Six degrees of separation: from sorrow to the Romanovs

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from sorrow to the Romanovs

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
The title doesn’t sound very cheerful, but my list contains some great books, and at least one is hilarious.

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 page

Sorrow and Bliss

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I have not read it, and I am not planning to.

This novel is about a woman called Martha. She knows there is something wrong with her but she doesn’t know what it is. Her husband Patrick thinks she is fine. He says everyone has something, the thing is just to keep going.
Martha told Patrick before they got married that she didn’t want to have children. He said he didn’t mind either way because he has loved her since he was fourteen and making her happy is all that matters, although he does not seem able to do it.
By the time Martha finds out what is wrong, it doesn’t really matter anymore. It is too late to get the only thing she has ever wanted. Or maybe it will turn out that you can stop loving someone and start again from nothing – if you can find something else to want.
 ”

The Sorrows of Young Werther  Diary of a Young Naturalist

    The Diary of Adam and Eve    The Lament of Eve  

Isaiah Through the Ages  After the Romanovs

Click on the covers to read my review
or the relevant page

Sorrow and Bliss

1. The Sorrrows of Young Werther, by Goethe

I read this one a few decades ago (in French), and enjoyed it A LOT. It might be time to revisit.

This is Goethe’s first novel, published in 1774. Written in diary form, it tells the tale of an unhappy, passionate young man hopelessly in love with Charlotte, the wife of a friend – a man who he alternately admires and detests. ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ became an important part of the ‘Sturm und Drang movement, and greatly influenced later ‘Romanticism’. The work is semi-autobiographical – in 1772, two years before the novel was published, Goethe had passed through a similar tempestuous period, when he lost his heart to Charlotte Buff, who was at that time engaged to his friend Johann Christian Kestner.”

2. Diary of a Young Naturalist, by Dara McAnulty

I heard about this book a few weeks ago. The theme of environment is an important one for me, and I’m looking forward to reading it. It’s also listed in a Goodreads giveaway.

“Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. “In writing this book,” Dara explains, “I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.””

3. The Diary of Adam and Eve, by Mark Twain

This book is totally hilarious. I don’t like the author’s personality, but some his books are so good, and this one so so funny. Maybe god for a fun summer day.

“”Good deal of fog this morning. I do not go out in the fog myself,” notes Adam in his diary, adding, “The new creature does. It goes out in all weathers. And talks. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here.”
Adam has a lot to learn about Eve, and even more from her, as she names the animals, discovers fire, and introduces all manner of innovations to their garden home. Mark Twain’s “translation” of the diaries of the first man and woman offers a humorous “he said/she said” narrative of biblical events. The great American storyteller found comfort and inspiration in the company of women, and his irreverent look at conventional religion is also a thoughtful — and humorous — argument for gender equality.”

4. The Lament of Eve, by Johanna Manley

We are going from hilarious to very serious, with this excellent patristic and Orthodox commentary of the first five chapters of Genesis. 
I have read three books by this author, she’s really good.

The Lament of Eve attempts an exegesis of sections of the first five chapters of Genesis based on commentary of the Fathers of the Church. Subjects covered include: the creation and dignity of men and women, theosis, stewardship of the earth, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Fall, the sentence of mortality and God’s love, providence and primacy in our lives. Appropriate for both elementary and advanced Bible studies, it also makes thoughtful reading during Great Lent. Includes index and bibliography.

5. Isaiah Through the Ages, by Johanna Manley

Got stuck here, as I don’t have any other book on my shelves with either the word lament or Eve. And no other Johanna author, so I’m going with my favorite book by her. An excellent patristic compilation and Orthodox commentary on the book of Isaiah.

“A compilation of previously unavailable commentaries by the Church Fathers on the Book of Isaiah. Fourth and fifth century exegetes are prominently featured, but excerpts from others, such as Ss Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Anthanasius of Alexandria and Jerome, are also included. Modern commentary (from 1775 to the present) has been added to provide insight into the historical context, poetry and structure. A short Judaic section points to Messianic passages and assists with obscure metaphors and references. The Prologue is excerpted from the works of Georges Florovsky. Includes bibliography and index.”

6. After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War, by Helen Rappaport 

Hellen Rappaport is an expert on Russian history. I really enjoyed her book on The Romanov Sisters, and this one, her latest, published in March 2022. Alas, I haven’t posted my review yet!

Paris has always been a city of cultural excellence, fine wine and food, and the latest fashions. But it has also been a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution, never more so than before and after the Russian Revolution and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. For years, Russian aristocrats had enjoyed all that Belle Époque Paris had to offer, spending lavishly when they visited. It was a place of artistic experimentation, such as Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. But the brutality of the Bolshevik takeover forced Russians of all types to flee their homeland, sometimes leaving with only the clothes on their backs.
Arriving in Paris, former princes could be seen driving taxicabs, while their wives who could sew worked for the fashion houses, their unique Russian style serving as inspiration for designers like Coco Chanel. Talented intellectuals, artists, poets, philosophers, and writers struggled in exile, eking out a living at menial jobs. Some, like Bunin, Chagall and Stravinsky, encountered great success in the same Paris that welcomed Americans like Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Political activists sought to overthrow the Bolshevik regime from afar, while double agents from both sides plotted espionage and assassination. Others became trapped in a cycle of poverty and their all-consuming homesickness for Russia, the homeland they had been forced to abandon.
This is their story.

