Six degrees of separation: From Three Women to a riddle


Six degrees of separation:
From Three Women to a Pea

You are probably going to think I’m crazy, but this time, I have tried to do a REAL “six degrees of separation”, I mean, by finding connections that come to mind with each title. Maybe I also needed to prove myself I could actually do that!
Actually, I prepared this a few weeks ago, and today, as I finalize my post, I realize new connections are coming to mind, so I’ll spare you my first ideas, those are the ones I have today. Which means, I could probably generate a new list every day!!

AND, as I couldn’t easily part with my usual way of doing this meme, I’m offering you 2 chains today!!

After the covers,
you can find the links to my reviews
or to the title on Goodreads

A) Here you go, with the first “traditional” chain”:

  Three Women macbeth

  By Night the Mountain Burns fire season

  The Memory Police ella minnow pea

1. Three Women
This is the book we were supposed to start with. I haven’t read it and don’t intend to, I’m not interested in feminism.

2. When I hear 3 women, I automatically think of a most famous trio, the 3 witches in Macbeth. I have read many plays by Shakespeare, and actually studied in depth several of them, this one among others. I re-read it a few years ago.

3. I also enjoy a lot how 3 witches are portrayed in Night of Bald Mountain, by Mussorgsky. Which made me think of another book with both night and mountain in the title: By Night the Mountain Burns. I didn’t find it super good, but it’s unique, as it focuses on the oral tradition on an island in Equatorial Guinea, by an author of this country!

4. The burning part made me think of a great book on fire: Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout. It’s an excellent nonfiction focusing on solitude in that little space up the fire lookout tower, on the wilderness, on what happens in a forest.

5. I had the same impression of confinement in scenes from The Memory Police. It’s a dystopia. And there’s a book within the book, and a character ends up trapped in a very small place up a tower.
The main idea of the book is simple: on a small island, a special police arbitrarily decides that things should disappear, one at a time. Go to my review to see why I really enjoyed it.

6. You almost find the same idea in a fun book Ella Minnow Pea. We are also on an island, and this time, it’s letters of the alphabet that are progressively banned. Fun and smart book!

B) And now, 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), I started with three women and ended up with a riddle!
Come with me!

Here are my own quirky rules:

1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title 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

Three Women Three Lives Tomomi

 our thoughts Confronting and Controlling

  A Crack in Creation The Riddle of the labyrinth

1. Three Women
See above

2. Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
From my review: “I devoured very quickly this very smart novel. I loved the quality of the writing, of descriptions and inner feelings. I loved the quirkiness of it all, as you never really know if you are in truth or fiction, and of course I loved the treasure hunt especially in Paris, with the mention of lots of famous or not so famous places.”

3. Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives
An Orthodox book for a change. It focuses “on the impact your thoughts can have, not only on your own lives, but also on people around you, and even on the world at large. Whether your thoughts are positive or negative, they will determine your life and the lives of many.”

4. Confronting and Controlling Thoughts
Another Orthodox book I really enjoyed. The passages quoted come from the Philokalia, a major spiritual work. All the books by Coniaris are very accessible.
It’s about how to stop thoughts from polluting your mind and heart.

5. A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution
I’m ending with 2 books on my TBR. With the huge and rapid development in gene science, I want to read this one and see where we are at now. “What will we do with this unfathomable power?”

6. The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code
I want to read this book, because the topic is intriguing: “The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code tells one of the most intriguing stories in the history of language, masterfully blending history, linguistics, and cryptology with an elegantly wrought narrative.” But also because it was written by Margalit Fox, and that’s how I discovered it. You may remember how blown away I was by Fox’s book on Conan Doyle. This lady knows how to write!!


Visit other chains here




Book review: Conan Doyle for the Defense

Conan Doyle for the DefenseConan Doyle for the Defense:
The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer

by  Margalit Fox
Random House

Genre: Nonfiction/True crime/History/Biography
352 pages


This brilliant nonfiction reads like a thriller, both because of its topic and because of the writer’s skill at structuring her story.

Conan Doyle for the Defense is about what was supposedly  “one of the most notorious murders of its age”, a bit like a “Scottish Dreyfus affair”.

A case all too common: a rich old woman was robbed and killed in Glasgow, and for various reasons explained in the book, the police targeted Oscar Slater, a German Jewish gambler, even though they soon had evidence he could not have done it.
“An innocent man was pursued, tried, convicted, and nearly hanged”, a “supreme example of official incompetence and obstinacy”, of “judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.” A “disgraceful frame-up, in which stupidity and dishonesty played an equal part.” Nothing new under the sun…

Click to continue reading

Nonfiction November: My Year 2018 in Nonfiction



Click on the logo to see the detailed schedule

As every year, a bunch of really cool bloggers are co-hosting Nonfiction November.
Here is the topic for week 1:


Hosted by Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness

Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Here is the recap of the nonfiction I have read (the links will send you to my review when it’s posted) or will finish for sure before the end of the year.
A pathetic 9 compare to 22 last year!! And I’m not sure I will read more nonfiction this year, besides these titles.

Why so few this year?
The reason being mostly that I really wanted to focus on reading books taking up dust on my shelves, and most were novels. And also the fact that I have read less this year, so the percentage fiction/nonfiction may end up pretty close to that of 2018, my end of the year statistics will tell.
Here are the titles:


  1. Monet, Itinerant of Light, by Salva Rubio (and EFA) – graphic nonfiction
  2. Conan Doyle for the Defense, by Margalit Fox
  3. Elder Sebastian of Optina, by Tatiana Torstensen

About trips:

  1. Journal de mon voyage d’Amérique, by Louis-Philippe
  2. The Ship, the Saint, and the Sailor: The Long Search for the Legendary Kad’yak, by Bradley G Stevens

About politics:

  1. Democracy in Chains, by Nancy MacLean- audiobook
  2. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

About music:

  1. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, by Thad Carhart

Orthodox spirituality:

  1. Modern Orthodox Thinkers: From the Philokalia to the Present Day, by Andrew Louth


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Conan Doyle for the Defense

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Democracy in Chains

Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to
more this year?

Current issues, which is totally new to me

What are you hoping to get out
of participating in Nonfiction November?

Get acquainted with more nonfiction readers and good titles unknown to me