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Book Club 2021-2022 : The List

This is my 1001th post and it’s not about the 1001 books you must read before you die –btw, there’s Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary among them—but it’s about the 12 books we’ll read for our 2021-2022 Book Club. This year I’m a little late with the list but, well, better late than never.

Without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, THE LIST 😊

August 2021

Between Two Worlds by Olivier Norek (2017). Its original French title is Entre deux mondes and I’m not sure it’s been translated into English. It’s available in Spanish, Italian and German.

Olivier Norek is a French crime fiction writer who used to be a commissaire de police in tough areas in France. He writes from experience and Entre deux mondes is about migrants and the way we treat them. I’m looking forward to reading this, no matter how hard it’ll be.

September 2021

Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyun-sook. (2008) The French translation is entitled Prends soin de maman. That’s a shot at Korean fiction and I’ve heard it’s a good start.

October 2021

Chances Are… by Richard Russo. (2019) It’s been translated as Retour à Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve read several books by Richard Russo, some pre-blog and some since starting Book Around the Corner. That’s why you’ll only find a billet about Straight Man.

November 2021

Magellan by Stefan Zweig (1938) and the title is the same in French. Zweig decided to write about the explorer Magellan during his own transatlantic journey.

December 2021

Betty by Tiffany McDaniels. (2020) Gallmeister kept the original title when they published it into French. They have already sold 300 000 copies of it in France and other francophone countries. Impressive.

It is based upon the author’s mother’s life in the Appalachians. Betty has a hard life and finds solace in writing. It may sound trite and it can be if the author is not up with the challenge but since I’ve yet to read a bad book published by Gallmeister, I expect it to be excellent. I might not connect with it but I know it’ll be good literature.

January 2022

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner (2013), translated into French as Famille parfaite. A little bit of crime fiction can’t hurt. I’ve never read Lisa Gardner but I’m sure I would never have bought her book based on its cover. I expect it to be a page-turner and a good distraction.

February 2022

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin. In French, it becomes L’Eveil. I’ve been meaning to read The Awakening for years and I’m glad we picked it up for our book club.

March 2022

La Salle: Explorer of the North American Frontier by Anka Mulhstein, or in French, Cavelier de La Salle, ou l’homme qui offrit l’Amérique à Louis XIV. It’s a biography of the 17th century explorer whose dream was to link the Great Lakes to ports in the Gulf of Mexico. This should be interesting and I hope, as easy to read as her Monsieur Proust.

April 2022

Real Life by Adeline Dieudonné (2018) is the translation of a French novel, La vraie vie. It sounds like a coming of age of a young girl who lives in an unusual family.

May 2022

Ceux qui partent by Jeanne Bennameur (2019) I don’t think that this French novel has been translated into English. It is about the emigrants who used to arrive at Ellis Island.

June 2022

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1968), translated as De sang froid. I’m going to read it in French, I don’t think I can read it the original. I’m not sure I’m cut out for it but I’m sure curious about this classic.

July 2022

Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Pineiro (2005) or in its French translation, Les veuves du jeudi. Wealthy men meet every Thursday without their wives who call themselves the Thursday Night Widows. All is fine until the men are found dead, electrocuted. Accident or murder?

That’s it, twelve books for twelve months. Have you read any of them? If yes, what did you think about the ones you’ve read? If one of these books has been on your TBR for years, don’t hesitate to join us for a readalong.

  1. August 14, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    You might remember we met Norek at Quais du Polar, and this sounds like an interesting entry in his crime series, always curious to read about migrants. You seem to have quite a few ‘crime’ related reads this year: I love Claudia Pineiro, so I think that will be a fun read, very tongue in cheek. In Cold Blood is quite a hard read, I seem to remember, although it’s a long, long time since I read it. Not terribly familiar with Lisa Gardner, not sure if I’ve read any of her books or not.


    • August 15, 2021 at 8:39 am

      I remember meeting Norek and do you remember that panel where he was with Jo Nesbø, Arnaldur Indridason, Sara Gran, Deon Meyer and Craig Johnson? He was in awe with them as writers and they were in awe with him because he was a real cop.
      He’s been at Quais du Polar every year since then, I think.

      According to the Book Club members who have already read it, Entre deux mondes sounds gripping and an upcoming member of the Translation Tragedy category.

