Six degrees of separation: from New York to Paris


Six degrees of separation:
from New York to Paris

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
Last month, I started in New England and ended up in Paris!
And today, I started in New York and also ended up in Paris (not a bad place to be on January 1st), with a very different chain! Exceptionally, it has several spiritual books, including my own!
Enjoy my chain, and happy new year, with of course many awesome new books!

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

Rules of Civility

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I haven’t read it and probably will not. This type of focus on high echelons of society doesn’t grab me. Plus the word “entertaining” in the synopsis is enough to make me run away.

This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike. ”

The 4th rule of ten The Wisdom of the Desert

  Seasons of Grace  Light to Enlighten My Darkness  

  Paris Paris Bridges of Paris  

1.  The Fourth Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery, by Gay Hendricks

I read 4 books in this series.
VERDICT: Original and riveting mysteries combining Buddhist wisdom and threats from dangerous powerful people on the international scene. Very good if you enjoy trying something different.

2. The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century, by Thomas Merton

I read it in a previous life, when I was not reviewing books.
It’s an excellent introduction and sampling of the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers (4th century Christian monks). Those monks knew human psychology better than we do today! And if you have read any book by Merton, you know how good he is.

“The personal tones of the translations, the blend of reverence and humor so characteristic of him, show how deeply Merton identified with the legendary authors of these sayings and parables, the fourth-century Christian Fathers who sought solitude and contemplation in the deserts of the Near East.
The hermits of Screte who turned their backs on a corrupt society remarkably like our own had much in common with the Zen masters of China and Japan, and Father Merton made his selection from them with an eye to the kind of impact produced by the Zen mondo.”

3. Seasons of Grace: Wisdom from the Cloister, by Mother Gail Fitzpatrick

Also read in my previous life!
Excellent everyday wisdom, especially if you need a guide for your spiritual likfe.

“This wonderful book contains fifty scripturally-based reflections developed from the “chapter talks” delivered to the Trappistine Sisters and their guests at the Abbey of Our Lady of the Mississippi (in Dubuque, Iowa).”
Check them out, they have great short videos, and they sell delicious caramels and other home-made goodies!

4. A Light To Enlighten The Darkness: Daily Readings for Meditation during the Winter Seasonby Emma Cazabonne (Editor)

Yes, this is my own book!
The Winter season has started recently, so it’s not too late to enjoy the book!

“God is light, says Saint John, and in him there is no darkness at all. These passages from the works of early Cistercian monks and nuns reflect on the mystery of that divine light. If we have the light of Christ in our heart, we discover it is there to shine both for ourselves and for others and to guide us ever closer to the mystery of God.
Emma Cazabonne compiled her selections over twenty years of lectio divina and a growing fascination with similarities between Cistercian and Orthodox spirituality.”

5. Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Lightby David Downie

I have read many books with the word light in the title, so I decided to highlight one you may not have heard about.

There’s a great balance between history, art, culture, and all kinds of anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed the way he highlighted what each recent French president changed in Paris, as far as architecture or city planning is concerned. This is an original and very interesting way of looking at the city of light, and I highly recommend it to any Paris lover.

6. Bridges of Parisby Michael Saint James

If I have read many books with the word light in the title, I have read even more with the word Paris in it! Again, you probably haven’t run often into this one, plus it’s gorgeous, and in case you need a last minute awesome gift for a fan of France, that would do it! 

VERDICT: Gorgeous coffee table book on Paris that will both delight your guests and teach them lots of fascinating facts on Paris history.


Visit other chains here



Book review: Encre sympathique

Encre sympathique

Encre sympathique
by Patrick Modiano
144 pages
Literary fiction

It was translated in English (Invisible Ink) in 2020 by Mark Polizzotti

I fell in love with Modiano‘s writing back in 1978 with Rue des boutiques obscures (Prix Goncourt – translated as Missing Person). Since then, after reading several more of his novels, I got sometimes tired of his style, with so many characteristics common to all his novels.
Still, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014. And some of his later novels had even sometimes elements closer to the mystery genre, like Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier, translated as So you don’t get lost in the neighborhood).
A French student of mine managed to convince me to try Encre sympathique.

Click to continue reading

Spotlight and giveaway: L’Origine


Lilianne Milgrom
on Tour
January 18-29

The Secret Life Of The World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece
(historical fiction)
Release date: July 28, 2020
at Little French Girl Press

255 pages

2020 Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award


Buy It Here

Amazon | Bookshop


See the book on Goodreads


L’Origine‘ traces the extraordinary, clandestine odyssey of an iconic 19th century painting that shook up the author’s world and continues to scandalize all who set eyes upon it.
Gustave Courbet’s portrait of a woman’s exposed torso and sex – audaciously entitled ‘L’Origine du monde’ (The Origin of the World) – was so shocking it was kept hidden for a century and a half, surviving revolution, Nazi plunder and the foibles of its eccentric owners.
Today it draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Orsay Museum. Lilianne Milgrom brings a fresh, feminine perspective to an iconic work of art created specifically for the male gaze.
L’Origine‘ offers readers more than a riveting romp through history–it also reflects society’s complex attitude towards female nudity.

NB: this is a historical novel, no explicit scenes


L'Origine - Lilianne MilgromLilianne Milgrom
Paris-born Lilianne Milgrom
is an award-winning international artist,
writer on the arts and author.
Her art can be found in both private and institutional collections
around the world
and her articles have been published in
Huffington Post, Daily Art Magazine, Ceramics Now and Bonjour Paris.
Her 5-star, bestselling novel ‘L’Origine‘ is the result of ten years of research
and was accepted into the Historical Novel Society.
Lilianne lives in Washington DC with her husband.

Follow the author on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Join her mailing list

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter,
as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!


Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners will receive an ecopy of this book



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