RSS

Tag Archives: Mousseline la Sérieuse

{Wrap up} Books I read in March including A Thousand Ships and Mousseline La Sérieuse

{Wrap up} Books I read in March including A Thousand Ships and Mousseline La Sérieuse

March’s reading was, if possible, even more eclectic than February’s: with “choose your own adventure”, French historical fiction, and books about crafting rubbing shoulders with children’s books and a hefty tome about the history of Intelligence that sadly remains unfinished.

There were some highlights, including finally finishing two books that have haunted me since January. There was also one especially low moment involving one book that really should be fire-bombed into oblivion. No that’s not dramatic: it’s part of a problem that Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing should address, and which has probably been discussed with far more nuance by better-informed bloggers already.

Read the rest of this entry »
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

{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.)

Read the rest of this entry »
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 5, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

{Review} Mousseline La Serieuse by Sylvie Yvert

{Review} Mousseline La Serieuse by Sylvie Yvert

This is one of two books that have loomed unread for no good reason since January’s Tadoku challenge.

Mousseline La Sérieuse tells the story of Marie-Therese Charlotte de France (Mousseline La Sérieuse was her nickname). Born to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, Marie-Therese had a life of luxury until the French Revolution which started when she was ten years old. She and her family were placed under house arrest and eventually imprisoned in Temple Tower.

Gradually her parents, aunt, and younger brother were separated from one another, and for two years she was imprisoned alone. The silence of her days punctuated with the sound of her 9 year-old brother’s cries as he was beaten. Of her family, she was the only one to survive. This retelling of her incredibly tragic life follows her from youth to old age, but dwells on the horrors she endured during the Terror.

Read the rest of this entry »
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

{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.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 16, 2021 in 2021 Challenges

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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”.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

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..

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Four

{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Four

I had been planning on reading yesterday evening, but instead spent until 4am glued to live newsfeeds watching in horror as chaos unfolded in the Capitol (and listened to some very rousing speeches by various US politicians when a semblance of order was re-established).

Today I’ve not read much either as I’ve been too sleepy to really focus on anything. That said, I have managed the first 3 chapters of Monty Don’s Road to Le Tholonet. He’s a fascinating man, and reading about his time in France was incredibly calming. He lived in Aix-en-Provence for a while, and writes about his time there with real warmth. As I started this blog whilst living in Aix, it feels rather comforting to be mentioning the city in this post.

Apart from that, my brain has been sleepily flitting from one thing to another. I have also read one more chapter of Mousseline La Sérieuse, have worked through half of the second chapter of Teach Yourself Norwegian, and have drawn up a small vocabulary list from the first 42 pages of the beautiful Chineasy book.

Not much, but today is an incredibly slow day. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be awake enough to read without feeling incredibly drowsy.

Happy reading everyone! Wherever you are, I hope you are safe from harm.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Two

{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Two

Hello all!

Today has been a surprisingly productive day for reading, and knitting.

Book count: 1

Today I’ve finished my first audiobook of the year: “Happy Ever After” by Paul Dolan.

I’ll post a review for it tomorrow. It’s a self-help book that challenges you to think of the bigger picture. Dolan read the audiobook himself, and listening to his accent made me feel incredibly homesick after 11 months spent away from my family in London.

Yesterday I read the first couple of chapters of “Mousseline la Sérieuse” by Sylvie Yvert. It’s a historical fiction novel that imagines what Marie-Antoinette’s daughter’s life was like, as the only member of her family to survive the Terror. It’s interesting but incredibly sad at the same time.

Reading in French is going so incredibly slowly that I’m finding it frustrating. Time was when I’d have been able to read fiction in French as easily as fiction in English. Hopefully by the end of the novel French will be a little more familiar.

Fingers crossed!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 5, 2021 in 2021 Challenges

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bout of Books 30

Bout of Books 30
Click the picture to sign up to this reading challenge!

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It’s a weeklong readathon that begins Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional
For Bout of Books 30 information and updates, visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I just saw the above reading challenge on Words And Peace‘s blog. As I have this week off, and the challenge sounds wonderfully relaxed I’ve decided to sign up for it.

I’m hoping to read: Mousseline la Sérieuse by Sylvie Yvert, The Road to Tholonet by Monty Don, and Happily Ever After by Paul Dolan. Here’s to kicking off my 2021 reading in style!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: