Six degrees of separation: from scandals to pancakes

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from scandals to pancakes

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
There’s really no common point between the type of scandal featured in the book we were supposed to start from, and pancakes, except that pancakes is comfort food, and sometimes it helps…

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
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

Notes on a Scandal

Six Degrees of Separation October 2022Notes on a Scandal

1.  Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout, by Philip Connors
My review with a few excerpts is here.

2.  The Mystic of Fire and Light: St. Symeon the New Theologian, by George A. Maloney
This is a great and very accessible translation to Symeon’s (949-1022) hymns. My review with excerpts is here.

3. The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel
I am so glad I can honor this great author (1952-2022) through this post.

VERDICT: With her exquisite style, Hilary Mantel gives a magnificent end to her Cromwell trilogy. Another masterpiece.
My full review, with long excerpts, and links to my reviews of the first two books.

4. Dead‘s Man Mirror, by Agatha Christie

The volume contains actually three stories: “Dead Man’s Mirror”, “Murder in the Mews”, and “Triangle at Rhodes”.
These were not my favorites.

5.  Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin, by Ann Patty
I enjoyed this book a lot. Here are a few short thoughts on it.

6.  Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France, by Craig Carlson

VERDICT: Eye-opening memoir of an American living his dream to open a restaurant in Paris. Meet the real France.
My full review with a few excerpts is here

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Six degrees of separation: from a nuclear power plant to bird migration

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a nuclear power plant to bird migration

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
There does not seem to be much in common between a nuclear power plant and bird migration, but they are connected! See how:

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
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

Ichi-F

This time, we are supposed to start from the book we ended up with in our last participation.
At this time when we are on the brink of another nuclear disaster, I highly recommend you to read Ichi-F.
Plus, it’s a great example of a well done “graphic novel” nonfiction.
 Six Degrees of Separation September 2022

Ichi-F
(Ichi means 1 in Japanese)

1. The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate

This is the sequel to The One And Only Ivan, and just as good. Great children’s literature author!

“Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.”

2. The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs, by Elaine Sciolino

VERDICT: Beautiful portrait of a street, both unique and representative of the real Paris.
Full review here

3. Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys Across a Changing Russia, by Lisa Dickey

I have not read this one yet. I put it on my TBR five years ago. Alas, life in Russia must have changed a lot since the book was written (in 2017), but I’m still interested.

“Lisa Dickey traveled across the whole of Russia three times—in 1995, 2005 and 2015—making friends in eleven different cities, then coming back again and again to see how their lives had changed. Like the acclaimed British documentary series Seven Up!, she traces the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives, in the process painting a deeply nuanced portrait of modern Russia.
From the caretakers of a lighthouse in Vladivostok, to the Jewish community of Birobidzhan, to a farmer in Buryatia, to a group of gay friends in Novosibirsk, to a wealthy “New Russian” family in Chelyabinsk, to a rap star in Moscow, Dickey profiles a wide cross-section of people in one of the most fascinating, dynamic and important countries on Earth. Along the way, she explores dramatic changes in everything from technology to social norms, drinks copious amounts of vodka, and learns firsthand how the Russians really feel about Vladimir Putin.
Including powerful photographs of people and places over time, and filled with wacky travel stories, unexpected twists, and keen insights, Bears in the Streets offers an unprecedented on-the-ground view of Russia today.”

4. Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey Into Bhutan, by Jamie Zeppa

Excellent nonfiction!
See the synopsis and my thoughts on the book

5. To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, by Natsume Soseki

It’s not my favorite by Soseki, but still, I enjoyed it a lot. Alas, I never took time to write a review.

“Legendary Japanese novelist Soseki Natsume dissects the human personality in all its complexity in this unforgettable narrative. Keitaro, a recent college graduate, lives a life intertwined with several other characters, each carrying their own emotional baggage. Romantic, practical, and philosophical themes enable Soseki to explore the very meaning of life.”

