Six degrees of separation:
from God to Christmas
Starting with God, and ending with Christmas, AND for this December chain, obviously I’m very happy how it turned out.
Using my own rules for this fun meme hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (see there the origin of the meme and how it works – posted the first Saturday of every month).
Here are my own quirky rules:
1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title offered and find another title with that word in it
3. Then use the first word of THAT title to find your text title
4. Or the second if the title starts with the same word, or you are stuck
1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
A Children classic, which I don’t think I have ever read.
“Margaret was a bit confused about religion. When she moved from the city to her new home, she didn’t know whether to join the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What made matters worse was that, going on twelve, she had plenty to talk over with God. She had a bra but needed to grow a bit to put something in it. Nancy and Gretchen had already had their period. What was taking her so long? Sometimes she got so frustrated she ignored Him-until the next time she really needed someone to listen.”
2. All the Devils Are Here
This is the latest book by Louise Penny. I love this series. This could be the best of the series, it is set in Paris. Alas, I have not written a review for it!
“On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.
When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.”
I haven’t reviewed it, but loved this Medieval historical novel. You can check my review of the previous book in the series.
“A wealthy countess lies dying at the Convent of the Paraclete, brutally beaten by unknown assailants. Despite entreaties, she is unwilling to name her killer. Beautiful Catherine LeVendeur, the Paraclete’s most learned young novice-scholar, vows to find out the identity of the woman’s attacker.”
4. The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?
Great Orthodox and philosophical reflection on the tsunami:
“As news reports of the horrific tsunami in Asia reached the rest of the world, commentators were quick to seize upon the disaster as proof of either God’s power or God’s nonexistence. Expanding on his Wall Street Journal piece, Tremors of Doubt, published the last day of 2004, David Bentley Hart here returns to this pressing question: How can the existence of a good and loving God be reconciled with such suffering? Hart clarifies the biblical account of God’s goodness, the nature of evil, and the shape of redemption, incisively revealing where both Christianity’s champions and its critics misrepresent what is most essential to Christian belief. Though he responds to those skeptical of Christian faith, Hart is at his most perceptive and provocative as he examines Christian attempts to rationalize the tsunami disaster. Many people want a divine plan that will make sense of evil. Hart contends, however, that the history of suffering and death is not willed by God. Rather than appealing to a divine calculus that can account for every instance of suffering, Christians must recognize the ongoing struggle between the rebellious powers that enslave the world and the God who loves it. This meditation by a brilliant young theologian will deeply challenge serious readers grappling with God’s ways in a suffering world.”
5. Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
VERDICT (in 2011): This is the most thorough “biography” I have ever read, and the most entertaining as well.
“Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A gifted storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester sets the great blue sea’s epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind’s intellectual evolution, telling not only the story of an ocean, but the story of civilization.”
6. A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time
VERDICT: Experience Christmas as you have never before, with this unique, very French short story collection.
HAVE YOU READ AND ENJOYED ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
Are You There, God? is one I read a couple times as a kid!
I definitely need to add it to my Classics to read!
Emma, I adore how you put your own twist on this meme! So creative!
It’s always fun
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I do love a good Louise Penny. And Simon Winchester is always good value. I might try those French short stories too. A great chain – thanks.
Definitely great books!
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Great chain – and well done for finishing with a Christmas link!
Great luck for sure!
Very smart ending on a Christmas link!
It was fun, I really didn’t plan it. I never know where it’s going to end when I start my chain
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Delightful and joyful chain! I have been looking for novels set in Medieval times. Good to know about that series.
Definitely a great one!
Interesting! I love Gamache, but I had the opposite reaction to this one! LOL. I want to read the French Christmas Stories though!
I want to know more: why didn’t you like it as much?
I guess I just love the folk in 3 Pines. It was, of course, not a bad book, i just missed the rest of the characters.
Oh I see! It was neat actually to have everyone back there at the end of the book. So see you next year in Three Pines!
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I think I need to read A Very French Christmas!
Yes, it has some unique stories!
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You lost me on a few of your leaps but I am ready to explore some new titles from your list. I’d be honored if you’d take a look. My 6-Degrees chain
hmm, your link doesn’t work, and your site doesn’t show in your comment settings (just email and IP), but I’ll try to find your blog. Look at my explanation on tp about how I do my links. I usually use the first word of the title (word in orange), and find another title containing that word
I’m interested to see that you love Louise Penny’s books – I loved the first few, but then became increasingly irritated by her writing style. It was all the Very. Short. Sentences. that started to annoy me. One or two are very effective, but when they seemed to crop up every few minutes, they became the only things I could see. And I also felt Gamache was just too perfect.
The David Bentley Hart book sounds very interesting. I don’t really think of God (if one exists) as someone who should be able to stop all the bad things happening, more as someone to turn to and lean on when they do. It’s like when people say they are grateful to God for having been spared/cured/ whatever – that, to me, implies that the people who weren’t saved or cured are somehow less deserving. God can give you moral support but not decide who gets what. (I think….!)
I have to admit that I’m with Anne on being a little bit confused about how you make your links (not that it matters, it’s always great to see other people’s choices, however they have chosen to link them). The one that really flummoxed me was how to get from Atlantic to A Very French Christmas?
Thanks for stopping by. Funny, the element of Louise Penny’s style you highlight don’t bother me. You should try to listen to them. I have actually listened to most, and there’s a great flow. And Armand is running into some major challenges down the line, and some choices he made may not always have been the best.
Thanks for your reflections on David Bentley Hart. I totally agree with your perspective.
As for the technicality of this chain, don’t just look at the book covers, but at the titles below.
For Atlantic: GREAT Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, I highlighted in orange the word GREAT in the subtitle, it means that’s the word you are going to find in the next title: A Very French Christmas: The GREATest French Holiday Stories of All Time
Aaah you are always so clever! What are you going to do next month with Hamnet? Can’t wait to see!
I am beyond late with my Six Degrees post, but I finally managed to do it. Here it is!
Six Degrees – From Margaret to Anna
I know, when I saw that, I was wondering if it was a trick directed at me by the organizer, lol. I may start with ham? lol
I read most of Louise Penny during the lockdown but am saving the Devils for Christmas Day! Surprised you never read Are you there, God, as it is huge in the US despite often being banned.
I am French and didn’t arrive in the US until 2001. I have trying to catch up on Classic Children Lit, but I have still many to discover!