📚📚📚

Visit other chains here

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2022: March wrap-up

MARCH 2022 WRAP-UP

March was a very hard month, with the situation in Ukraine. It was harder to take time to read – plus very busy work (lots of new French students!) and Church schedule.
I managed to read as many books as in February, but much shorter books.
I actually listened to one extra book, as I took time to listen to audiobooks while coloring books, to try to get stress relief.
I didn’t visit as many blogs as usual, and I have been very late in reading your comments, even though I so much appreciate you taking time to leave meaningful comments.

📚 Here is what I read in March:

13 books:
9 in print 
with 14,439 pages, a daily average of 46 pages/day
4 in audio
= 36H53
, a daily average of 1H11

5 in mystery:

  1. The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James M. Cain – read with the Goodreads Mystery, Crime, and Thriller group 
  2. Le Fou de Bergerac (Maigret #16), by Georges Simenon – read with a French student
  3. The Clairvoyant Countess, by Dorothy Gilman – audiobook
  4. A Nun in the Closet, by Dorothy Gilman – audiobook
  5. L’Aiguille creuse (Arsène Lupin #3), by Maurice Leblanc – audiobook

2 in literary fiction:

  1. The Box Man, by Kobo Abe
  2. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez

2 in poetry:

  1. River of Stars, by Yosano Akiko
  2. The Year of my Life, by Issa Kobayashi

2 in nonfiction:

  1. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, by Kate Moore – audiobook
  2. After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War – received for review through Netgalley

2 in picture book:

  1. Love in the Library, by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Yas Imamura
  2. The Night Gardener, by the Fan Brothers

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

Love in the Time of Cholera  The Year of My Life

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 113/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9/12 books
2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: 0/12 books
2022 books in translation reading challenge
: 13/10+

Total of books read in 2022 = 40/120 (33%)
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 7

 OTHER BOOK  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

The Final Days of Abbot Montrose

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!

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Sunday Post #56

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy
Deb at Readerbuzz
please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,510 posts
over 5,620 followers
over 244,000 hits

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How was YOUR month of MARCH?

2022-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up400

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

Sunday Post #58 – 3/27/2022

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for

Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#StackingTheShelves #MailboxMonday
#itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

These last two weeks have been tough and very busy too.
So I didn’t post last Sunday, and not much since either.
And slow reading, only 3 books finished in 2 weeks, instead of the usual 3 per week…

Yesterday, for our cultural breakfast, we washed Episode 5 of The Blue Planet documentary.

Since my last post, on my 3 blogs:

📚  JUST READ 🎧 

Love in the Time of Cholera

📚  Love in the Time of the Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez
Published in 1985
Read for The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
and The Classics Club

Fabulous ! About love, hope, nostalgia. And many vices as well!
Florentino and Fermina fall in love in their teens, but Fermina ends up marrying someone else.
Still, Florentino doesn’t despair and waits…
I won’t say more.
The writing is fabulous, with excellent descriptions of characters and background, and even hilarious passages (on a parrot, for instance).
Wonderful analysis of characters, with all their qualities and dark sides. Florentino, among others, is definitely not a saint, and there are some reprehensible parts in his life. But it doesn’t negate the fact that Garcia Marquez is a stunning author.
I also liked how he evoked life passing by.
I shared on Instagram a short passage I really liked.

I would like to add that this book is very different in style and content from One Hundred Years of Solitude, where you have a long saga over generations. None of that here, and the story is very easy to follow. So if you were discouraged by it, give a chance to Love in the Time of Cholera.

The Clairvoyant Countess

🎧  The Clairvoyant Countess, by Dorothy Gilman
240 pages/6H48
Narrated by Ruth Ann Phimister

Published in 1975
Mystery/Paranormal

I so enjoyed Gilman’s series with Mrs Pollifax, so I decided to listen to this one.
Madame Karitska is a very kind, human, and compassionate woman, just like Emily Pollifax.
This was a neat book, easy but with richly depicted characters.
And we have here a very unusual duo: Madame Karitska is a clairvoyant, who can “read” your life by holding an object you own. With her talents, she helps Detective Pruden, who is at first very skeptic, as his last name seems to hint. Then a nice friendship develops between them. The book is a collection of cases they solve together.
After reading a heavy and dark nonfiction, this positive audiobook was quite refreshing.
The narrator is not the fabulous Barbara Rosenblat (Emily Pollifax), but Ruth Ann Phimister, who is just as excellent!

