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{Wrap Up} Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021)

{Wrap Up} Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021)

The Challenge

The goal is incredibly simple: read as many pages as you fancy/ are able to in the foreign language or languages of your choice. I loved the open-ended nature of the challenge. With some reading challenges it can feel a little overwhelming to retrospectively find criteria to shoe-horn books I’ve read into to finish a challenge.

The Tadoku challenge took a lot of that stress away. Instead I just had to ask myself one question: “is this book in the challenge language?” This time around I chose just French as the challenge language. I have a shamefully large pile of books in French that I’ve bought that have languished on my TBR pile. If this challenge tickles your pickle then you can sign up here. The challenge runs every other month (January, March, May, etc.)

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Posted by on April 5, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Half-way check-in} French Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021)

It’s half-way through March, which means there are only 15 days left in this month’s Tadoku challenge! If you’re not sure what Tadoku is, then this is a link to my introduction post.

My reading goal for this challenge was to read L’inconnu du donjon by Evelyne Brisou-Pellen, and try to finish Mousseline la Sérieuse by Sylvie Yvert. My overall goal was to consume 1000 pages of French-language material.

So far, I’ve completed L’inconnu du donjon, and am a third of the way through Mousseline la Sérieuse. With a decent few days of reading, I *should* hopefully be able to finish Mousseline and end this month feeling like a champion.

My overall page count so far is 702.6, which puts me 15th in the challenge. Not too shabby for someone whose reading speed in French has dropped to a drunken snail’s pace. Providing I keep gaming in French (and reading, of course) it looks like I will easily reach my 1000 page goal.

Even though I am frustrated by my reading speed, by making time to consume French content my reading fluency has picked up a little. If I keep this up, then by the end of the year I almost be back up to my old reading speed.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2021 in 2021 Challenges

 

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Sunday Post: a week of reading slowly

Sunday Post: a week of reading slowly

It’s Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and lets us recap our week in whichever way we want to.

On Monday, we celebrated International Women’s Day. Today is Mother’s Day in the UK. In light of everything that’s happened between the 3rd and today, both celebrations have rung even more hollow than usual.

I’ve been trying to keep busy this week, and spent a disproportionate amount of time on Zoom/ Skype/ Meets with friends. As it’s been difficult to focus on one thing for long, I’ve been playing a lot of Terraforming Mars, and Pokémon in French to get in some extra French content for this month’s Tadoku.

Just Finished

Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity – Felicia Day
This one got a mention in last week’s Sunday Post. This book aimed to do what it said in the title: face your fears and be creative. As someone who often struggles to be kind to herself, there was a lot to take away about embracing the joy of just doing A Thing and not worrying about it being a frivolous waste of time/ horrifically grotesque.

L’inconnu du donjon – Evelyne Brisou-Pellen
Set in the middle of the 100 Years War, L’inconnu du donjon follows Garin Trousseboeuf, a young scribe, who tries to solve the mystery of a prisoner’s disappearance in Castle Montmuran.
The story was a fun, frothy read in spite of the multiple murders that occur. Despite it being the second time I’ve read this book, the ending still took me by surprise. D’oh!


Currently Reading

Mousseline La Sérieuse – Syvlie Yvert
After finishing L’inconnu, and watching that documentary about Mousseline’s life, it’s been easier to pick up this book again. There is something quite moving about the current chapter I’m on where Mousseline talks about daring to hope that the worst is behind her and her family [spoiler: these are going to seem like halcyon days compared to what will follow].

The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: An International Security History – Michael Warner
Recommended by a friend who recently completed his PGDip in Terrorism and Security. It’s been interesting to learn how the definition of “intelligence” has changed over the centuries. I’m currently wading through a chapter on WWI and how the UK used “strategic insight [to] cause strategic effects through the control of communications”.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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French Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021) – introduction

French Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021) – introduction

In January I participated in my first ever Tadoku challenge, and I’m back again for the second Tadoku reading challenge this month! The goal is incredibly simple: read as many pages as you fancy/ are able to in the foreign language or languages of your choice. I loved the open-ended nature of the challenge. With some reading challenges it can feel a little overwhelming to retrospectively find criteria to shoe-horn books I’ve read into to finish a challenge.

