Six degrees of separation: from a postcard to a riddle

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a postcard to a riddle

I was going to enjoy the nice weather and read outside, and then neighbors started mowing their lawn, and I just can’t stand that noise. So then, I’m back on the computer and posting for this meme!

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

  Postcards from the Edge Too Close to the Edge  

  close-to-destiny-cover-3D Physics of the Future  

  The Code Breaker The Riddle of the labyrinth  

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

1.  Postcards from the Edge, by Carrie Fisher

I have not read this book, and seeing the synopsis, I’m not planning to:
“Carrie Fisher’s first novel is set within the world she knows better than anyone else: Hollywood, the all-too-real fantasyland of drug users and deal makers. This stunning literary debut chronicles Suzanne Vale’s vivid, excruciatingly funny experiences—from the rehab clinic to life in the outside world. Sparked by Suzanne’s—and Carrie’s—deliciously wry sense of the absurd, Postcards from the Edge is a revealing look at the dangers and delights of all our addictions, from success and money to sex and insecurity.”

 

2. Too Close to the Edge, by Pascal Garnier

Pascal Garnier is an impressive French author, who passed away too early, alas.

VERDICT from my review:
The great author of French noir bluntly looks at the seemingly quiet life of a senior. Opening your door may lead you to unexpected ominous horizons and possibly to revealing a new you dormant behind a façade all these years.

3. Close to Destiny, by Adria J. Cimino

I read this book six years ago and apparently enjoyed it a lot (4 stars), but alas, even after reading my review, I don’t remember a thing about it!! Sign of old age?

VERDICT from my review:
A hat may have more to it than it looks! Evolving in between the blurred lines of reality and past experiences, Cimino focuses on relationships between people. Rich literary fiction with a twist.

4. Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, by Michio Kaku

I haven’t read this one, but am planning to, definitely the type of topics I enjoy. Proof is I recently read and appreciated another book along the same lines, actually also with future in is title.
“Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100.
In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics.
In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world’s information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism.
Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically.
In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button.
But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg. Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper?
All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution.”

5. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson

My favorite biography so far this year.
VERDICT from my review:
Essential, fascinating, and easily accessible presentation of Jennifer Doudna. A must if you want to stay up to date on CRISPR and its moral questions. 

6. The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code, by Margalit Fox

I was very impressed by Fox’s book on Sherlock Holmes, so I really want to read this one as well: 

“In the tradition of Simon Winchester and Dava Sobel, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: 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.
When famed archaeologist Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of a sophisticated Bronze Age civilization that flowered on Crete 1,000 years before Greece’s Classical Age, he discovered a cache of ancient tablets, Europe’s earliest written records. For half a century, the meaning of the inscriptions, and even the language in which they were written, would remain a mystery.
Award-winning New York Times journalist Margalit Fox’s riveting real-life intellectual detective story travels from the Bronze Age Aegean–the era of Odysseus, Agamemnon, and Helen–to the turn of the 20th century and the work of charismatic English archeologist Arthur Evans, to the colorful personal stories of the decipherers.
These include Michael Ventris, the brilliant amateur who deciphered the script but met with a sudden, mysterious death that may have been a direct consequence of the decipherment; and Alice Kober, the unsung heroine of the story whose painstaking work allowed Ventris to crack the code.

My post is done, and the neighbor is done with his mowing, so now to enjoying my current read in the sun!!

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Six degrees of separation: From Three Women to a riddle

#6Degrees

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!!

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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
6/26/2018

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

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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