As you might have seen (or maybe not as I still publish posts regularly), life has been little bit hectic lately. To sum it all up, after my break-up last Spring, I changed apartments, jobs, started a business and then, a new school year again. Right now, I am working on finishing my master’s thesis and a secret school project (I will share it all with you when the time comes, do not worry dear friend!) early in order to focus on my next steps (which I keep secret as well, but will also share with you rater soon I hope). Finishing a master’s degree takes time, and working almost full-time on the side while running a business does too. However, reading still is my little beautiful self-care moment. Thus, I have not stopped reading, but it is true that I had stopped writing reviews. I was happy enough to find – or rather create – time to read, and did not feel pressured at all to write reviews. I often tell you that blogging must remain a passion above everything, so I would love that experience of mine to teach you how to disconnect and focus on your own needs whenever you feel like it.
Nonetheless, as I was missing sharing book recommendations and reviews with you all, I decided to get back into that writing habit and took the time today to refocus on all the books I have read since the beginning of the Summer. There has been a lot more than expected and writing all of these reviews has also been a way for me to analyze this past Summer and the path I have taken.
Am I the only one to identify a time of my life to the books I was reading at that particular time? If not, I would love to know your thoughts on it in the comments!
Anyway, it is now time for me to share with you all of these reviews: I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them this Morning.
The Trial, Franz Kafka ☆☆☆☆
This book has been really impressive to me. I read it in German so my understanding might not be 100% perfect, however I definitely wanted to have a first approach of it in the book’s language. I love translations, being a translator myself it would feel weird to say the contrary. However, there is something quite magical to the act of reading a classic in its original language.
I loved the structure, I loved the story the way with words and the awkwardness. I loved everything and think anyone should read The Process. It is definitely a book I’d like to re-read either in French or English in order to now get from it all of the content I did not get while I was enjoying the melody of words.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche ☆☆☆☆
I had not read a philosophy book since my first year at university I think (which starts getting a bit old, oops) and thus, this one was my “go back to philosophy” read. I could have chosen an easier book I think, but to be honest, I have a thing for Nietzsche and wanted to go back to him. I am not disappointed: it may not be my favorite book of his, but it is extremely interesting. If you want to get a first idea of Nietzche’s philosophy, that may not be the book you want to start with. However, you definitely can even though I would recommend that you also grab Nietzsche’s notes that go with the book but were not published with it. The notes and all of the cut parts help, I think, get a clearer ideas of the author’s philosophy and different thoughts.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles or Narnia), C.S. Lewis ☆☆☆☆
My first steps into the world of Narnia have been extremely pleasant. I wish I could read it all at once, however my lifestyle prevents me from tackling that gigantic piece of literature. Thus, I will keep reading it book by book, always making it a special moment.
[FR] Les Caractères, Jean de La Bruyère, ☆☆☆☆
C’est très clairement le genre de livre que l’on lit petit à petit, catégorie par catégorie et maxime par maxime. J’ai adoré les quelques mois passés à le feuilleter et à me l’approprier : cela favorise le développement d’un nouveau type de pensée.
Picture books (French)
I only share here the best “Halloween” picture books I have read as, being a librarian, I have read at least 50 these past few months.
[FR] Dans la peau des monstres, Guillaume Duprat ☆☆☆☆☆
S’il y a bien un livre que la bibliothécaire que je suis désire utiliser en animation pour Halloween, c’est celui-ci. Je vous le recommande pour les 7-12 ans car il est (disons-le), un petit peu complexe. En matière de classement, c’est un documentaire et donc pour une lecture offerte, il faut bien réfléchir à sa méthodologie. Cependant, le système même est génial : pour chaque monstre célèbre présenté, vous pouvez soulever un cache et découvrir ses pensées à lui (bonjour le Yéti qui a peur de l’ours). Je trouve ce système vraiment génial et original !
[FR] Une soupe 100% sorcière, Simon Quitterie & Magali Le Huche ☆☆☆☆☆
Encore un album génial pour Halloween et qui se prête très bien à la lecture offerte en bibliothèque jeunesse. Une sorcière, des légumes, un géant, des enfants, de la magie et beaucoup d’amour. Tous les ingrédients de la meilleure potion d’Halloween se trouvent enfin rassemblés dans cet album.
The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature, Perry Nodelman ☆☆☆☆☆
As a children’s literature grad student writing an entire thesis on that topic, it was a must-read for me. As soon as my supervisor referred to it, I decided to buy a copy for myself and read it: wha a great idea! I have loved reading that book as it helped me shape my thoughts a bit more as far as children’s literature is concerned. It is not the kind of book you can “sum up” (the use I make of it in my 300-something pages master’s thesis tends to prove it I think), however I would say that its main idea is that when thinking about children’s literature, one needs to think about two readers. The book is indeed thoughts and create by adults, and then bought (and sometimes even read) by adults for children. Thus, even though the book is destined to children, it is also definitely created for adults (and by adults).
