Six degrees of separation: from a place to a killer

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a place to a killer

Time for another quirky variation on 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 – 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

Second Place Second Sister

  Hikikomori The Rose Rent  

  Lady Agnes Mystery 1 The Lady Killer

Click on the covers 
links will send you to my review or to the relevant Goodreads page

1.  Second Place, by Rachel Cusk

I have not read this book, should I?
“A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. His provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally in the intersecting spaces of our internal and external worlds.
With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, Rachel Cusk’s Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.”

2. Second Sister, by Chan Ho-Kei

VERDICT from my review:
If you are looking for something different, geeky, suspenseful, and smart, don’t wait, read Second Sister now.

3. Hikikomori and the Rental Sister, by Jeff Backhaus

From my review:
“It’s a very deep book I think, that will stay with me. The ending was very satisfying.”

4. The Rose Rent, by Ellis Peters

OK, I could not find another title in my list with the adjective ‘rental’, so I went with ‘rent’, though it doesn’t mean at all what it meant in the previous title. I warned you about the quirkiness, didn’t I?

I have devoured this whole Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, alas no review here, as it was mainly before I started blogging. Highly recommended! The movies as well.
“A late spring in 1142 brings dismay to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, for there may be no roses by June 22nd. On that day the young widow Perle must receive one white rose as rent for the house she has given to benefit the abbey or the contract is void. When nature finally complies, a pious monk is sent to pay the rent – and is found murdered beside the hacked rose-bush.
The abbey’s wise herbalist, Brother Cadfael, follows the trail of bloodied petals. He knows the lovely widow’s dowry is far greater with her house included, and she will likely wed again. But before Cadfael can ponder if a greedy suitor has done this dreadful deed, another crime is committed. Now the good monk must thread his way through a tangle more tortuous than the widow’s thorny bushes — or there will be more tears…”

5. The Lady Agnès Mystery vol 1: Book 1. The Season of the Beast Book 2. The Breath of the Rose, by Andrea Japp

VERDICT from my review:
Suspenseful saga set in France in the 14th century, at the time of the dreadful Inquisition. Rich in historical details and ripe with secrets powerful enough to kill or to die for.

6. The Lady Killer, by Masako Togawa

VERDICT from my review:
Great suspenseful Japanese thriller with very smart plot.

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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 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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