily read.
This book was a definite hit. I loved the flirting with different genres and the two main characters.

Editado: Mar 5, 2023, 8:24 am

I finished two graphic novels, that could not be more different.
La Brume by Mireille St-Pierre is a homage to the narrator's unborn baby, lost during a miscarriage. Its soft, dark pictures feel wispy like the lost little girl that haunts her parents' heart. It's incredibly moving and touching.

Sa Majesté des chats by Naïs Quin, Pog et Bernard Werber is, on the contrary, a violent dystopia with aggressive drawings. All of humanity's worst evils are depicted: war, torture, animal abuse and revenge. I will not be reading the rest of the series!

Mar 7, 2023, 1:20 pm

I struggled with L'enfant perdue by Elena Ferrante. I had enjoyed the first tome so thought I would be absorbed by this one, since it's considered her crowning achievement. But no. It's a big meh for me: a long series of surface descriptions, I couldn't care for any of the characters, not even the narrator. The title event, which should have been the theme, seems casually mentioned. Sure, big words are thrown around: torment! despair! ravaged! but I didn't feel it.
The context, Naples in the 1980s and 1990s, is interesting. Maybe that's why this book got accolades.

Mar 14, 2023, 1:02 pm

I've finished The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and loved it. It resonated with me on several levels: proximity in generation; love of literature, religion and philosophy and mostly Leonard's experience of mental illness. It helped me look at depression with a bit of distance. I appreciated Eugenides's compassion but also realism. This is definitely a book that I need to digest for a few days before moving on.

Mar 18, 2023, 5:48 pm

I finished H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker, an amazingly strange and beautiful book that mixes art, music, and philosophy in a sci-fi setting: not easily described but quite literally is experienced rather read. It certainly defies categories! I would say not for everyone, but I loved it!

Mar 20, 2023, 10:22 am

Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson ended up being a disappointment; I usually enjoy my fluffy cozy murder mysteries but this one ended on such an outrageous, farcical note, I lost interest and was happy to toss it aside.

Mar 21, 2023, 8:21 pm

I was disappointed to find out that passages of Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin were invented. Nonetheless, this book provides great insight into Pakistan's remote region both in terms of culture and geography. Furthermore, the theme of girls' education is still as relevant today as it was 30 years ago and, in my books, any publicity is good publicity.

Mar 22, 2023, 8:38 pm

I'm finishing off books I started in February. The Wildfire Season by Andrew Pyper is a great psychological thriller set in the Yukon where nature, man and his consciousness are pitted against each other.

Mar 31, 2023, 4:45 pm

I finished a light cozy mystery, The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun. I admit I've been focusing on my crocheting these days...

Abr 4, 2023, 7:42 pm

I finished an excellent collection of essays called The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan. It showed me concretely how intersectionality concretely applies to feminism and its importance in studying a social discipline.

Abr 6, 2023, 6:05 am

I finished the hard-hitting Manger Bambi by Caroline de Mulder, about a sexually abused teenage girl gone on a rampage.

Abr 12, 2023, 10:13 am

I loved Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty, a perfect mix of humour and drama to deal with a terrible topic.

Abr 16, 2023, 8:03 am

I finished another in the Cat Who series, The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun. I'm more and more invested in it, although I would have preferred a less dramatic ending.

Abr 16, 2023, 5:42 pm

I finished a very interesting graphic novel about two parents' struggle to get resources for their deaf son, while dealing with his sick win brother. It's an autobiography, so very raw and moving, giving a good idea of all the administrative hoops necessary to get basic help.
Tombé dans l'oreille d'un sourd by Grégory Mahieux and Audrey Levitre

Abr 19, 2023, 9:51 am

I finished Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys as part of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die challenge.
I'm a little torn about this one: it's short but deceptively simple - the story weaves in and out of the present and past as Sasha struggles to stay afloat of reality. It's tough to keep the threads of the story together, what is happening, what is imagined. It is very bleak and grim, but overall I did enjoy this sense of fogginess with dots of joy.

Abr 30, 2023, 9:04 pm

>71 Cecilturtle: I remember being a little nonplussed by that one to be honest. Sad and slight and more than a bit perplexing - like life can be sometimes, I guess.

"fogginess with dots of joy" as you beautifully express.

Editado: Maio 3, 2023, 9:41 am

I've been busy with hikes, family and visitors, and crocheting my afghan so reading has been a lot slower.

