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.

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Six degrees of separation: from an Australian gang to a Brit who never told a lie

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from an Australian gang to a Brit
who never told a lie!

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
The book we are starting from speaks is about a famous Australian gang, and I end up with a classic full of humor about a Brit who said he never told a lie! Can you guess who these people are?

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

True History of the Kelly Gang

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

“In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.”

Conan Doyle for the Defense   An Elegant Defense

  The Novel of the Century A Novel Bookstore

  Mr Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore Meet Mr Mulliner

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

1. Conan 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

VERDICT: A must read for all Sherlock Holmes’ fan. A well researched piece of literary critique.

2. An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives, by Matt Richtel

For once, this is not a book that I have read, but that I added to my TBR (In February).
Here is just a short paragraph from the synopsis:
“A magnificently reported and soulfully crafted exploration of the human immune systemthe key to health and wellness, life and death. An epic, first-of-its-kind book, entwining leading-edge scientific discovery with the intimate stories of four individual lives, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist.”

3. The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables, by David Bellos

It is very sad I never reviewed it!
If you love Les Misérables, especially the book itself, this is a MUST read, with so much fabulous background information. And so well written by a very gifted translator.

4. A Novel Bookstore, by Laurence Cossé

The end was a bit disappointing for me, though the concept of the boo is really neat.

5. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

VERDICT: The most yummy book I have read this year. Cook and learn French at the same time!

6. Meet Mr. Mulliner, by P.G. Wodehouse

I read several books by Wodehouse about twenty years ago, this one among others, and really enjoyed it a lot. To be honest, I really can’t remember a thing, except that I had great laughs. Listing it here is a great reminder that I really need to go back to Wodehouse.
According to his own statement, Mr. Mulliner never told a lie…

A fun self-description to end up with, when we started with a famous infamous Australian gang…

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Six degrees of separation: from end to beginning

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from end to beginning
or from end to hand!

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
The book we are starting from speaks about an end, and my final degree evokes a beginning, and oh, there’s end in the first book and hand in the last one, how fun!

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

the end of the affair

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I read it ten years ago, but was not wowed by it.

“‘This is a record of hate far more than of love,’ writes Maurice Bendrix in the opening passages of The End of the Affair, and it is a strange hate indeed that compels him to set down the retrospective account of his adulterous affair with Sarah Miles.
Now, a year after Sarah’s death, Bendrix seeks to exorcise the persistence of his passion by retracing its course from obsessive love to love-hate. At first, he believes he hates Sarah and her husband, Henry. Yet as he delves deeper into his emotional outlook, Bendrix’s hatred shifts to the God he feels has broken his life, but whose existence at last comes to recognize. ”

The End of Days The Final Days of Abbot Montrose

  Leave No Trace french leave  

  The Hands On French Cookbook  In Good Hands  

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

1.  The End of Days, by Jenny Erpenbeck

VERDICT: Great piece of literature reflecting on life circumstances and how a small detail could change everything. Illustrated with a unique original structure and writing style. Perfect if you enjoy trying something different.

2. The Final Days of Abbot Montrose, by Sven Elvestad

VERDICT:  A clever plot symbolizing different layers of the Norwegian society of early 20th century. A nice glimpse into the impressive work of Sven Elvestad, aka Stein Riverton.

3. Leave no Trace: The Final Moments of Florence W. Aldridge, by Tanya Anne Crosby

This is actually a novel I translated into French. Great plot and characters!

“Less than 48 hours.
That’s how long Florence W. Aldridge has to live.
Every event in a person’s life is connected. The state of our lives, at any given time, is the sum of everything we have done and everywhere we have been. Our next decision determines, not merely where our lives end, but who we become along the way. How far can one lost woman go to redeem herself by the time the clock stops ticking?
These are the final moments of Florence W. Aldridge…”

4. French Leave, by Anna Gavalda

A nice and quick read:

“Simon, Garance and Lola flee a family wedding that promises to be dull to visit their younger brother, Vincent, who is working as a guide at a château in the heart of the charming Tours countryside. For a few hours, they forget about kids, spouses, work and the many demands adulthood makes upon them and lose themselves in a day of laughter, teasing, and memories. As simply and as spontaneously as the adventure began, it ends. All four return to their everyday lives, carrying with them the magic of their brief reunion. They are stronger now, and happier, for having rediscovered the ties that bind them.”

5. The Hands On French French Cookbook: Connect With French Through Simple, Healthy Cooking, by Elisabeth de Châtillon

VERDICT: The most yummy book I have read this year. Cook and learn French at the same time!

6. In Good Hands: The Keeping of a Family Farm, by Charles Fish

Exceptionally, this is a book I haven’t read yet. It’s been on my TBR for two years, I have the feeling I would really enjoy it. 

In 1836, Henry Lester moved his family from the Vermont hills to better land on the valley floor north of Rutland, beginning a saga of six generations on a farm, which this book portrays and explores with an affectionate but critical eye. What gives the book its distinctive charm is its vivid evocation of a way of life: the beloved grandmother keeping house both as a shelter and as a temple of the spirit; the uncles sowing and harvesting, raising and slaughtering; the author, as a small boy, working with the men, fishing and hunting, and, later, reflecting on the issues of pleasure and work, freedom and community.”

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HAVE YOU READ AND ENJOYED ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
IF YOU HAVE CREATED A CHAIN,
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