Six degrees of separation: from phos to light

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from phos to light

When I saw we had to start with a one word title, I was tempted to start my chain with the author’s first name.
But then I thought I could actually use the Greek part of the title I love. In fact, the theme of light (phos) is my favorite in Christian spirituality.
I usually feature Christian books on my other site (I haven’t posted there for months, but I will restart mid March: Myrtle Skete), but I am who I am, and am very committed in my faith and practice, so for once, most of my chain will be featuring Christian books.
If it’s not your thing, feel free to leave and not read further.

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
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

Phosphorescence Metamorphosis

  The Transfiguration of Christ  If you love me

if on a winter's night   Light to Enlighten My Darkness

 

Links will send you to my review or to the relevant Goodreads page

1. Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder and Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark

So this is the book we have to start with. I haven’t read it, and am not planning to, as it seems light weight to me.

“A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness – the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’ – which will sustain us even through the darkest times.
Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?
And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we’re overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most – finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril – how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light – a light to ward off the darkness?”

2. Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theology and Iconography

Two notes here:
I played with the syllable phos, meaning light in Greek, but I am aware that in the word “metamorphosis”, the Greek word is morphosis, which means form.

It’s interesting though, that metamorphosis is the Greek word for Transfiguration, which is an event of LIGHT, where the Apostles were finally able to open their eyes and really see Christ’s Divine Light.
This is my favorite Christian Feast, and I have read a lot of books on it. But as I wrote in my review, I can say, “This is one of the best books I have read on the Transfiguration”.

3. The Transfiguration Of Christ In Scripture And Tradition

I read this many many years ago, before my blogging years, so I have no review and no excerpts, but this is definitely my favorite book on the Transfiguration.
John Anthony McGuckin is an amazing scholar (currently professor of early Christianity in the Theological Faculty of Oxford University, and Romanian Orthodox priest).
In this book, he combines Biblical and Patristic data. And it’s very accessible – incidentally, that’s for me the sign of real scholars: they can explain complex things in ways everyone can understand.

4.  If You Love Me: Serving Christ and the Church in Spirit and Truth

Another book I didn’t review. Matthew the Poor was also a scholar and this time, a Coptic monk and abbot. I have read several books by him. They are deeply steeped in Scripture and very profound. The type of books you would enjoy reading in Lent, for meditation.
NB: all Christians are serving Christ one way or another, including in your service of your neighbor, so this is not a book just for special ministers.

““The lesson of love can never be taught simply by words . . . Rather, it is taught by truly giving yourself and communicating the love and longing for Christ to those you serve. . . . How awesome and dignified is Christian service! And how good is the trustworthy and loyal servant who can say along with Christ, ‘Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart’ (Matt. 11:29).” (from the Introduction) This book is essential and inspiring reading for all who would devote their lives to the service of Christ and His Church.”

 

5. If on a Winter‘s Night a Traveler
And this one is my favorite novel pertaining to the Oulipo, that is, a group of authors who try to write following unusual structures, patterns, or even constrained techniques (a famous book in that group was written in French, without ever using the letter e!)

After literary fiction, I am back to Christian nonfiction, and with my own book, though this is an anthology I put together, so I only really wrote the introduction.
The texts have been chosen from Medieval Cistercian authors, so this is not easy modern meditation reading.
I mentioned above how light was my favorite theme, so no surprise I decided to [put this anthology together.

And so it is fun here to start with phos and end up with light.

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Visit other chains here

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HAVE YOU READ AND ENJOYED ANY OF THESE BOOKS?

The top 8 books to read in March 2021

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in March 2021

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

  Kusamakura FutureofBuildingsBookCover

  Less Than Fully Catholic Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

📚 Kusamakura, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1906
Reading for Japanese Reading Challenge 14Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“”Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura follows its nameless young artist-narrator on a meandering walking tour of the mountains. At the inn at a hot spring resort, he has a series of mysterious encounters with Nami, the lovely young daughter of the establishment. Nami, or “beauty,” is the center of this elegant novel, the still point around which the artist moves and the enigmatic subject of Sōseki’s word painting. In the author’s words, Kusamakura is “a haiku-style novel, that lives through beauty.” Written at a time when Japan was opening its doors to the rest of the world, Kusamakura turns inward, to the pristine mountain idyll and the taciturn lyricism of its courtship scenes, enshrining the essence of old Japan in a work of enchanting literary nostalgia.”

📚 The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, 
by Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber
Published in July 2020

See my latest words about it here.

