Six degrees of separation: from New England to Paris


Six degrees of separation:
from New England to Paris

Time for another quirky variation on this meme. I started in New England and ended up in Paris!
I was shocked to realize that usually when doing 6 degrees of separation, you end up with 7 books, not 6. I guess I learned something new today!! How come no one ever asked me why I only played with 6 books!

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 (or in the subtitle) offered and find another title with that word in it – see the titles below the images to fully understand, as often the word could be in the second part of the title
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

Click on the covers 
links will send you to my review or to the relevant Goodreads page

Ethan Frome

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I haven’t read it and probably will not.

“The classic novel of despair, forbidden emotions, and sexual undercurrents set against the austere New England countryside.
Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a hired girl, Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent.
In one of American fiction’s finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio toward their tragic destinies. Different in both tone and theme from Wharton’s other works, Ethan Frome has become perhaps her most enduring and most widely read book.”

the touchstone  The Moonstone

  Moon in a Dead Eye  Living With a Dead Language

  pancakes-in-paris Three Hours in Paris

1.  The Touchstone, by Edith Wharton

I did read this novella by Wharton, and so decided to go with this easy link.
Click on the cover to read my review and synopsis.

2. The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins

I liked it, though I thought The Woman in White was much better.

“The Moonstone is a page-turner”, writes Carolyn Heilbrun. “It catches one up and unfolds its amazing story through the recountings of its several narrators, all of them enticing and singular.” Wilkie Collins’s spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre–the detective mystery. Hinging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, this riveting novel features the innovative Sergeant Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid, and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.”

3. Moon in a Dead Eye, by Pascal Garnier

VERDICTIf you enjoy noir literature, why not expand your horizon and try this short mystery, with a tight plot and great writing.

4. Living With a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin, by Ann Patty

A fabulous memoir!

“An entertaining exploration of the richness and relevance of the Latin language and literature, and an inspiring account of finding renewed purpose through learning something new and challenging.
After thirty-five years of living in New York City, Ann Patty stopped working and moved to the country upstate. She was soon bored, aimless, and lost in the woods. Hoping to challenge her restless, word-loving brain, and to find a new engagement with life, she began a serious study of Latin as an auditor at local colleges.
In Living with a Dead Language, Patty weaves elements of her personal life into the confounding grammar and syntax of Latin as she chronicles not only the daily slog but also the deep pleasures of trying to master an inflected language. Courses in Roman history and epigraphy give her new insight into her tragic, long-deceased mother; Horace into the loss of a brilliant friend;, Lucretius into her tenacious drivenness and attraction to Buddhism. Catullus calls up her early days in 1970s New York while Ovid adds a delightful dimension to the flora and fauna that surround her. Finally, Virgil reconciles her to her new life—no longer an urban exile but a scholar, writer, and teacher. Along the way, she meets an intriguing, impassioned cast of characters: professors, students, and classicists outside of academia who become her new colleagues and who keep Latin very much alive.
Written with humor, candor, and an infectious enthusiasm for words and grammar, Patty’s book is a celebration of how learning and literature can transform the past and lead to a new, unexpected future.”

5. Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France, by Craig Carlson

VERDICT: Eye-opening memoir of an American living his dream to open a restaurant in Paris. Meet the real France.

6. Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black

VERDICT: Multi-layered fascinating historical spy thriller, enriched by Cara Black’s intimate knowledge of Paris!


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45 thoughts on “Six degrees of separation: from New England to Paris

  1. I did this meme for quite a while with only 6 books before the penny dropped. You are not alone! The memoir about Latin sounds interesting, I will look for that. My chain isn’t done yet, but should go up tomorrow.


  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one Emma. My first two or three six degrees only had six books. No one commented and I suspect most didn’t notice as I hadn’t noticed that they had seven … until, suddenly I did and the penny dropped.

    I was watching your covers and working out the links as I scrolled down and I thought you’d gone from “patty” to “pancakes”. Worked for me!

    BTW I gave my Mum the Patty, as she loved language and literature, and did Latin, but I don’t think she loved it. I can’t exactly recollect why though.


  3. How irritating. I typed in my response on my phone. Filled in my details and posted my comment. It then asked me to log in to my WordPress account, which I did, and it told me it had detected a duplicate comment so I figured the first one had posted!

    Grrr … anyhow, you are not the only one. My first two or three (can’t remember now) only had 6 books. No one commented. My guess is they hadn’t noticed, just as I hadn’t noticed their seven – until suddenly I did and the penny dropped. I certainly hadn’t noticed yours.

    I gave my Mum the Patty, as she loved language and did Latin at school, which she loved, but she didn’t love this memoir. I’m struggling to remember why. I’d probably have to read it and it might jog my memory. It sounds great to me.


  4. I’m interested in the Patty book too. I’ve decided to follow some podcasts about Roman history right from the beginning because I just have a smattering of knowledge (just a few names, really) about Roman History. I’m learning a lot, and I think I’d enjoy that book. Thank you


  5. I did notice last month that someone only had five degrees but thought she had just run out of inspiration! My mother taught me the first year of Latin as my school only offered it every other year. We had some battles but it was fun to walk into Second Year Latin that September and astound all the older girls! I will look for this book.

    I’ve read the Moonstone (and watched a great adaptation on PBS) but have never got around to Cara Black.

    Here is my chain:


    • Yes, I think you will enjoy this book.
      This is different from the other books by Cara Black, I mean her series with a mystery in a different neighborhood of Paris. This is excellent historical fiction


  6. I am so interested in ‘Living with a Dead Language’ – I did Latin to A-level at school and would have liked to have studied Classics, but at my university you had to have Ancient Greek too, and my school didn’t teach it (predictably, the boys’ school did…) I’ve though about going back to it but have never worked up the nerve – podcasts re Roman history, as suggested by Resident Judge, are a great idea.

    I used to participate in another book site which also ran Latin classes for ‘seniors’, taught by one of the members – these were very popular. It’s funny, because I’m the only person I know who actually enjoyed Latin at school, yet there is clearly much enthusiasm for it in the wider world.

    Moon in a Dead Eye and Three Hours in Paris sound good too.

    Thanks for an interesting chain – and I too only had 5 books for ages, the penny only dropped a couple of months ago…


  7. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever realised that you only 6 books. But I still love your spin on Six Degrees. I’ve actually enjoyed The Moonstone more than The Woman in White.

    Three hours in Paris has a stunning cover!

    Hope you are well Emma and Season Greetings!

    Elza Reads


  8. Pingback: 2021: December wrap-up | Words And Peace

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