      The covers of Gardner’s book (in English or in French) are off-putting. I hope for a good surprise.

      We have quite a few crime related books, indeed. And pioneer/explorer/travelers ones as well. I guess we unconsciously need escapism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 16, 2021 at 10:12 am

        I remember that panel very well! I also saw him at an online event organised by the French Institute in London, together with crime writer Joseph Knox, which was interesting (he has made real efforts to learn English, but still required an interpreter at times).


        • August 16, 2021 at 9:48 pm

          Great times.
          I really hope you’ll be able to come to thes festival again.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. August 14, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Oh, interesting list Emma! I have read the Chopin and the Capote – quite some time ago, but remember loving them. The Capote is brilliantly written even if the subject matter is dark. I’ve not read that particular Zweig but he is so wonderful!


    • August 15, 2021 at 8:41 am


      I find the Capote a bit daunting but I’m glad it pushes me to read it. It’s been on my radar for a while.

      A litte Zweig here and there never hurts! Have you read his Marie-Antoinette? I have it on the shelf but haven’t gotten to it yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 15, 2021 at 2:36 pm

        No, I’ve only read his Montaigne when it comes to biographies – must read more…

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 16, 2021 at 9:49 pm

          I should read his Montaigne too. With your interest for the French Revolution, I had to ask about his Marie-Antoinette!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. August 14, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Congratulations on 1001 posts – amazing! In Cold Blood has been on my TBR for ages, I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


    • August 15, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Thanks! 🙂 These 1001 posts snuck up on me, I didn’t realize I’d written so many of them.

      Feel free to join us for the Capote. A readalong might be nice for a book like that. I’m looking forward to read it along others as I expect to want another perspective on it. It’ll be nice to be able to discuss it with readers who have it fresh in their minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. August 14, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    The Awakening is a wonderful read – so much to talk about with this narrative.
    Shin Kyun-sook is an interesting choice. I was recommended this by a work colleague in South Korea because she thought it showed some of the concerns being felt in the country about the old values disappearing


    • August 15, 2021 at 8:44 am

      The Chopin seems great, yes.

      Glad to know that a Korean reader thinks that Please Look After Mom is relevant and means something about the Korean society.


  5. August 14, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    HI Emma, Congratulations on 1001! That is incredible. I am almost to 300 after seven years. I have read In Cold Blood in English. It is spellbinding. Capote invented the Non-fiction Novel through this. I am adding Cavelier de La Salle and Ceux qui Partent to my reading list! Thank you for the suggestions. Happy Reading, Robyn


    • August 15, 2021 at 8:47 am

      Hi Robyn,
      Thanks for your kind message.

      I’m glad you picked up two books out of our list. 🙂

      Feel free to read and review Cavelier de La Salle and Ceux qui partent along with us. I always put the current and upcoming book of the Book Club in the “Les copines d’abord are currently reading” box. You’ll know when it’s time to read them if you’re interested in a readalong.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. August 14, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    A very eclectic list! You should tell us more about how you agreed on it. I haven’t read any of them – either the books or their authors (apart from Zweig and Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)). I hope you find them to be good literature even if you don’t always connect with them.


    • August 15, 2021 at 8:50 am

      Here’s the selection process:
      – each of us comes with book suggestions
      – we compile a list
      – everyone rate each suggestion (Oui/Non/Bof)
      – we pick the ones with the maximum “Oui”

      I didn’t like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Did you? I read it in French and the translation is AWFUL. It’s a shame that Folio doesn’t review it.

      I’ve read a few books by Zweig and liked all of them.

      It’s going to be an interesting reading year.


  7. August 14, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    A very interesting list! I re-read In Cold Blood a couple of years ago, to see if it held up. It did. As others have remarked, it’s dark but brilliant; Capote makes the rural Kansas of that era, and its people, come alive (there’s also a whole body of film associated with his book, including one where Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Capote writing his masterpiece). It’s been many years since I’ve read The Awakening but I agree it’s not to be missed (I’ve been thinking of re-reading it at some point). Although I haven’t read this particular novel by Richarcd Russo, I really love his novels (my favorite is Nobody’s Fool); I’m also very fond of Zweig, although again I haven’t read Magellan (I’ll have to check it out). You have some wonderful reading coming up! And congrats on your 1001 blog post!


    • August 15, 2021 at 9:08 am

      Thanks for your message.