Nonetheless, I finished A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, a very original and thoroughly engrossing thriller set in the heart of the Amazonian jungle.

Maio 7, 2023, 1:28 pm

Fans of Harry Hole will enjoy La Soif by Jo Nesbø. It was an engrossing read although sometimes confusing due to a large cast of characters and improbable events. Suspended disbelief is needed, but I wasn't bored despite the 600+ pages!

Maio 13, 2023, 7:52 pm

It took me a while but I finally finished The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. It was a tough but very rewarding read. My struck me the most is how modern it is - it could have been written yesterday!

Maio 18, 2023, 7:35 am

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan is a compassionate look at homelessness, how it's both such a simple and complex phenomenon with no easy solutions. A great coming-of-age story it shows how life can be both loving and cruel.

Editado: Maio 31, 2023, 4:04 pm

I've been away for a bit and was happy to have a 900 page tome with me to travel.
La Vérité sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert by Joël Dicker was an excellent way to while the time in numerous airports

Jun 3, 2023, 7:24 pm

I finished a series of really interesting essays on urban planning in Subdivided which focuses on diversity in Toronto.

Jun 5, 2023, 7:07 pm

A disappointing read with Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy which I found trite and bland.

Jun 8, 2023, 2:51 pm

Dropping in to say hi, and also, wow, you hauled around a 900 page book?! Or was it an e-reader? I'm glad it was so good.

Jun 12, 2023, 10:40 am

>80 mstrust: Hi mstrust ! It was a thick paperback! Ever since I saw Modern Family and Jay who breaks his ereader at the airport, I only carry the real thing - lol! Plus I give away most of my books and airports are great places to get them to travel to new destinations once I'm done

Jun 15, 2023, 12:35 pm

I've finished the thriller Les Imposteurs by John Grisham, completely amoral but entertaining

Jun 21, 2023, 3:56 pm

I really enjoyed Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote, a remarkable memoir full of joy, pain and moments of pure grace.

Jun 27, 2023, 11:15 am

I've finished the third of the Notebook trilogy, Le Cahier bleu by Michel Tremblay. My favourite of the 3, it is heartbreaking and beautiful with Tremblay at his best in his incredibly precise down-to-earth style.

Jul 1, 2023, 5:56 pm

I finished a strange little book on reincarnation called A Thousand Years of Yesterdays by H. Spencer Lewis, in a lovely 1945 edition.

Editado: Jul 2, 2023, 1:48 pm

It's sometimes both a relief and a disappointment when a book ends: Wallander got the murder, but at what price! This was really a terrific thriller, Le Guerrier solitaire by Henning Mankell.

Jul 8, 2023, 2:48 am

>86 Cecilturtle: It was indeed one of the late Mankell's best Wallender books.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jul 10, 2023, 4:00 am

>87 PaulCranswick: I enjoyed it all the more that I was in Copenhagen, Lund and Malmö in May so it was fun to walk in the footsteps of Wallander!

I've finished Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, on my shelves since 2008! It was a great book but I think it would have made an even better short story - I found some passages were a bit drawn out.

Jul 17, 2023, 7:06 pm

I was thrilled to see on my vacation in France that Fred Vargas has come out with her 11th in the Commissaire Adamsberg series! However, I was also a bit disappointed. It's certainly a good read, but it lacks her usual finesse. Book 51: Sur la dalle by Fred Vargas.

Jul 20, 2023, 4:32 am

>89 Cecilturtle: That is great news indeed, I feared she was finished with her Adamsberg books.
Now I have to wait for the Dutch translation.

Jul 20, 2023, 10:07 am

>90 FAMeulstee: It's a solid read but it doesn't have the originality of her previous ones. If you're a fan, you'll likely enjoy it as I did :)

Jul 26, 2023, 11:45 am

I've finished Mediator, a graphic novel by Eric Giacometti and François Duprat, about a diet pill which killed hundreds, even thousands, of people. It's boggling read!
The drug was commercialised as Redux in North America.

Jul 31, 2023, 7:56 pm

I sneaked one last book for July, the wonderful Les Années by Annie Ernaux, an autobiography told in a most unique fashion.

Ago 5, 2023, 6:58 pm

I finally finished This is not a Book by Michael Picard. Although I enjoyed the first part, I found the second (focused on logic and mathematics) tough slogging.

