Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

30
Sep

#RIPXVII Romantisme Noir in Paris

The Nightmare

 

  1. Discover  during RIPXVII  the work of the
  2. …British painter of Swiss origin, Johann Heinrich Füssli (1741-1825).
  3. Explore the most emblematic themes of the work of
  4. …Füssli, artist of the imagination and the sublime.
  5. From Shakespearean subjects to representations of
  6. …dreams, nightmares and apparitions,
  7. ….to mythological and biblical illustrations
  8. …Füssli develops a new aesthetic that oscillates between dream and fantasy.
  9. Exposition is now in Paris!
  10. «Füssli, entre rêve et fantastique», au Musée Jacquemart-André
  11. …jusqu’au 23 janvier 2023.
  12. CLICK ON THIS LINK… and enjoy this animation of Füssli’s works
  13. …created by the museum…beautiful and SPOOKY!
  14. Also…browse through Füssli’s most icons paintings
  15. PS: extra info via wikipedia about DARK  ROMANTICISM

 

26
Sep

# PrixGoncourt longlist Sa préférée

SEPTEMBER

 

Sa préférée by Sarah Jollien-Fardel by Sarah Jollien-Fardel (no photo)

Finish date: 25 September 2022
Genre: novel (208 pg)
Rating: A++++++
Review: Sa préférée (ISBN: 9782848054568)

 

Good news: Breathtakingly written…to-the-point…about Jeanne.
She manages thanks to her acceptance at a boarding school to escape an abusive household. She flees the grip of her father…but her mother and sister Emma were not that lucky.

 

Good news: I have difficulty with novels about abuse in general. Ms Jollien-Fardel writes in short, precise words and phrases that kept me within the limits I set for myself with these type of books. The reader enters an upsetting world. Jeanne carries a heavy burden…a family secret.

 

Good news: Ms Jollien-Fardel highlights the abusive childhood (25%) but manages to make the rest of this book about more than that. I shows us how Jeanne tries to rise above the trauma….and discovering how she does it is worth reading this book!

 

Personal: Best-seller in France at the moment…I hope this book will be translated very soon. I am so impressed by Sarah Jollien-Fardel’s first book! Winner Prix du roman Fnac 2022 prize awarded by booksellers and readers. On  pg 34….I was stunned to learn what the title referred to. You‘ll have to read the book to discover it yourself!.
Debut novel….I cannot believe how good this book is. When I finished it I was taken aback…speechless and just put my head down on the table…on my folded arms…closed my eyes and let the entire book sink in! #WOW

 

NOTE: Sa préférée is on the long list for Prix Goncourt 2022. I HOPE it wins…and what an achievement for a writer to get this honour for her first published book!

 

 

Première liste Prix Goncourt 2022

  1. 06 September 2022 – long list (15 novels)
  2. 05 October 2022 – short list (8 novels)
  3. 26 October 2022 – short list (4 novels)
  4. 03 November – Le prix Goncourt 2022 award ceremony

 

 

  1. Muriel Barbery, Une heure de ferveur
  2. Grégoire Bouillier, Le cœur ne cède pas
  3. Nathan Devers, Les liens artificiels
  4. Giuliano da Empoli, Le mage du Kremlin  READING
  5. Carole Fives, Quelque chose à te dire
  6. Sabyl Ghoussoub, Beyrouth-sur-Seine
  7. Brigitte Giraud, Vivre vite
  8. Sarah Jollien-Fardel, Sa préférée – READ
  9. Cloé Korman, Les Presque Sœurs
  10. Makenzy Orcel, Une somme humaine
  11. Yves Ravey, Taormine
  12. Pascale Robert-Diard, La petite menteuse
  13. Emmanuel Ruben, Les Méditerranéennes
  14. Monica Sabolo, La vie clandestine
  15. Anne Serre, Notre si chère vieille dame auteur
23
Sep

#RIPXVII Terry Pratchett

Rincewind the Wizzard

Quick Scan:

  1. Rincewind starts out in The Colour of Magic, the first book of the series
  2. He is hired as a guide for the tourist Twoflower.
  3. The Rincewind series  (8 books)
  4. follows the misadventures of the Rincewind.
  5. These books are often used to explore the more remote and unknown parts of the Discworld.