6. North on the Wing: Travels with the Songbird Migration of Spring, by Bruce M. Beehler

Another book I haven’t read yet, on my TBR since December 2017.

“The story of an ornithologist’s journey to trace the spring migration of songbirds from the southern border of the United States through the heartland and into Canada.
In late March 2015, ornithologist Bruce M. Beehler set off on a solo four-month trek to track songbird migration and the northward progress of spring through America. Traveling via car, canoe, and bike and on foot, Beehler followed woodland warblers and other Neotropical songbird species from the southern border of Texas, where the birds first arrive after their winter sojourns in South America and the Caribbean, northward through the Mississippi drainage to its headwaters in Minnesota and onward to their nesting grounds in the north woods of Ontario.
In North on the Wing, Beehler describes both the epic migration of songbirds across the country and the gradual dawning of springtime through the U.S. heartland–the blossoming of wildflowers, the chorusing of frogs, the leafing out of forest canopies–and also tells the stories of the people and institutions dedicated to studying and conserving the critical habitats and processes of spring songbird migration. Inspired in part by Edwin Way Teale’s landmark 1951 book North with the Spring, this book–part travelogue, part field journal, and part environmental and cultural history–is a fascinating first-hand account of a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
It engages readers in the wonders of spring migration and serves as a call for the need to conserve, restore, and expand bird habitats to preserve them for future generations of both birds and humans.”

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Six degrees of separation: from a Japanese American author to a Japanese nuclear power plant

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a Japanese American author
to a Japanese nuclear power plant

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
I’m so thrilled I started with a Japanese American author, and ended up in Japan, of course without anything planned ahead.

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

The Book of Form and Emptiness

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I have not read it, and I am not sure I want to read it. I first want to red another book by this author, A Tale for the Time Being.

A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being.
After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house–a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where “things happen.” He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book–a talking thing–who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.
  ”

6 degrees Aug 2022

The Book of Form and Emptiness

1. The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura

I learned a lot about tea, its origin, the three major eras and ways of enjoying it – boiled, whipped, and finally steeped. Only recently have we been steeping it. And did you know it used to be drunk with salt in it?
See my review

2. Infused: Adventures In Teaby Henrietta Lovell

I haven’t read this one yet, it’s been on my TBR since last December.
Have you read it?

Henrietta Lovell is best known as ‘The Rare Tea Lady’. She is on a mission to revolutionise the way we drink tea by replacing industrially produced teabags with the highest quality tea leaves. Her quest has seen her travel to the Shire Highlands of Malawi, across the foothills of the Himalayas, and to hidden gardens in the Wuyi-Shan to source the world’s most extraordinary teas.
Infused invites us to discover these remarkable places, introducing us to the individual growers and household name chefs Lovell has met along the way – and reveals the true pleasures of tea. The result is a delicious infusion of travel writing, memoir, recipes, and glorious photography, all written with Lovell’s unique charm and wit.

3. Are We French Yet? Keith & Val’s Adventures in Provence, by Keith Van Sickle

VERDICT: Nice collections of funny and culturally aware vignettes highlighting how life can be enriched by being familiar with two cultures.
Full review here

4. Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories from the French Decadent Tradition, by Gretchen Schultz (Editor), Lewis Seifert (Editor)

VERDICT: Remarkable anthology of famous fairy tales as reinterpreted by French authors of the Decadent movement. Fascinating and very enjoyable example of comparative literature at its best.
Read my 5 star review

5. Goddess Power: A Kids’ Book of Greek and Roman Mythology: 10 Empowering Tales of Legendary Women, by Yung In Chae

VERDICT: Very pretty and well done summary of Greek mythology for children, teens, and adults.
Another 5 star review

6. Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, by Kazuto Tatsuta

This graphic nonfiction was absolutely fascinating. This is a big book, 561 pages, with a lot to read on each page. But so worth it!
Check some of my thoughts

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IF YOU HAVE CREATED A CHAIN,
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