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant ☆☆☆☆
I fell in love with that book I listened to in the Summer. I loved the message of hope in it, and how it put all of te priorities in their rightful place again. I loved how honest the author was, and how much hope she gave us readers. If you are feeling down, lost or as if life just burst into pieces, I highly recommend. It helps shifting your perspective on events, and on you role in the future you are creating for yourself right now.
Find Your Why: A Practical Guide to Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, Simon Sinek ☆☆
I listened to this book so it read kind of like a podcast. However, I do not think I would have read it as it tends to get quite repetitive and sometimes focuses on things that are kind of logical and do not need – in my opinion – to be discussed over so many pages. However, it was still agreeable to listen to and a little bit of a “pep talk”. Nonetheless, I did not really find any real practical tip to use in that particular book.
Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You ☆☆☆☆☆
I read this books (or rather listened to it) in my “self-help period” in the beginning of the Summer (2021). I have just loved the concept of applying the principles of design to one’s everyday life. Sometimes, some tips felt unrealistic to me and unsuited to my own life. However, there are lots of them and the author gives practical steps to achieve it all, which is well-appreciated. As you know if you have been reading my reviews for a while, I have a problem with really theoretical self-help books. To me, a self-help book must be a workbook above all and that is definitely what I have felt when listening to this one.
The 30-Day Money Cleanse: Take Control of Your Finances, Manage Your Spending, and De-Stress Your Money for Good, Ashley Feinstein Gerstley ☆☆☆☆☆
I actually listened to this book on my way to work during a few days and it has been a great way to get motivated in the morning. You will definitely get lots of practical tips on how to do a “financial diet” but, above all, you will understand why it is useful in the first place and how it can change your whole entire life (even in areas that have seemingly nothing to do with money).
Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, Beth Kempton ☆☆☆☆
I really loved reading that book (or listening to it to be more accurate). To me, it was just like listening to a really great and in-depth self-help podcast, which was definitely the feeling wanted to get from the book. You will learn a lot about the History behind Wabi Sabi and about Japanese mentalities. To be honest, those are topics I was quite ignorant about so I personally took a lot out of this book. You will also get practical tips about Wabi Sabi, but all in a very poetic tone.
[FR] Le radiateur d’appoint (Littérature française), Alex Lutz ☆☆☆☆☆
Aurais-je pensé qu’Alex Lutz serait un écrivain merveilleux ? Je ne sais guère, je le savais doué mais il s’agit là d’un talent que j’ignorais. J’ai adoré ce roman, dans lequel je retrouve le naturel que j’ai tant aimé dans d’autres comme La Caissière ou Normal People. On n’embellit pas, on ne décrit pas, mais on donne à voir et à ressentir.
Si vous désirez lire une histoire difficile, mais réaliste et belle, alors foncez. Lire Le radiateur d’appoint, c’est comme se plonger dans son propre récit, un peu chaotique mais finalement plein d’amour.
Two Scorched Men, Margaret Atwood ☆☆☆
I can get the hype around this books, but to me it was a disappointment. Why? The story is beautiful, Margaret Atwood’s way with words is wonderful, and yet I misses a little something. I would say that, given the topic, it lacked a tiny bit of emotion. However, the format is responsible for it and was actually chosen to convey other feelings so it is just fine. It was still extremely great to go back to Margaret Atwood’s writing.
Exciting Times, Naoise Dolan ☆☆☆☆☆
I have loved this book to tears. What a read! I kn ow that many people compare Noise Dolan to Sally Rooney, and I can definitely get why: Ireland, writing style, everything is here. However, this never feels like a mere “copy” and, to my mind, Exciting Times has even been better that Normal People (which is part of my favorite books!)
We follow the adventures of a woman totally lost about both her professional and personal life: what does she want? Where? With whom? It is just as if o answer was satisfying enough. Here, you will read a lot about relationships, and the very thin border between romantic ones and friendships. You will see how nothing is ever settled in stone, and you will probably understand that even if your own life sometimes seems chaotic or undescribable, it might no be much of problem. What if we started enjoying chaos and uncertainty?
The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan ☆☆☆☆☆
I loved that book so much: it made me feel great. I had not been reading “feel good” books for months and this oen made me fall in love with that category again. Not that I want to cry my eyes out every time I read, but I tend to go to more psychological stories and quite tough topics. Moreover, whenever I choose a “feel good” book, it tends to be one of my Middle-Grades and thus, “feel good” adult fiction is quite new to me.
In this book, you will experience a lot of books, true love – both romantic and non-romantic –, nature and, above all, beauty in its purest form.
It is a pleasure for me to share it all with you and a poetic way to say goodbye to this past Summer. I wish you all the best of all days and, as always, take great care.