Update: 03 September:

  1. The Colour of Magic 
  2. … it was impossible to read (first 50 pages) without doing some research
  3. …via Terry Pratchett Wiki page.
  4. Without this website I could not follow the story!
  5. DNF after reading 25%
  6. …putting this book on the back burner.
  7. After a good nights sleep….
  8. I will  TRY to finish the  AUDIO book!
  1. Great A’Tuin is a turtle…with  four World Elephants and a disc-shaped world 
  2. Ankh-Morpork is the largest city on the Disc with about a million inhabitants.
  3. It is also one of the most common locations for the Discworld stories.
  4. This is all difficult to digest
  5. ….I need time to settle into Pratchett’s bizarre Discworld!

 

SEPTEMBER

The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1) by Terry Pratchett by Terry Pratchett Terry Pratchett

Finish date: 22 September 2022
Genre: novel (pg 228)
Rating: D

 

Good news: I know there are better books to come in the Discworld series so it is now a matter of gritting my teeth and getting through this book. Paperback was not readable b/c my mind could not grasp the world-building and quirky characters that keep popping up! Switched to audio book and use the “voices” to differentiate as to who’s who!

 

Bad news: This is THE most difficult audio book I’ve encountered ins many years. Luckily is is just 7 hrs 58 min. Terrible narration …but that is the least of my worries. I just have to understand what’s going on!

 

Bad news: The narrator is definitely not my favourite. 90% of his character voices sound like a whiney 10 year old. I just had top grin and bear it!

 

NOTE:  27 October 2022: A scheduled publication of new audiobooks is expected…so perhaps wait until then…listen to a sample and perhaps you will like it (Audible.com)

 

Bad news: I have NO imagination. I struggled in the beginning to understand what Pratchett was saying! Example: Rincewind has luggage with hundreds of little legs. Prachett used our modern “carry on luggage with wheels” and turned it into something for Discworld. The luggage follows him everywhere, generally attacking anything it perceives as a threat to Rincewind.  Another example: inn-sewer-ants-polly-sea = insurance policy
If I don’t get through this…I’ll never finish this series!

 

Personal: Not the best book to start a series….I’m sure many people gave up as I almost did. Now that I have finally finished this book I want  to move quickly on to better books in Prachett’s imaginative world!

 

NOTES:

  1. The  DISC Gods played games with the fates of people so they had
  2. …a large temple-like game room at the top of the whole thing.
  3. Here they used a large round flat game-board which was actually the Disc.
  4. The game was like a board game and there was
  5. …a pin in the center of the board shaped like Cori Celesti.

 

  1. Blind Io is the Chief of the Gods.
  2. He is completely blind but instead has countless eyes orbiting his head.
  3.  He and the other gods play games with the lives of mortals.
  4. NOTE:
  5. I am in AWE the world-building
  6. …the work of Pratchett’s amazing imagination!!

 

Sea trolls:

  1. A sea troll was a species of troll. Sea trolls were made up of animated water.
  2. They were not native to the Discworld and came from Bathys.
  3. Sea Trolls are elemental (…all water!) unlike the native Discworld trolls.
  4. NOTE:  Troll comes from another Discworld: Bathys = completely of water (see image)
  5. How does Pratchett think of all this?  BATHYS = Bath = bathtub or BATH, England!

Good news:

