RC 2017


The World of Ice and Fire: The Official History of Westeros and The World of A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Linda Antonsson, Elio M. Garcia jr.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond
Schindler's List
Thomas Keneally
La danse de Gengis Cohn
Romain Gary

“ Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination. ”

― Jhumpa Lahirir

“ And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. ”

― F. Scott Fitzgeral

Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

So many people reviewed this book and we don't need another one you will think. Especially someone who read it 20 years late. But considering I am one of those who read it after the TV show, I am only six years late. But still, the hype is so big, fans are dying being too fanatic and critics are so savage they could kill the show or the book. Without forgetting the very genius ones who leak scripts and episodes ! (sarcasm here). Anyway, it took me a while to read the first book because my pleasure of reading consist in fact to constantly starting new books and I sometimes found myself with six or seven started books.

As everybody knows, the first book is very close to the TV show. In fact there is the same dialogs, same story timeline, not so much less and not so much more. And I loved it. We absolutely cannot rate this book in the same way than the reader who reads it before the show came out. The final spoil is too big to be ignored. So I mostly concentrated more on the form of the book. I must say George R.R. Martin has the simplest complicated way of describing and constructing his characters. The feelings they have and the way they think is ornamented in a genius way and this is what, I think, make it possible for the show to be absolutely complete and deeply detailed. It’s a typical story timeline which is split by short chapters placed in the point of view of all the important characters. So we can assume that the book has already a cinematic ambiance.

What is most incredible about the story is that the different characters live and develop so far from each other and still at the very end of the book and knowing that they will meet one day let you think about the extremely large and rich journey that is waiting for them. This long journey but also the big importance the past events seems to have for every family is what makes each small detail very important to remember. Those subtle details who take place in the show as in the book, has an immense history that is written and known somewhere behind and before everything took place. (Look at all the wiki about westeros history and important characters that are already dead when the events took place). So this is what I call a complete story created by a complete and solid imagination. A big story written on the surface of an even bigger story that you, as a reader, need to dig a little. That is why I find this first book of the serie totally genius and so is the TV show !



5 ☆

The 21st century struggle.

Here is the struggle. Call it the Internet. Or the medias in all their ways. I found yesterday, a very interesting article, probably from a reader who, unlike me, was born before the medias and the Internet explosion. I find it sad for him to slowly lose the ability to concentrate in reading because I know he probably very enjoy reading, so do I !? I am born in early 90's and I am almost one of the next college teachers who will finally have been born in the same environment as the students. Fortunately, I will be more in a position to understand their distraction and their slow reading but I still need to remind myself that I am one of them and I still struggle to keep my brain concentrate and mostly interested in one thing at a time. The Internet taught us to read fast, cut lines, read only the big lines and change subject every five minutes because we constantly need new info, new stories and new things to entertain our brain every twenty minutes. It is kind of sad and certainly a big deal for the education today.


I invite you to read this and share your thought about this if it interest you.


Have a nice day.

- Valérie




The death of reading is threatening the soul by Philip Yancey






Young Elizabeth - Kate Williams

Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen - Kate  Williams

I just finished reading this book once again by Williams. Like the book Becoming Queen, this one is about the early life of a princess before she became queen and what made her the way she is today. The first and big part of this book is obviously about the abdication of King Edward VIII who make his brother King George VI king of England and the most appreciated Lilibeth (Elizabeth), second in line to the throne. Second part of the book is all about the WWII and how the newly royal family has succeeded to cope with the chaos. I found it actually very remarkable that through all of this chaotic world of the 30s until the 50s, have cross a young kid who became a teen and then a queen with such a calm and focused mind on people and particularly the youth of England. This book is filled with facts about Hitler, the royal family members, and English politic but when its about Elizabeth everything seems calm and under control. I think this actually reflect the way she ruled and managed things until today. As it is said in the book, love her or not, she is the 20 century and she saw it under all its faces and she remains, until the crazy modernity we live in today, a dutiful monarch who believe in the monarchy and its responsibilities.


If like me you have some interest in the way education play a major role in peoples life, I think this is the book to learn more than ever about the queen and her personality. Her education and early life was and is still something very uncommon for a young women and that's what make her an interesting and loved character of todays life.


3 ☆ ½

Your shelf's smallest book

Bike and read at the park means find your shelf smallest book.


Enjoy your day!




Maisonneuve Park, Montreal.

Winter is here.

a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge."



Guys, (please don't hate me for that)


It's here. Finally here. The 2nd book we don't have.. I can't even remember the person I was during the last season on TV. Anyway, we must admit that the hype game is on point. I, - like everybody else - expect so much of this new season (and even more of the book). If, like me, you are one of those who surprise themselves reading and searching geekly on the GOT wikis, I wish you will have so much fun tonight and you will not spoil everything the day after!


Happy season 7 day to all and may the force be with you for winter!



- Valérie

Reading place

Do you agree with this ?





Mamie Clafoutis, Montreal


Becoming Queen - Kate Willams

Becoming Queen - Kate Williams

I must say that, during my studies in literature, I was often searching and learning about monarchy as, in literature history, it plays a major role, of course. I kind of like everything about kings, queens and history of France but also England who, we must admit it, form a strong mix (not too mixed) of North America’s history. Anyway, I was learning here and there to put my readings in context, from Middle Age to 19th century, and since school is over, I decided to find and read much about kings and queens. Even if there are people who think they are absolutely useless and money suckers, for my part and without any political view, I think that the fact they’re trapped in the one-thousand-years-of-traditional-duties make their life kind of impressive. When we think they are as human as we are, we must admit they made pretty much good stories.