Ago 7, 2023, 8:49 am

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown is a good reminder that it's tough being empathetic, kind and vulnerable, but that it pays off in love, connection and belonging.

Ago 7, 2023, 4:42 pm

Nothing like a rainy Summer day to catch up on some reading: Un café avec Marie by Serge Bouchard.

Ago 10, 2023, 9:21 am

Bain de sang by Jean-Jacques Pelletier is a complex murder-mystery with a twist in espionage. The ending was predictable, however, which makes it a bit of a let down after almost 500 pages.

Ago 20, 2023, 4:27 pm

I travelled to Prince Edward Island for the first time, and had the chance to finish a couple of thrillers, my go-to for trips: Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.

Ago 21, 2023, 6:14 pm

I finally finished The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I started back in April.

Ago 26, 2023, 5:54 pm

I finished Mémoires d'un tricheur by Sacha Guitry, a fun book about gambling and casino culture.

Set 1, 2023, 9:46 am

I'm on a French novel roll: we'll be holding a book sale for our workplace charitable campaign soon and I want to donate a bunch of French books :P

Aimez-vous Brahms? by Françoise Sagan is a lovely look at complicated romantic relationships.

Set 7, 2023, 10:29 am

Fanfan by Alexandre Jardin is the opposite of the previous book: a borderline creepy romance (not meant to be creepy) about passion and excess.

Set 15, 2023, 4:33 pm

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde has been on my shelves since 2008. TBH I was a bit disappointed: although fun and original, it was flimsy on plot (ironically) and character development.

Set 16, 2023, 11:57 am

I just finished the lovely Niré by Aki Shimazaki, written in French Canadian and peppered with Japanese words. It's a lovely mix of cultures.

Set 26, 2023, 2:36 pm

J'aimerais tant que tu sois là by Jodi Picoult is partly set in the Galapagos during the pandemic as a tourist finds herself stranded on Isabela with no luggage et no Internet connection. I enjoyed the exotic locale and some of the themes. Not my favourite Picoult but an entertaining read.

Set 29, 2023, 1:53 pm

>98 Cecilturtle: Good trip? Prince Edward Island has always sounded like a magical place to me, but since I've seen almost nothing of it in pictures, it might look like any other place. But it sounds amazing :-D

Out 3, 2023, 3:34 pm

>106 mstrust: It was for work, but I had an amazing day to myself where I crammed in as much as I could: Anne of Green Gables Tour, wildlife boat tour, walk around Charlottetown and Victoria park - it was whirlwind but so much fun!

Out 4, 2023, 10:08 am

Catching up on my thread with 2 reads: Wordslut by Amanda Montell (loved it!) and Les têtes à Papineau by Jacques Godbout (didn't love it but an important piece of Canadian literature)

Out 8, 2023, 10:57 pm

I hope that your Thanksgiving Weekend has been wonderful thus far.

Out 11, 2023, 8:50 am

>109 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I celebrated by going to a big zipline circuit, eating lots of pumpkin pie, and dining for Friendsgiving. Altogether very thankful for all the blessings in my life!

Out 11, 2023, 8:52 am

I have finished The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne. It was ok - I liked the willingness to represent women's contribution to politics and history, and could have done without the cheesy romances.

Out 16, 2023, 3:02 pm

After Wordslut, I was really looking forward to Cultish by Amanda Montell. Wah wah wah, what a disappointment! Where there are undeniably good points, I was really irked by the fact that she uses the same rhetorical mechanisms that she decries in charismatic cult leaders - well ain't it the pot calling the kettle black! Overall I found it reductive and superficial. Boo.

Out 21, 2023, 3:20 pm

Whoo hoo! 70 books with Under My Skin by Lisa Unger... it wasn't a great book but it got me closer to my goal!

Out 28, 2023, 6:05 pm

Pageboy by Elliot Page is a good resource to learn about one person's experience with trans-sexuality - there are some very raw and emotional passages - but the poor writing is an obstacle to really appreciating everything Page has gone through.

Nov 5, 2023, 3:32 pm

I finished Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. I found it very uneven: it is divided into the 19th century where Kingsolver retraces the steps of Mary Treat, a historical figure, and into the 21th century which features a fictional family. The Treat biography was interesting, reminiscent of Remarkable Creatures, but apart from geography there was little to link the two stories. The Touvalis family also annoyed me with its squabbles and long drawn out debates.
The book was a neat idea but it would benefit by being simplified.