  1. This is a great series of 41 books…and so worth the time and effort to read them!
  2. WHERE TO START WITH DISCWORLD?
  3. The Discworld is the fictional setting of Terry Pratchett’s most iconic series.
  4. All the Discworld novels take place on a flat, circular world which sits on the back of four elephants
  5. …which stand on the back of a giant star turtle.
  6. Although this world may look and sound completely different to our own
  7. the Discworld novels explore a multitude of very human issues.
  8. You’ll find all 41 Discworld novels with short synopsis
  9. … in the order they were published. “HERE”
  10. The Discworld novels can be read in any order!
The Colour of MagicIThe Light FantasticEqual Rites Paperback 2022Mort Paperback Book Cover by Terry Pratchett
SourceryWyrd Sisters Paperback 2022Pyramids Ebook Book Cover by Terry PratchettGuards! Guards! Book Cover by Terry Pratchett
Eric Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettMoving Pictures eBook Book Cover by Terry PratchettReaper Man Ebook Book Cover by Terry PratchettWitches Abroad Paperback 2022
Small Gods Paperback 2022Lords and Ladies Paperback 2022Men At Arms eBook Book Cover by Terry PratchettSoul Music Ebook Book Cover by Terry Pratchett
Interesting TimesMaskerade Paperback 2022Feet of Clay eBook Book Cover by Terry PratchettHogfather Paperback Book Cover by Terry Pratchett
Jingo Ebook Book Cover by Terry PratchettThe Last ContinentCarpe Jugulum Paperback 2022The Fifth Elephant Hardback Book Cover by Terry Pratchett
The Truth Hardback Book Cover by Terry PratchettThe Thief of Time Hardback Book Cover by Terry PratchettThe Amazing Maurice Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettNight Watch eBook Book Cover by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettGoing Postal Hardback Book Cover by Terry PratchettThud Hardback Book Cover by Terry PratchettWintersmith Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettMaking Money Hardback Book Cover by Terry PratchettUnseen AcademicalsI Shall Wear Midnight Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettSnuff eBook Book Cover by Terry PratchettRaising Steam Paperback Book Cover by Terry PratchettThe Shepherd's Crown Paperback Book Cover by Terry Pratchett

21
Sep

#RIPXVII Aurealis Award Best Horror Novel 2021

Beware of haunted houses….

 

SEPTEMBER

Holly and the Nobodies by Ben Pienaar by Ben Pienaar (no photo)

Finish date: 05 September 2022
Genre: horror novel
Rating: C
Review: Holly and the Nobodies (ISBN:9781953905154 )

 

Good news: This book is a slow burner. Chapters 1-22…story feels simple and not very scary but all I can say is keep reading even if you feel your eyes glaze over. No spoilers but…once James is finally in the haunted house to rescue his girlfriend Alex….then the book  does get better.

 

Bad news: There are several chapters that just felt like Ben Pienaar was “stuffing” the book with useless scenes that should have been edited out because they add nothing. The chapters had NO scary element and did not push the story line an inch further! That’s when I doubted if I would finish the book….but I did.

 

Personal: I had to force my self through at least 50% of the book. The build up was slow (who’s who…James, Alex, Holly etc). The character development was non existent. The entire book is them reacting to things around them were.  I missed lines and moments that hint at what’s to come. I felt no sense of doom and dread...just times of jick, disgust reading pointless horror.

Holly and the Nobodies won the Aurealis Awards 2021 for Best Horror Novel Australia’s premier awards for speculative fiction Did I like the book? Let’s just say I’ve read worse!

19
Sep

#Hispanic Heritage Month Ms Rojas Contreras

SEPTEMBER
The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras by Ingrid Rojas Contreras Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Finish date: 17 September 2022
Genre: memoir
Rating: D
Review: The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir (ISBN: 9780385546676)

 

It is National Hispanic Heritage Month,
which runs annually from September 15 through October 15.
#HispanicHeritageMonth

 

Good news: Every book has some good qualities! I looked for
nuggets of wisdom…good quotes: “Healing came from accepting that some things that touch us change us forever.” This was the core message in the book. Ms Rojas Contreas experienced 8 weeks of
amnesia and she wants to share her story with the world.

 

Bad news: While the first half of the book was good…
…I felt my interest start to decline after reading 55%..
It became repetitious and tedious…with all the
dreams, nightmares, ghosts, spirits and stories about
the healers in her family history:
grandfather Nono and her mother Mami. Sometimes less is more.

 

Personal: I selected this book without doing any research.
It is long listed for the National Book Awards 2022 for nonfiction…so
Ms Rojas Contreras is doing something right!
Perhaps other readers may enjoy this book …it was
just not my “cup of tea.”

15
Sep

#Hispanic Heritage Month Javier Zamora

Sonoran desert, Mexico that 9 yr old Javier crossed alone.