So, end of personal chat, I've been reading Becoming Queen from Kate Williams who is also a Historian and everything I was looking for about Queen Victoria was there in the way I wanted to understand it. I tend to think that, in "biographies", we often get lost in facts and, in that case, Williams succeeded in placing facts, quotes and contextualization in a beautiful way. We know that Queen Victoria has become Queen because of her cousin Princess Charlotte's death and the lack of heir produced by her other uncles. At my biggest surprise, the story of these two princess wasn't as "easy-living" as I thought and how Victoria became the greatest woman monarch of England’s history (after or before Queen Elizabeth II maybe) is even more amazing.


When we get to know more about monarchy, the great obstacle is that there is too much individual and that they often got the same name. But I surely recommend this book for learning purpose. Accept it or not, I think monarchy had played the big part of the world we actually live in and to know little or much about it is kind of a big deal.


4 ☆ ½

Review session...

Dear Booklikes friends,


I just decided that I have enough of Goodreads. I must say that I was absolutely charmed to have a social network about books where, unlike Facebook, people can connect and share about something a little more challenging than memes. But how desperate I was trying to cope with the ugly website's design... So many small links everywhere, nothing to do with the app, no way to organize anything and everything was... so beige.


Anyway, despite the lack of mobile app (I surely hope there will be one someday), Booklikes is everything I was looking for. A nice way to share reviews, talk about our discoveries, our personal projects and personalize everything of it. I am one of those who like the beauty of the books. Everything about books feels timeless and time stopper and this is why books are the absolute way out. Some books are absolutely beautiful and photogenic too.


I wanted to tell you (the few who follow me now and the future ones) that I will complete an « about » section one day and that, for now, I will be writing short reviews on the books I already have read in the past. If you see French, don't panic, English will be present as well in the best way I can write it.


Please do share, suggest and comment, I do like to discuss.


- Valérie

Ru - Kim Thuy

Ru - Kim Thúy

En tant que Canadiens, on a souvent tendance à négliger l'histoire déchirante des gens venus de loin pour s'installer en nos terres. Ils arrivent de loin pour un refuge, pour une nouvelle carrière ou pour trouver l'amour et l'intégration de ces âmes passe d'abord par l'écoute de leur histoire. Chacun dont la culture est sédentaire depuis bien des générations se devrait, afin de comprendre l’essence de l'enjeu planétaire le plus important de notre ère, commencer par l'histoire intime et profonde d'un individu dont l'adaptation en terre étrangère sera son plus grand défi. Thuy est la voix idéale pour nous plonger au plus profond des pensées immigrantes où la plupart du temps, le langage est inutile à la communication. Un parfait mélange entre culture, obstacles et amour. Amour qui, malgré tout, n'a pas besoin d'être dit pour être raconté.


3 ☆ ½

Très Chère Sadie - Sophie Kinsella

Très Chère Sadie - Sophie Kinsella

Une géniale petite recette bien agencée d'émotions, de rires et de légères lectures de plage. Un parfait YA à glisser entre de plus lourdes lectures. Une plume pour vos moments de relaxation.


3 ☆

Une gourmandise - Muriel Barbery

Une gourmandise - Muriel Barbery

Si vous connaissez la Madeleine de Proust, Madeleine dont l'auteur s'est servi pour nous exposer son lointain souvenir d'enfance où l’odorat, le goûter et la mémoire se rencontrent en un seul moment, vous aimerez Une gourmandise où, pour sa part, Barbery nous en fait un roman. Une collection de pensées et d'anecdotes où chaque mot et chaque ponctuation sont sélectionnés pour que la forme provoque l'action des sens. C'est le parcours d'une relation compliquée entre un mourant et la nourriture où les mots rencontrent les sens et les sens, les émotions. Manger pour survivre ou manger par caprice c'est le point culminant d'une relation amour-haine entre un homme et la nourriture.


Il faut mâcher les mots de ce roman aussi lentement que les aliments d'un bon repas dont aucune saveur ne doit être négligée. Il faut le regarder, le sentir, le mâcher et le digérer lentement pour en apprécier son tout. Pour les amateurs de bonne bouffe et tous ceux qui ne peuvent s'empêcher d'exiger le raffinement lorsque vient le temps de manger.


3 ☆

En attendant Godot - Samuel Beckett

En attendant Godot - Samuel Beckett

La lecture de cette oeuvre c'est un plaisir confus, une désorientation littéraire totale. Protagonistes anti-héros et absurdes, frustrant comme l'attente est divertissante.


3 ☆

L'alchimiste - Paulo Coelho

L'alchimiste - Paulo Coelho

Jamais je n'ai lu une pareille histoire auparavant et il faut dire que j'en ai été grandement touchée. Ce livre est merveilleusement écrit et Cohello est un génie dans l'art du proverbe. Il s'agit bel et bien d'un conte classique moderne mais intemporel et je suis d'accord que cette histoire aura certainement marqué toute une génération.


5 ☆

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield

This man is the example we should use when we talk about intelligence, judgment and accomplishment
So inspiring and hopeful to see that human like him exist on Earth. His intelligence and determination have no limit and it's beautiful to see that the lessons he learned in space can be shared with all of us down here. It's simply written and easy for everybody to understand life on International Space Station and how «flabbergasting» it is. This book make me see Humanity with another eye and gives me hope for the future. It made me proud to be a Canadian and I can say that Chris Hadfield is the kind of man from who we all can learn, aspiring astronaut or not !


4 ☆