Six degrees of separation: from a redhead to an alien head

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a redhead to an alien head

I had another great fun with this one, especially seeing where I landed. Read below to understand my final book.

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

  Redhead by the side of the road  Red Handed

  The Kissing Hand A Kiss Before Dying

  the night before Binti The Night Masquerade

1. Redhead by the Side of the Road
A book longlisted for the Booker. I haven’t read it and don’t intend to.
“Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend tells him she’s facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son.
These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah’s meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever.”

2. Red Handed
This is actually a thriller I was asked to translate into French!
Katerina has a knack for getting herself stuck into impossible situations, and dangerous on top of it. More than once the reader wants to shout to her, no, don’t do that!
If she trusted more her boyfriend and his advice, she might fare better, but there would be less adventures for the reader!
Her tribulations usually happen outside her professional activities, but she still uses her gifts as a forensic accountant to scent trouble and to expose the bad guys (and gals).
There are good scenes of suspense.

3. The Kissing Hand
VERDICT: A cute little story

 

4. A Kiss Before Dying
A classic (1953) mystery I actually haven’t read yet, but it’s been on my list
A Kiss Before Dying not only debuted the talent of best-selling novelist Ira Levin to rave reviews, it also set a new standard in the art of mystery and suspense. Now a modern classic, as gripping in its tautly plotted action as it is penetrating in its exploration of a criminal mind, it tells the shocking tale of a young man who will stop at nothing–not even murder–to get where he wants to go. For he has dreams; plans. He also has charm, good looks, sex appeal, intelligence. And he has a problem. Her name is Dorothy; she loves him, and she’s pregnant. The solution may demand desperate measures. But, then, he looks like the kind of guy who could get away with murder. Compellingly, step by determined step, the novel follows this young man in his execution of one plan he had neither dreamed nor foreseen. Nor does he foresee how inexorably he will be enmeshed in the consequences of his own extreme deed.”

 

5. The Night Before
VERDICT: Strong psychological thriller, with nice twists and complex characters.

6. The Night Masquerade (the link goes to my short 8 minutes video about it on Instagram)
This is in the genre Africanfuturism.
Totally original and fascinating mix, and I have devoured this and the previous two books in the series.
It’s about a Himba girl, going to attend a university on another planet. S it’s a mix of African cultural elements and science fiction! I don’t think I could find more diverse than that!

The connection with the head is that Himba women have amazing hairdos, and on this other planet, the girl discovers creatures with very weird heads!

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Six degrees of separation: from Hamlet to Hercule Poirot

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from Hamlet to Hercule Poirot

Ah ah, could giving us a one unusual word title be too tough for my way of playing this game? Ok I had to change a bit my own rule, but it worked, by using the same first name of author to start with!!

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

  Hamnet  Writing the icon

The English Grammar Workbook for Adult  The Professor and the Madman

Housekeeper And The Professor  Peril at End House

1. Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell
A popular book, and I love Hamlet by Shakespeare, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet for this book.
“Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.
Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.
Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.”

2. Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding
She quotes a lot St Isaac the Syrian, and it is always refreshing to see a Father from the Christian East quoted by a Christian from the Western world. Going back to our common roots…
“The subtitle of Maggie Ross’s new book captures its essence, for it is about silence and our need to behold God. Beholding is a notion that we are in danger of losing. It is often lost in translation, even by the NRSV and the Jerusalem Bible. Beholding needs to be recovered both in theology and practice.”

3. The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing
VERDICT: The perfect tool both for ESL and EFL students, from basic grammatical rules to practical and even creative writing.

4. The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

I haven’t posted any review, but I really enjoyed it, like any book by Simon Winchester anyway.
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. The compilation of the OED, begun in 1857, was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.”

5. The Housekeeper and the Professor
VERDICT:  The Housekeeper And The Professor is  a difficult book to review; the novel is more about the ambiance than the plot itself. You may even end up loving maths at the end!

6. Peril at End House
OK, slightly cheating again, by using only half of the first word…
I haven’t written anything about this one either, but it definitely was a great plot.
“Hercule Poirot is vacationing on the Cornish coast when he meets Nick Buckly. Nick is the young and reckless mistress of End House, an imposing structure perched on the rocky cliffs of St. Loo.
Poirot has taken a particular interest in the young woman who has recently narrowly escaped a series of life-threatening accidents. Something tells the Belgian sleuth that these so-called accidents are more than just mere coincidences or a spate of bad luck. It seems all too clear to him that someone is trying to do away with poor Nick, but who? And, what is the motive? In his quest for answers, Poirot must delve into the dark history of End House. The deeper he gets into his investigation, the more certain he is that the killer will soon strike again. And, this time, Nick may not escape with her life.”

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Six degrees of separation: from God to Christmas

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from God to Christmas

Starting with God, and ending with Christmas, AND for this December chain, obviously I’m very happy how it turned out.

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 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

  Are You There God   All the Devils Are Here

  The Devil's Door   The Doors of the Sea     atlantic   Very French Christmas Cover

1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
A Children classic, which I don’t think I have ever read.
“Margaret was a bit confused about religion. When she moved from the city to her new home, she didn’t know whether to join the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What made matters worse was that, going on twelve, she had plenty to talk over with God. She had a bra but needed to grow a bit to put something in it. Nancy and Gretchen had already had their period. What was taking her so long? Sometimes she got so frustrated she ignored Him-until the next time she really needed someone to listen.”

2. All the Devils Are Here
This is the latest book by Louise Penny. I love this series. This could be the best of the series, it is set in Paris. Alas, I have not written a review for it!
“On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.
When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.”

3. The Devil’s Door
I haven’t reviewed it, but loved this Medieval historical novel. You can check my review of the previous book in the series.
“A wealthy countess lies dying at the Convent of the Paraclete, brutally beaten by unknown assailants. Despite entreaties, she is unwilling to name her killer. Beautiful Catherine LeVendeur, the Paraclete’s most learned young novice-scholar, vows to find out the identity of the woman’s attacker.”

4. The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?
Great Orthodox and philosophical reflection on the tsunami:
“As news reports of the horrific tsunami in Asia reached the rest of the world, commentators were quick to seize upon the disaster as proof of either God’s power or God’s nonexistence. Expanding on his Wall Street Journal piece, Tremors of Doubt, published the last day of 2004, David Bentley Hart here returns to this pressing question: How can the existence of a good and loving God be reconciled with such suffering? Hart clarifies the biblical account of God’s goodness, the nature of evil, and the shape of redemption, incisively revealing where both Christianity’s champions and its critics misrepresent what is most essential to Christian belief. Though he responds to those skeptical of Christian faith, Hart is at his most perceptive and provocative as he examines Christian attempts to rationalize the tsunami disaster. Many people want a divine plan that will make sense of evil. Hart contends, however, that the history of suffering and death is not willed by God. Rather than appealing to a divine calculus that can account for every instance of suffering, Christians must recognize the ongoing struggle between the rebellious powers that enslave the world and the God who loves it. This meditation by a brilliant young theologian will deeply challenge serious readers grappling with God’s ways in a suffering world.”

 

5. Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
VERDICT (in 2011): This is the most thorough “biography” I have ever read, and the most entertaining as well.
“Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A gifted storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester sets the great blue sea’s epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind’s intellectual evolution, telling not only the story of an ocean, but the story of civilization.”

6. A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time
VERDICT: Experience Christmas as you have never before, with this unique, very French short story collection.

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