      It sounds like we really picked good books. It’s going to be such an interesting reading year!

      Join us for the Zweig in November, if you want to.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. August 14, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    First of all, congratulations on the 1,001 posts, you’re always a pleasure to read! I’ve read the Kate Chopin which I loved and though I’ve read Zweig and Russo, they haven’t been those particular books. ‘Betty’ looks very interesting, I wouldn’t mind picking that one up, and with the way all too many men are behaving these days, the description of the Pineiro sounds rather appealing.


    • August 15, 2021 at 9:13 am

      Thanks for the 1001 posts congratulations. Honestly, I wasn’t monitoring the number of posts and the WP message came as a surprise.
      It’s an eleven years affair of blogging. I’m still motivated by it and a great part of the pleasure comes with the interactions with frequent readers like you. So, thanks for reading my billets.

      Zweig, Chopin and Russo got great feedback. They seem to be good choices.

      Betty is a huge success here. It’s a Gallmeister book and they’re pretty too. I’ve noticed you don’t find them often as second hand books. I think people want to keep them.

      The Pineiro sounds excellent and I think that Guy from His Futile Preoccupations loved it. (He’s a reference for me. If he says it’s good, it usually it)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. August 14, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Nice diverse list, and congrats on your 1001st post!
    I have listened to (through EStories that thankfully features recent French audiobooks, for cheaper subscription than audible) 2 mysteries by Norek: Surface and Impact. Loved them!


    • August 15, 2021 at 9:15 am

      Thanks! 🙂 I don’t know how I reached the 1001 milestone. It was an easy and fun ride.

      Norek has been on my radar ever since I heard him at Quais du Polar in 2016. I’m glad I’m finally getting to one of his books.


  10. August 15, 2021 at 2:37 am

    Congratulations on reaching 1001!
    I’ve only read two of these and wasn’t very excited about them but I don’t want to put you off since most people admire them, it must be just me.
    Happy reading!


  11. August 15, 2021 at 9:16 am

    I wonder how many posts you’ve written. 10000?

    I hope you’ll let me know which ones you didn’t like when we come to them and thanks for the good wishes.


  12. August 15, 2021 at 10:35 am

    It is an interesting list. I’ve read the Chopin and was highly critical of her mostly unconscious racism. She was a ‘southern belle’ after all. I’ll be interested to see what you think. (On the other hand she was very ‘modern’ as a woman writer).
    I see on my shelves I have a Stefan Zweig, Twenty Four Hours in the Life of a Woman. It looks familiar but I remember nothing, so I’ll read it again tonight – it’s only 90 odd pages.


    • August 15, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      I’m looking forward to reading the Chopin.

      I’ve read this Zweig too and have good memories of it.

      It’s going to be an interesting year.


  13. August 16, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Congratulations on 1001 posts!
    I read In Cold Blood more than a decade ago, but remember enjoying it! It’s non-fiction told as if it were a novel. Sadly, I didn’t like The Awakening.
    I find it so funny how Fernão de Magalhães is called Ferdinand Magellan in various languages other than Portuguese!


    • August 16, 2021 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you!

      In Cold Blood is really widely read, I feel like I’m behind everyone else!

      About Fernand de Magellan (in French): it’s amazing how they translated names at the time. Leonardo da Vinci becomes Léonard de Vinci, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. buriedinprint
    September 7, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    What an interesting translation of The Awakening. Funny, I’ve never thought about that book being available in translation. I like the mix of contemporary and classic selections. And congratulations on your milestone for posting!


    • September 7, 2021 at 11:02 pm

      I’m not sure I follow you: L’éveil means The Awakening. Literally.
      I’m happy with our choices too, it’s varied in time and places.
      The first one, Entre deux mondes was like a punch in the gut. A bit like Attica Locke btw.


      • September 28, 2021 at 8:55 pm

        Hahaha Yes, I meant that I literally did not know that word. But I can see lever in there, so it makes sense to me. With contemporary books, I seem to understand that they have titles in translation, but somehow I just never think of classics as having endured in other languages. This is not logical, I know. 🙂


        • September 28, 2021 at 9:58 pm

          OK, I understand now.
          Most classics are available in French, sometimes translated by writers like Baudelaire (Poe), Proust (Ruskin), Vian (Chandler)…


  1. January 8, 2022 at 7:39 pm

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