📚 Less Than Fully Catholic: Losing My Religion, Finding My Faith, by Trisha Day
Published in 2018, by a friend of mine

“”Less than fully Catholic.” Some bishops use the phrase pejoratively to describe those who struggle to find a place in the Church today. But for Trisha Day, to be less than fully Catholic is to reconcile what is harmful about the Church with what is beautiful and life-giving about it by looking for the wisdom buried beneath the Church’s questionable doctrines and antiquated liturgical language. In describing her struggles with Catholicism, Day focuses on what she has learned in the process of questioning her religion, as well as on what the Church’s great contemplative monastic tradition has taught her about what is genuinely sacred in life and the responsibilities we all have to one another, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Less Than Fully Catholic affirms the importance of doubt as well as the necessity of confronting what we do not believe about religion in order to discover what it means to be a person of faith.”

📚 Dictionnaire amoureux du polar, by Pierre Lemaitre
Published on October 22, 2020

See my latest words about it here.

READING NEXT

  The Miner  To the Spring Equinox and Beyond

📚 The Miner, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1908
Will be reading for Japanese Reading Challenge 14Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“The Miner is the most daringly experimental and least well known novel of the great Meiji novelist Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). Written in 1908, it is an absurdist novel about the indeterminate nature of human personality, which in many respects anticipates the work of Joyce and Beckett. Virtually devoid of plot and characterization, it unfolds entirely within the mind of the unnamed protagonist. Focusing on a young man whose love life has fallen to pieces, The Miner follows him as he flees from Tokyo, is picked up by a procurer of cheap labor for a copper mine, and then travels toward – and finally burrows into the depths of – the mine where he hopes to find oblivion. The young man reflects at length on nearly every thought and perception he experiences along the way, in terms of what the experience means to him at the time and in retrospect as a mature adult narrating the tale. The narrator concludes that there is no such thing as human character, and the many passages in which he ruminates on the nature of personality constitute the theoretical core of the book. The intellectual distancing carries over into the style of writing as well, and instead of a tragedy of alienation, we find here an absurdist – truly absurd and comical – allegory of descent into the psyche.”

📚 To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1910
Will be reading for Japanese Reading Challenge 14Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Legendary Japanese novelist Soseki Natsume dissects the human personality in all its complexity in this unforgettable narrative. Keitaro, a recent college graduate, lives a life intertwined with several other characters, each carrying their own emotional baggage. Romantic, practical, and philosophical themes enable Soseki to explore the very meaning of life.

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

I actually already listened to two short Bible audiobooks yesterday: The Book of the Song of Songs, and The Book of Wisdom.

  Cards on the Table  Dumb Witness  

📚 Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15) by Agatha Christie
Published in 1936
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players… Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s private collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…”

📚 Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot #16) by Agatha Christie
Published in 1937
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… by which time Emily was already dead”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

Review copies available throughout March:
The first two for book tours,
the third one to read and review at your own pace!

  Victorine Madeleine Last French Casquette Bride in New Orleans L'Origine

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR MARCH

📚 More reading for The Japanese Reading Challenge (January-March)
📚 Post my last review of RockRidgePress books, and start catching up for reviews of books read in 2020.

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR MARCH?

2021: February wrap-up

February 2021 WRAP-UP

Time flies! Which is a good thing, as it means we are getting closer to warmer days, and to getting a COVID vaccine.
I am very happy with my reading schedule these days, focusing more on my TBR. And with reviewing a lot of what I have been reading, mostly thanks to doing short reviews for my Sunday Post.
I hope this will allow me soon to catch up with reviews I was supposed to write in 2020.

📚 So here is what I read in February:

13 books:
9 in print 
with 1,759 pages, a daily average of 62 pages/day
4 in audio
= 24H06
, a daily average of 51 minutes

4 in nonfiction:

  1. In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki – for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  2. Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Pierre Jourde and Eric Naulleau
  3. The Book of Proverbs – audiobook, for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge
  4. The Book of Ecclesiastes – audiobook, for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge

4 in literary fiction:

  1. L’Anomalie, by Hervé Le Tellier
  2. Hikikomori and the Rental Sister, by Jeff Backhaus
  3. A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, by Junichiro Tanizaki – for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  4. Encre sympathique, by Patrick Modiano

4 in mystery:

  1. Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot #14), by Agatha Christie – for The Classics Club
  2. Dans l’oeil du démon, by Junichiro Tanizaki – for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  3. Gone by Midnight, by Candice Fox
  4. La Vallée, by Bernard Minier – French audiobook

1 in poetry:

  1. The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer – for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

   L'Anomalie Hikikomori

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 20/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 6 books 

Total of books read in 2021 = 26/120
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 30

OTHER BOOKS I REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

The Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book Word Detective 3rd Grade Ocean Life

Zoo animals Brain Candy Stone Killer

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

Books available for swapping

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE

Posted on my homepage

And we offer a Book Box!
And monthly raffle with a Newsletter
(see sample with link to sign up)

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Arsene Lupin

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Sunday Post #38

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

That Artsy Reader Girl
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Deb at Readerbuzz

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,306 posts
over 5,430 followers
over 215,590 hits

📚

Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in March

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How was YOUR month of February?

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!