Six degrees of separation:
from a Japanese American author
to a Japanese nuclear power plant
Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
I’m so thrilled I started with a Japanese American author, and ended up in Japan, of course without anything planned ahead.
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
This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I have not read it, and I am not sure I want to read it. I first want to red another book by this author, A Tale for the Time Being.
“A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being.
After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house–a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where “things happen.” He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book–a talking thing–who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking. ”
The Book of Form and Emptiness
1. The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura
I learned a lot about tea, its origin, the three major eras and ways of enjoying it – boiled, whipped, and finally steeped. Only recently have we been steeping it. And did you know it used to be drunk with salt in it?
See my review
2. Infused: Adventures In Tea, by Henrietta Lovell
I haven’t read this one yet, it’s been on my TBR since last December.
Have you read it?
“Henrietta Lovell is best known as ‘The Rare Tea Lady’. She is on a mission to revolutionise the way we drink tea by replacing industrially produced teabags with the highest quality tea leaves. Her quest has seen her travel to the Shire Highlands of Malawi, across the foothills of the Himalayas, and to hidden gardens in the Wuyi-Shan to source the world’s most extraordinary teas.
Infused invites us to discover these remarkable places, introducing us to the individual growers and household name chefs Lovell has met along the way – and reveals the true pleasures of tea. The result is a delicious infusion of travel writing, memoir, recipes, and glorious photography, all written with Lovell’s unique charm and wit. ”
3. Are We French Yet? Keith & Val’s Adventures in Provence, by Keith Van Sickle
VERDICT: Nice collections of funny and culturally aware vignettes highlighting how life can be enriched by being familiar with two cultures.
Full review here
4. Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories from the French Decadent Tradition, by Gretchen Schultz , Lewis Seifert
VERDICT: Remarkable anthology of famous fairy tales as reinterpreted by French authors of the Decadent movement. Fascinating and very enjoyable example of comparative literature at its best.
Read my 5 star review
5. Goddess Power: A Kids’ Book of Greek and Roman Mythology: 10 Empowering Tales of Legendary Women, by Yung In Chae
VERDICT: Very pretty and well done summary of Greek mythology for children, teens, and adults.
Another 5 star review
6. Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, by Kazuto Tatsuta
This graphic nonfiction was absolutely fascinating. This is a big book, 561 pages, with a lot to read on each page. But so worth it!
Check some of my thoughts
Being a Brit who doesn’t like tea, I may give your tea books a miss, though actually, they look interesting. The fairy tales and mythology pique my interest. As to the graphic novel – I’ve got to get over myself and give this genre a go. It always seems such an effort to plough through them, compared with just reading words on a page!
Even if you don’t like tea, this is so part of culture, I thought this was really fascinating. And it’s more than just tea/
Nonfiction graphic novels can be really good. I posted on that some time ago: https://wordsandpeace.com/2021/11/15/nonfiction-november-2021-expert-on-graphic-nonfiction/
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Fair point about tea, and thanks for that link, which I shall explore properly. I think my library, in many ways a really good one, is poor on Graphic fiction apart from manga, so sourcing these titles may be a challenge.
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I like the sound of both the Fairy Tales and Mythology Tales. Will make room for them on my TBR when I can manage
The Fairy Tales one is solid literary criticism, the over one is good, but more of an overview
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I’ll certainly look up the fairy tale volume.
High quality analysis for sure
The Book of Tea sounds really interesting. I’ve been getting more and more into tea – but I can’t say I’ve ever had it with salt!
I wouldn’t pout salt in it either. You definitely need to try this book however, so fascinating
I think you’d like both Ozeki books, but yes, I did prefer A Tale for the Time Being just a tiny tad more than this one.
Thanks for the encouragement
I like how you have this unique spin on the meme. No, I haven’t read any of the books, but Are We French Yet sounds fun!
Definitely a good one to try
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Clever of you to be able to cycle back to Japan
Without even trying!
I always love that you use the words in the books as a link to the next one. Brings very interesting combinations. You know that I do that from time to time but this month, I used the contents.
My Six Degrees of Separation ended with The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett.
Yes, and you come up with great titles whatever technique you use!
I think that’s mainly because I’m one of the few Europeans in this community of bloggers.
I’m sure the same goes for you.
I have been getting into tea a bit lately so those were the titles that caught my attention.
I highly recommend Okakura’s book
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