 

SEPTEMBER

Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora by Javier Zamora Javier Zamora

Finish date: 02 June 2022
Genre: poems
Rating: A+++
Review: Unaccompanied (ISBN: 9781556595110)

 

  1. In the U.S., it’s time once again for National Hispanic Heritage Month,
  2. which runs annually from September 15 through October 15.
  3. #HispanicHeritageMonth

 

Good news:
1. Zamora details his experience emigrating from El Salvador to the U.S. at age nine… a heartbreaking account of leaving behind the grandmother who raised him to join parents he barely remembered.
2. 1990 – Javier born in La Herradura El Salvador.
3. 1992 – father flees El Sal b/c of Civil war.
4. 1995 – mother follows husband to USA
5. 1995 – 1999 – granny (abuelita) raises Javier
6. 1999 – 9 yr old Javier follows a 9 week odyssey to USA….alone.

These poems in free verse are the basis for Zamora’s new memoir “Solito” forthcoming on 06 September 2022.

JZ earned BA University of Calif Berkley
JZ earned MFA at New York University
JZ received Wallace Stegner Fellow 2016-2018 at Stanford University

 

Good news: The book still lingers in my mind after finishing it yesterday. That is always a good sign!

 

Good news: Very impressed by Javier’s journey and how he has studied in USA to reach literary success! There must have been many great teachers guiding him in middle and high-school!

 

Bad news: The book (94 pg) is divided in four parts. Parts 1,3 and 4 are very good. But part 2 deflates like a cold soufflé. There was NO connection with these 10 poems…too cryptic . Sometimes poems in a collection are selected from various time periods in a poet’s life.
It felt that Javier Zamora was in a different place when he wrote these poems. Probably only he can tell me what they meant…I could not figure it out.

 

Good news: 45 short poems and I loved 31! (69%) 8 poems were EXCELLENT…and I must re-read them today.

 

Personal: When you read about the immigrant journey in literature (novels, poems, memoirs) you get a different perspective about people and their struggle for a better life. Cable news in USA only wants to demonize them.
Please, if you find this book in the Kindle store, paperback, library…take the time to read these poems in free verse. Just read it as a story and before you know it…3 hours of your reading time was well spent!

12
Sep

#RIPXVII Challenge Ring Shout

NOVEMBER

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark by P. Djèlí Clark P. Djèlí Clark

Finish date: 11 September 2022
Genre: dark fantasy  novella (176 pg)
Rating: C
Review: Ring Shout (ISBN: 9781250767028)

 

 

Themes: – horrors of racism, resistance, hate, trauma
Characters: – Maryse Boudreaux, Chef (Cornelia) and Sadie.
Plot: Ring Shout tells the story of an otherworldly evil that
has risen in the 1920s South in the form of monsters who take up residence within the bodies of people filled with hate – namely the Ku Klux Klan.
Motif: a sword — a mystical one that simply paints a picture in the reader’s mind through repetition of imagery.

 

Good news: LOVE the cover! It just says: “Read me!”

 

Good news: Real cinematic quality writing … I could see the characters and scenes and events unfolding so clearly in my head. Best part: description of Butcher Clyde: “…sores break out along his skin…little mouths…they move about under his skin like maggots..” (pg 81)  See also the cover of the book…can see the mouths with white jagged teeth!

 

Good news: Clark has done his homework. He blends history with fiction. He takes key pieces of history and makes them fantastical in his writing.

 

I learned about the origins of the KKK …how it was named and who started the first klan.
I learned about D.W. Griffith’s move “Birth of a Nation” from another perspective! The 1915 D.W. Griffith infamous ‘classic’ film is used to summon Ku Kluxes who are non-human entities of the human Ku Klux Klan. On (pg 81) Clark mentions “…make the invisible Empire strong.”
This is a reference to book (1930) by D. F. Horn Invisible Empire: Story of the KKK 1866-1871.

