Six degrees of separation: a passage to France



Six degrees of separation:
a passage to France

This time, still using my key word technique, I have decided to focus exclusively on books present on my Goodreads TBR shelf (which contains 1,159 titles at the moment when I write this post – and it could have more the time you access it, lol), to be sure I don’t always feature the same books here.

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 if you are stuck
5. To help you understand what I’m doing, you will find in orange the word that will be used in the following title, and in green the word used in the previous title

six-degrees-of-separation March 2023


We are supposed to start from
Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life.
I have not read it, nor plan to do so,
as I rarely read self-help books.

1.  Another Life: On Memory, Language, Love, and the Passage of Time,
Theodor Kallifatides

“A rewarding philosophical essay on memory, language, love, and the passage of time, from a Greek immigrant who became one of Sweden’s most highly respected writers.
“Nobody should write after the age of seventy-five,” a friend had said. At seventy-seven, struggling with the weight of writer’s block, Theodor Kallifatides makes the difficult decision to sell the Stockholm studio where he diligently worked for decades and retire. Unable to write, and yet unable to not write, he travels to his native Greece in the hope of rediscovering that lost fluidity of language.
In this slim memoir, Kallifatides explores the interplay of meaningful living and meaningful work, and the timeless question of how to reconcile oneself to aging. But he also comments on worrying trends in contemporary Europe–from religious intolerance and prejudice against immigrants to housing crises and gentrification–and his sadness at the battered state of his beloved Greece.
Kallifatides offers an eloquent, thought-provoking meditation on the writing life, and an author’s place in a changing world.”

2. Towards Another Summer, by Janet Frame

“Towards Another Summer is a meditation on the themes of exile and return, homesickness and not knowing where home really is. It is suffused with beauty and tenderness and shot through with self-deprecating humour and frailty.”

3. The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson

“An elderly artist and her six-year-old granddaughter while away a summer together on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. Gradually, the two learn to adjust to each other’s fears, whims and yearnings for independence, and a fierce yet understated love emerges – one that encompasses not only the summer inhabitants but the island itself, with its mossy rocks, windswept firs and unpredictable seas.
Full of brusque humour and wisdom, The Summer Book is a profoundly life-affirming story. Tove Jansson captured much of her own experience and spirit in the book, which was her favourite of the novels she wrote for adults. This new edition sees the return of a European literary gem – fresh, authentic and deeply humane.”

4. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading,
Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

I’m actually planning on reading this one very soon, to prepare for The #1940Club, as this classic was published in 1940.

“How to Read a Book, originally published in 1940, has become a rare phenomenon, a living classic. It is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader. And now it has been completely rewritten and updated.You are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them – from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading, you learn how to pigeonhole a book, X-ray it, extract the author’s message, criticize. You are taught the different reading techniques for reading practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science.
Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests whereby you can measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension and speed.”

5. How We Think, by John Dewey

“One of America’s foremost philosophers, John Dewey (1859-1952) fought for civil and academic freedom, founded the Progressive School movement, and steadfastly promoted a scientific approach to intellectual development.
In How We Think, Dewey shares his views on the educator’s role in training students to think well. Basing his assertions on the belief that knowledge is strictly relative to human interaction with the world, he considers the need for thought training, its use of natural resources, and its place in school conditions; inductive and deductive reasoning, interpreting facts, and concrete and abstract thinking; the functions of activity, language, and observation in thought training; and many other subjects.
John Dewey’s influence on American education and philosophy is incalculable. This volume, as fresh and inspirational today as it was upon its initial publication a century ago, is essential for anyone active in the field of teaching or about to embark on a career in education.”

6. How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People,
Sudhir Hazareesingh

“Why are the French such an exceptional nation? Why do they think they are so exceptional? The French take pride in the fact that their history and culture have decisively shaped the values and ideals of the modern world. French ideas are no less distinct in their form: while French thought is abstract, stylish and often opaque, it has always been bold and creative, and driven by the relentless pursuit of innovation.”

E.M. Forster left us his great A Passage to India, but today, starting from a passage and landing among the French, I offered to you a passage to France!


Visit other chains here


Let me know if you think they should stay on my TBR.
And don’t hesitate to give me a link if you reviewed one of these.


25 thoughts on “Six degrees of separation: a passage to France

  1. What an interesting chain! How to Read a Book! Did you know some colleges now think it is “too demanding” and use in only in grad school? How sad. The Summer Book is still on my TBR–mayb this summer?


  2. Pingback: Sunday Post #81- 03/05/2023 | Words And Peace

  3. That’s a chain very cleverly pulled out, Emma! I might borrow your method some time… 😉
    I haven’t read any of them, but I’ve found The Summer Book very lately, and would love to read that very soon!


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