Editado: Nov 8, 2023, 2:50 pm

Kukum by Michel Jean is the fictionalised biography of the author's grandmother.

Almanda Siméon is a French Canadian married to an Innu who completely adopts the Innu way of life. In her lifetime she will have learnt the language, the traditions and the techniques; she will have borne 9 children and she will see her great-grand-children; she will also see the changes brought by the colonisation.

This short, beautifully written book, really helped me appreciate how within barely two generations Indigenous communities were wrenched from their ancestral ways and traditions. I had never realised how swift and brutal it had been. This book was a true eye-opener, and yet it remains gentle with a glimmer of hope. A must read.

Nov 18, 2023, 7:29 pm

Dites-leur que je suis un homme by Ernest J. Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying) is a phenomenal book: Louisiana in the 1930s, a young black man is condemned to death and his godmother wants to turn him into a man before he dies. It's incredibly emotional and more than once I had tears in my eyes - there is subtlety but also a depth of suffering that is sometimes hard to bear. I had not heard of Gaines before and I'm so glad I read this book. It definitely has left me thirsting for more.

Nov 19, 2023, 5:58 pm

>117 Cecilturtle: Congratulations on reaching 75!

Nov 19, 2023, 6:15 pm

>118 FAMeulstee: Thank you!! I'm at 74 actually but I'll get to 75 this week for sure :)

Nov 19, 2023, 6:29 pm

>119 Cecilturtle: I counted twice, from January to November, and then back again.
10 + 11 + 10 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 6 + 9 + 4 + 6 + 3 = 75!

Nov 20, 2023, 4:03 pm


Nov 22, 2023, 10:20 am

>120 FAMeulstee: Heavens! You're right!! Thank-you!
>121 drneutron: Thank-you :)

Well... here's to 76: The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella, a quirky novel that pokes fun at the wellness industry while reminding us of the importance of community.

Nov 29, 2023, 10:38 am

I finished The Secret Language of Symbols by David Fontana, a beautifully illustrated album that looks at the use of symbols throughout the world, from colours and animals, to complex systems like Chakras and the Tarot. Although it's impossible to go through all the meanings, he does a good job at looking at multiple interpretations, drawing mainly from Europe, India and China.

Dez 1, 2023, 3:57 pm

I finished When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson. It's confusing at first, especially with a fairly wide set of characters, but it all pulls in together nicely. The theme of gender-based violence is triggering but Atkinson's dark humour and strong female characters are a good twist. I also enjoyed the fact that all the characters had unique personalities, without resorting to the weird quirks usually found in thrillers.

Dez 2, 2023, 8:19 pm

My first book for December is The Cat Who Moved a Mountain by Lilian Jackson Braun, a delightful book from a delightful series. It was a bit light on the plot but I enjoyed the setting and the dynamic between the residents of Big Potato Mountain where the Taters and the Spuds feud.

Dez 3, 2023, 4:01 pm

With the crummy weather I was able to finish another book this weekend, Ces enfants d'ailleurs by Arlette Cousture, a saga that just turned into melodramatic drivel. Not my cup of tea.

Dez 13, 2023, 11:26 am

Sigló by Ragnar Jónasson is a light read but I enjoyed the setting in a small Icelandic village and the relationship between the characters. I can see why the series is successful.

Dez 15, 2023, 11:53 am

Resilience is Futile by Julie S. Lalonde is a heart-wrenching personal account of Lalonde's experience, where she was stalked by an ex-boyfriend for 10 years. It's raw, chilling and a sobering reminder of the violence against girls and women that still exists today. This hits particularly hard since it happened in my city.

Dez 25, 2023, 4:31 am

Thinking about you during the festive season, Cecile

Dez 26, 2023, 9:09 am

>129 PaulCranswick: Thank-you so much, Paul!
Wishing you and your family the best of Holiday Seasons !

Dez 26, 2023, 9:10 am

I'm finishing the year with what seemed like a promising book but ended up plodding and a bit disappointing, The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble.

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 9:20 am

I sneaked in one last read for 2023: La Conspiration by Maggie Hall, an international YA thriller. I was skeptical at first and ended up having a lot of fun with it!