 

Good news: The tables are turned. In one sentence Clark tells us that black folk are calling the shots! Maryse says: “I hunt monsters—they don’t hunt me.” (Pg 80)

 

Bad news: Supernatural with a whiff of horror…not a book I would normally read. But that is the benefit of a reading challenge like RIPXVII …I open myself up to other genres. There are several “dream scenes” that Clark suddenly weaves into his narrative. At times I struggle to switch from reality to a faraway realm. It isn’t Clark’s fault…it is me. My imagination has not been challenged and supernatural or fantasy books I just have to learn to read!

 

Bad news: I had difficulty following the dialect that some of the characters use. Remember “buckrah debbil “ = KKK’ers infected hate and they can morph into monsters! I just have to go with the flow.

 

Good news: Original narrative idea…story of Maryse Boudreaux and her band of badass women as they storm through early 1920s Georgia on a quest to find and eliminate the monsters she calls “Ku Klux.”
There’s nothing more appealing than “badass women” on a mission!
PS: Clark is also an academic historian!

 

Personal:
Clark uses the mystery that hangs about the Ku Klux name to create a supernatural / horror story. I thought “Ring Shot” would be the central motif….but it turned out to be the “supernatural sword. Strong point: …bringing in alternate takes on history while mixing in more traditional fantasy elements. If you read this novella …be warned…there’ are a few pages of of slithering and crawling pieces of flesh!  Skim if you are squeamish! #JICK

 

9
Sep

#Londen Bridge Is Down

  1. #LondonBridgeIsDown I don’t usually have a glass of chardonnay in the afternoon
  2. …but it has been quite an emotional rollercoaster in the last 48 hrs.
  3. Rest in peace…Queen Elizabeth II  (1926 – 2022)
  4. …and God save KingCharles III
9
Sep

#Play “Lungs”

AUGUST

Lungs by Duncan Macmillan by Duncan Macmillan (no photo)

Finished: 26.08.2022
Genre: play
Rating: A+++++
Title: Lungs

 

Good news: Absolutely a stunning play, really!
It is an exhilarating love story that will linger in my mind.
One of the best plays I read this year.
It is brutally honest, funny, edgy and current.
If you have 2 hours to spare….take the time to read this excellent piece of writing!

7
Sep

#RIP Challenge 2022 Reading List

 

You can SIGN UP  RIP XIV here.

  1. Rules: Read or watch dark, creepy, gothic books, films or TV  shows.
  2. Timeline: 01 September and 31 October.
  3. Hashtag: #RIPXVII
  4. RIP = R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge

 

Update: 07 September:   This is my sign-up post for RIPXVII.

 

Update: 03 September:

  1. The Colour of Magic  (Terry Pratchett)
  2. … it was impossible to read (first 50 pages)
  3. …could not follow the story.
  4. DNF after reading 25%
  5. …putting this book on the back burner.
  6. After a good nights sleep….
  7. I will  TRY to finish the  AUDIO book!

  1. Great A’Tuin is a turtle…with  four World Elephants and a disc-shaped world 
  2. Ankh-Morpork is the largest city on the Disc with about a million inhabitants.
  3. It is also one of the most common locations for the Discworld stories.
  4. This is all difficult to digest
  5. ….I need time to settle into Pratchett’s bizarre Discworld!

 

Genres:

  1. Horror – The Shining (659 pg)  – S. King (1977)  – novel
  2. GothicWe Have Always Lived in the Castle (146 pg) – S. Jackson (1962)  novella
  3. Gothic – The Haunting of Hill House (182 pg) S. Jackson (1959) – novella
  4. Gothic The Sundial – Shirley Jackson (245 pg) – S. Jackson (1958) – novel
  5. Gothic – Mexican Gothic (301 pg) – S. Moreno-Garcia (2021) …review in progress – novel
  6. Fantasy – Penric’s Demon (129 pg) – L. McMaster Bujold (2015) …review in progress  novella
  7. Horror – Holly and the Nobodies  (334 pg) Ben Pienaar (novel)REVIEW
  8. Supernatural – Ring Shout – P. Djèlí Clark (185 pg) – REVIEWnovella
  9. Mystery – Wrong Man Down (CF) (2022) – Jerry Masinton REVIEW
  10. Fantasy: – The Colour of Magic  (228 pg) – Terry Pratchett (1983) – REVIEW