Six degrees of separation: from New York to the Atlantic

 

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from beach reading to beach walking

Time flies so fast, it’s only by visiting another blogger that I reaized I had missed to post last Saturday for this meme. I double checked that I have the date scheduled for next post in March!
My quirky rules were challenged with this one word title we had to start from. Apparetly, I haven’t read any book with the word trust in the title, which I actually find surprising.
I did read a book by another Diaz, but I found it so so bad that I certainly do not want to feature it here.
Trust was published in May 2022, so I went with another book published in May 2022 – at least in one of its English translations (I read it in the original – French).

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 if you are stuck
5. To help you understand what I’m doing, you will find in orange the word that will be used in the following title, and in green the word used in the previous title

six-degrees-of-separation 0223

 

We are supposed to start from Trust, by Hernan Diaz (published in May 2022).
I have not read it, nor plan to do so.

1. A Single Rose, by Muriel Barbery (published in May 2022)
Each word seems chiseled. The result is an amazing gem.
See my short review.

2.  The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
I so enjoyed it, but read it in French a few decades ago, way before the existence of this blog. Totally time to reread it, in Italian this time!

3. My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok
The comment for #2 fits perfectly for this one as well!
I so liked it that I devoured in a row all the books by Potok – yes, I was just as book obsessed in my younger years, lol.

4. The Year of My Life, by Kobayashi Issa
This was a book I cherished a lot last year. I have lots of notes, and haven’t published them yet!!

5. A Hundred Million Years and a Day, by Jean-Baptiste Andrea
VERDICT: Beautifully written and remarkable narrative about following one’s dreams, and human behavior in harsh conditions. I promise you, you won’t forget this expedition! 
Read my full review

6. Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, by Simon Winchester
This is the most thorough “biography” I have ever read, and the most entertaining as well. One thing I would like to highlight, however, is the plan of the book, a genius idea I believe. 
Read my full review

So I didn’t have far to go: I started in New York, where Trust is set, and ended up in the Atlantic!

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Six degrees of separation: from a child to a professor

 

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a child to a professor

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
It worked well this month, starting with a child and finishing with a professor, a nice life journey, isn’t it?

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 if you are stuck
5. To help you understand what I’m doing, you will find in orange the word that will be used in the following title, and in green the word used in the previous title

DEc 2022 six-degrees-of-separation

We are supposed to start from The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey.
At one point I think I considered reading it, but never did.

1.  The Snow Goose, by Paul Gallico
I just discovered Gallico a few weeks ago, and was very impressed by this story.
See my thoughts here.

2.  The Goose Fritz, by Sergei Lebedev
Yes, believe it or not, I did read another book with the word goosein the title!
VERDICT:  Revisiting your past, discovering your deep identity. Not always a comfortable journey.
My full review is here, with a few quotes.

3. Oblivion, by Sergei Lebedev
I’m stuck with the title, so I’m going now to my favorite book by Lebedev.
VERDICT: Powerful, intense, and poetic evocation of Soviet prison camps. Reading like a detective story, it will haunt the reader and help him escape oblivion. Unforgettable.
My full English/French review with quotes, is here.

4. The Memory Police, by Yoko Ogawa
Hmm, I’m going to jump from Oblivion to its opposite, memory!
VERDICT: Eerie dystopian allegory on the beauty of our world, and how it could disappear if we don’t resist, keep our conscience awake, and our heart alive.
Check here why I loved it so much

5.The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa
I have no other interesting book with the word ‘police’ in the title, so I’m going with another book by Ogawa, very different in genre, but very good too.
This is such a beautiful, warm, and quiet book, short but rich with so many layers. Here are all my thoughts about it

6.  The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester.
Great book about books! Winchester is such an amazing nonfiction author!
“The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history. “

So I started with a child and ended with a professor, like a life journey.

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Six degrees of separation: from typos to Russia

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from typos to Russia

Glad to be back – my last participation was in April! Life seems always so busy at the turn of each month. This time, I have read only three of the books I feature here. The others are on my TBR.

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

eats shoots and leaves Let's Eat France

  Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls The Men Who United the States  

  Men Without Women  The Man Without a Face  

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

1.  Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss

And for once, I have read the book we are supposed to start this chain with. I reviewed it here eleven years ago!
I loved it, this is totally my type of books, focusing on language, spelling, and punctuation.

2. Let’s Eat France!: 1,250 specialty foods, 375 iconic recipes, 350 topics, 260 personalities, plus hundreds of maps, charts, tricks, tips, and anecdotes and everything else you want to know about the food of France

If you are familiar with my blog, you can easily understand why this title would be on my TBR. It’s puzzling though to know it’s already been there for two years! I definitely need to get to it soon.

“There’s never been a book about food like Let’s Eat France! A book that feels literally larger than life, it is a feast for food lovers and Francophiles, combining the completist virtues of an encyclopedia and the obsessive visual pleasures of infographics with an enthusiast’s unbridled joy.
Here are classic recipes, including how to make a pot-au-feu, eight essential composed salads, pâté en croûteblanquette de veau, choucroute, and the best ratatouille. Profiles of French food icons like Colette and Curnonsky, Brillat-Savarin and Bocuse, the Troigros dynasty and Victor Hugo. A region-by-region index of each area’s famed cheeses, charcuterie, and recipes. Poster-size guides to the breads of France, the wines of France, the oysters of France—even the frites of France. You’ll meet endive, the belle of the north; discover the croissant timeline; understand the art of tartare; find a chart of wine bottle sizes, from the tiny split to the Nebuchadnezzar (the equivalent of 20 standard bottles); and follow the family tree of French sauces.
Adding to the overall delight of the book is the random arrangement of its content (a tutorial on mayonnaise is next to a list of places where Balzac ate), making each page a found treasure. It’s a book you’ll open anywhere—and never want to close.”

3. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

I have totally enjoyed this book, as most by Sedaris. This one is typical of this author.
Excerpt from my review:
On the French medical system, French doctors and dentists. So hilarious and so true, foi de Française!
In this book, you will travel all over the world, not only to France, but also to Australia, to China and Japan, etc. I really enjoy his style, his views always right on target, with love and humor, and the way he knows how to suddenly give a final twist you were not expecting at all.

4.  The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

I haven’t read this one, but am planning to, as I have thoroughly enjoyed a couple of books by this author, especially Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

“For more than two centuries, E pluribus unum-Out of many, one-has been featured on America’s official government seals and stamped on its currency. But how did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? In this monumental history, Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements that helped forge and unify America and the pioneers who have toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizens and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.
Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, including Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery Expedition to the Pacific Coast, the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph, and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland; Rochester to San Francisco; Truckee to Laramie; Seattle to Anchorage, introducing these fascinating men and others-some familiar, some forgotten, some hardly known-who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States. Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.
Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh, lively, and erudite look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together, from one of our most entertaining, probing, and insightful observers.”

5.  Men Without Women

VERDICT:  Very enjoyable collection of short stories, where you can easily recognize the hand of the master. My favorite Japanese author.

6.  The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

I’m curious both about Russia and about this smart author. I have actually watched a video where she presented this book. Brilliant mind. Another one far too long on my TBR (four years).

The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low- level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.
Handpicked as a successor by the “family” surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country’s fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.
As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a “faceless” man maneuvered his way into absolute-and absolutely corrupt-power has the makings of a classic of narrative nonfiction.”

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