The Tadoku challenge took a lot of that stress away. Instead I just had to ask myself one question: “is this book in the challenge language?” I chose French as the challenge language. I have a shamefully large pile of books in French that I’ve bought that have languished on my TBR pile.


Goals

Back in January I didn’t really click with the first book I started to read (Mousseline La Sérieuse was just too sérieuse for me), and I floundered before picking up an old favourite.

This time around I’m going to finish the much-loved L’inconnu du donjon and then finish Mousseline. Why continue with a book that I didn’t warm to originally? Well I didn’t really know much about her life, and I’m not normally a fan of plunging into historical fiction until I have a good idea of who the fiction is about. After having watched a TV programme about Mousseline, which included a couple of contributions by the author of the above book, I feel as though I have an idea of who she was. I want to read this imagining of her life.

It’s day 1 of the reading challenge, and I’ve already read 33 pages of L’inconnu du donjon. At worst I should finish this book at least.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Tadoku Reading Challenge 1 Round-Up (January 2021)

Tadoku Reading Challenge 1 Round-Up (January 2021)

The Challenge

In January I participated in my first ever Tadoku challenge. The goal is incredibly simple: read as many pages as you fancy/ are able to in the foreign language or languages of your choice. I loved the open-ended nature of the challenge. With some reading challenges it can feel a little overwhelming to retrospectively find criteria to shoe-horn books I’ve read into to finish a challenge.

The Tadoku challenge took a lot of that stress away. Instead I just had to ask myself one question: “is this book in the challenge language?” This time around I chose just French as the challenge language. I have a shamefully large pile of books in French that I’ve bought that have languished on my TBR pile.


The Goal

My goal had been to slowly read Yvert’s “Mousseline la Sérieuse“, and then possibly re-read “L’inconnu du donjon” by Brisou-Pellen.
Side-note: if you’re in the market for a children’s book series in French, “L’inconnu du donjon” is an absolute classic. It always makes me a little sad that they’ve never been translated as the ones I’ve managed to get a copy of are sparklingly written. But I digress. Rave over for now.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with “Mousseline La Sérieuse” and only made it to page 66 before deciding to call it a day, and starting “L’inconnu du donjon“. However, I decided to watch a “Secrets d’Histoire” documentary on Mousseline which did a fabulous job of humanising her. In addition, the author of Mousseline (Sylvie Yvert) appeared a few times in the documentary, and talked with such passion and authority that I got almost as excited as she was about Mousseline. Long story short, I’m now all psyched up to finish the book now that I know more about her life.


The Result

In total I only read 150-ish pages, and 0 books in French in January. Quelle horreur ! But it’s also the first time I’ve read any fiction in French since 2018 so I’m not that disappointed in myself for taking so long to read so little.

The next Tadoku challenge is in March, so I’ll get a chance to improve my reading speed and frequency next month. Who knows, I might even finish Mousseline next time round..

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Top Ten Books of 2011

Listed alphabetically by author’s last name. [* indicates it’s part of a series]

NB. As I wasn’t blogging last year, I’ll put reviews up for these at a later date when I’ve re-read them.

  1. The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett
  2. L’Hiver des Loups [The Winter of the Wolves]* – Evelyne Brisou-Pellen
  3. Clockwork Angel* – Cassandra Clare
  4. A Little Book of Language – David Crystal
  5. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder*- Joanne Fluke
  6. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  7. Complete Works – Mikhail Lermontov
  8. The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht
  9. Pauline – George Sand
  10. Tales from the Perilous Realm – J. R. R. Tolkein
 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Top Ten Books of 2011

 

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