A Nun in the Closet🎧  A Nun in the Closet, by Dorothy Gilman
224 pages/6H37
Narrated by Roslyn Alexander

Published in 1975
Cozy Mystery

And then I listened to the last audiobook that had been on my audio shelf for a while!

This was quite enjoyable.
The abbey receives the anonymous gift of an old mansion. Two sisters are sent there to see what the house looks like. When the two sisters arrive, they discover a wounded person there. Their trip now gets filled with all kinds of unexpected adventures and meetings…
Great plot, with a couple of strong willed and smart nuns.
Some passages are very funny too.
The neat thing too is that it’s presented with lots of respect for religion. Sister John’s strong faith is often highlighted.
Alas, our society has changed a lot, and I doubt anyone would write that type of stories today, highlighting the same Christian values in a mystery.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

  After the Romanovs    The Year of My Life     

L'Aiguille creuse

📚  After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War, by Helen Rappaport
March 8th 2022 by St. Martin’s Press
Ecopy received for review

Really enjoying the author’s writing. Full of lots of information. Some passages are so awfully close to what our current world is going through right now…

Paris has always been a city of cultural excellence, fine wine and food, and the latest fashions. But it has also been a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution, never more so than before and after the Russian Revolution and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. For years, Russian aristocrats had enjoyed all that Belle Époque Paris had to offer, spending lavishly when they visited. It was a place of artistic experimentation, such as Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. But the brutality of the Bolshevik takeover forced Russians of all types to flee their homeland, sometimes leaving with only the clothes on their backs.
Arriving in Paris, former princes could be seen driving taxicabs, while their wives who could sew worked for the fashion houses, their unique Russian style serving as inspiration for designers like Coco Chanel. Talented intellectuals, artists, poets, philosophers, and writers struggled in exile, eking out a living at menial jobs. Some, like Bunin, Chagall and Stravinsky, encountered great success in the same Paris that welcomed Americans like Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Political activists sought to overthrow the Bolshevik regime from afar, while double agents from both sides plotted espionage and assassination. Others became trapped in a cycle of poverty and their all-consuming homesickness for Russia, the homeland they had been forced to abandon.
This is their story.
 ”

📚 The Year of My Life, by Kobayashi Issa
Published in 1973
Reading for The Japanese Literature Challenge 15
The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
and The Classics Club

An autobiography in haibun – a mixed form of haiku and prose.
I am still in the (excellent) introduction for now. I only found it as a pdf, and I can’t highlight passages, so I take many notes on paper, which slows down the reading.

🎧 L’Aiguille creuse, by Maurice Leblanc
Published in English as The Hollow Needle
224 pages/7H36
Narrated by Philippe Colin

Published in 1909
Mystery

I started listening to Code Lupin, by Michel Bussi. Then I quickly realized it was focusing on L’Aiguille creuse [The Hollow Needle]. I had only read the first book on Arsène Lupin, so I decided to stop Bussi to listen to this classic first. It’s actually #3 in the Arsène Lupin series.
A succession of events lead to a mysterious castle. The whole plot focuses on a battle of the minds between the brilliant Arsène Lupin and Isidore, a young student in rhetoric.
The style is older of course (1909), and sometimes over dramatic, but still I am enjoying the plot and the characters. There are funny references to “Herlock Sholmes”, lol. Hmm, I see that in the English translation, they twisted it into Holmlock Shears. Too bad.
I was surprised when I understood the meaning of the title, which of course cannot actually be properly translated inti English.
The narrator is great at doing so many different voices. There are also background sound effects, like for a play.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

La Nuit des temps

📚 La Nuit des temps, by René Barjavel
Published in English as The Ice People
Published in 1968
Will be reading with one of my French students
and for The Classics Club
Science fiction

One of my French students likes science fiction, so we are going to read this classic together. I will probably start reading it tonight.
Here is for you the official synopsis in English, which reveals too much, as too often:

“When a French expedition in Antarctica reveals ruins of a 900,000 year old civilization, scientists from all over the world flock to the site to help explore & understand. The entire planet watches via global satellite tv, mesmerized, as they uncover a chamber in which a man & a woman have been in suspended animation since, as the French title suggests, ‘the night of time’. The woman, Eléa, is awakened. Thru a translating machine she tells the story of her world, herself & her husband Paikan & how war destroyed her civilization. She also hints at an incredibly advanced knowledge her still-dormant companion possesses, knowledge that could give energy & food to all humans at no cost. But the superpowers of the world are not ready to let Eléa’s secrets spread, & show that, 900,000 years & an apocalypse later, humankind has not grown up & is ready to make the same mistakes again.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Le Manteau de Fortuny

📚  Le Manteau de Fortunyby Gérard Macé
Nonfiction – I think
Published in 2016

A kind of variation on the world of Proust.

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚  GIVEAWAY, in French 📚 

Le Promeneur sur le cap

📚  BOOK IN FRENCH AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW 📚

Le Promeneur sur le cap

Request today, review whenever you want.
And win credits towards gift cards!

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?