Six degrees of separation: from New York to Paris

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from New York to Paris

Time for another quirky variation on this meme.
Last month, I started in New England and ended up in Paris!
And today, I started in New York and also ended up in Paris (not a bad place to be on January 1st), with a very different chain! Exceptionally, it has several spiritual books, including my own!
Enjoy my chain, and happy new year, with of course many awesome new books!

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

Rules of Civility

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I haven’t read it and probably will not. This type of focus on high echelons of society doesn’t grab me. Plus the word “entertaining” in the synopsis is enough to make me run away.

This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike. ”

The 4th rule of ten The Wisdom of the Desert

  Seasons of Grace  Light to Enlighten My Darkness  

  Paris Paris Bridges of Paris  

1.  The Fourth Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery, by Gay Hendricks

I read 4 books in this series.
VERDICT: Original and riveting mysteries combining Buddhist wisdom and threats from dangerous powerful people on the international scene. Very good if you enjoy trying something different.

2. The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century, by Thomas Merton

I read it in a previous life, when I was not reviewing books.
It’s an excellent introduction and sampling of the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers (4th century Christian monks). Those monks knew human psychology better than we do today! And if you have read any book by Merton, you know how good he is.

“The personal tones of the translations, the blend of reverence and humor so characteristic of him, show how deeply Merton identified with the legendary authors of these sayings and parables, the fourth-century Christian Fathers who sought solitude and contemplation in the deserts of the Near East.
The hermits of Screte who turned their backs on a corrupt society remarkably like our own had much in common with the Zen masters of China and Japan, and Father Merton made his selection from them with an eye to the kind of impact produced by the Zen mondo.”

3. Seasons of Grace: Wisdom from the Cloister, by Mother Gail Fitzpatrick

Also read in my previous life!
Excellent everyday wisdom, especially if you need a guide for your spiritual likfe.

“This wonderful book contains fifty scripturally-based reflections developed from the “chapter talks” delivered to the Trappistine Sisters and their guests at the Abbey of Our Lady of the Mississippi (in Dubuque, Iowa).”
Check them out, they have great short videos, and they sell delicious caramels and other home-made goodies!

4. A Light To Enlighten The Darkness: Daily Readings for Meditation during the Winter Seasonby Emma Cazabonne (Editor)

Yes, this is my own book!
The Winter season has started recently, so it’s not too late to enjoy the book!

“God is light, says Saint John, and in him there is no darkness at all. These passages from the works of early Cistercian monks and nuns reflect on the mystery of that divine light. If we have the light of Christ in our heart, we discover it is there to shine both for ourselves and for others and to guide us ever closer to the mystery of God.
Emma Cazabonne compiled her selections over twenty years of lectio divina and a growing fascination with similarities between Cistercian and Orthodox spirituality.”

5. Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Lightby David Downie

I have read many books with the word light in the title, so I decided to highlight one you may not have heard about.

MY THOUGHTS:
There’s a great balance between history, art, culture, and all kinds of anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed the way he highlighted what each recent French president changed in Paris, as far as architecture or city planning is concerned. This is an original and very interesting way of looking at the city of light, and I highly recommend it to any Paris lover.

6. Bridges of Parisby Michael Saint James

If I have read many books with the word light in the title, I have read even more with the word Paris in it! Again, you probably haven’t run often into this one, plus it’s gorgeous, and in case you need a last minute awesome gift for a fan of France, that would do it! 

VERDICT: Gorgeous coffee table book on Paris that will both delight your guests and teach them lots of fascinating facts on Paris history.

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IF YOU HAVE CREATED A CHAIN,
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Six degrees of separation: from New England to Paris

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from New England to Paris

Time for another quirky variation on this meme. I started in New England and ended up in Paris!
I was shocked to realize that usually when doing 6 degrees of separation, you end up with 7 books, not 6. I guess I learned something new today!! How come no one ever asked me why I only played with 6 books!

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 Goodreads page

Ethan Frome

This is the book we are supposed to start from.
I haven’t read it and probably will not.

“The classic novel of despair, forbidden emotions, and sexual undercurrents set against the austere New England countryside.
Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a hired girl, Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent.
In one of American fiction’s finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio toward their tragic destinies. Different in both tone and theme from Wharton’s other works, Ethan Frome has become perhaps her most enduring and most widely read book.”

the touchstone  The Moonstone

  Moon in a Dead Eye  Living With a Dead Language

  pancakes-in-paris Three Hours in Paris

1.  The Touchstone, by Edith Wharton

I did read this novella by Wharton, and so decided to go with this easy link.
Click on the cover to read my review and synopsis.

2. The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins

I liked it, though I thought The Woman in White was much better.

“The Moonstone is a page-turner”, writes Carolyn Heilbrun. “It catches one up and unfolds its amazing story through the recountings of its several narrators, all of them enticing and singular.” Wilkie Collins’s spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre–the detective mystery. Hinging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, this riveting novel features the innovative Sergeant Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid, and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.”

3. Moon in a Dead Eye, by Pascal Garnier

VERDICTIf you enjoy noir literature, why not expand your horizon and try this short mystery, with a tight plot and great writing.

4. Living With a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin, by Ann Patty

A fabulous memoir!

“An entertaining exploration of the richness and relevance of the Latin language and literature, and an inspiring account of finding renewed purpose through learning something new and challenging.
After thirty-five years of living in New York City, Ann Patty stopped working and moved to the country upstate. She was soon bored, aimless, and lost in the woods. Hoping to challenge her restless, word-loving brain, and to find a new engagement with life, she began a serious study of Latin as an auditor at local colleges.
In Living with a Dead Language, Patty weaves elements of her personal life into the confounding grammar and syntax of Latin as she chronicles not only the daily slog but also the deep pleasures of trying to master an inflected language. Courses in Roman history and epigraphy give her new insight into her tragic, long-deceased mother; Horace into the loss of a brilliant friend;, Lucretius into her tenacious drivenness and attraction to Buddhism. Catullus calls up her early days in 1970s New York while Ovid adds a delightful dimension to the flora and fauna that surround her. Finally, Virgil reconciles her to her new life—no longer an urban exile but a scholar, writer, and teacher. Along the way, she meets an intriguing, impassioned cast of characters: professors, students, and classicists outside of academia who become her new colleagues and who keep Latin very much alive.
Written with humor, candor, and an infectious enthusiasm for words and grammar, Patty’s book is a celebration of how learning and literature can transform the past and lead to a new, unexpected future.”

5. 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.

6. Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black

VERDICT: Multi-layered fascinating historical spy thriller, enriched by Cara Black’s intimate knowledge of Paris!

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Six degrees of separation: from asking to spelling

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from asking to spelling

Time for another quirky variation on this meme. I started with asking a question, making up the title we are supposed to begin with, and ended up with spelling.

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 Goodreads page

What are you going through  Or What You Will

Twelfth Night  The Lost Love Letters

The Lost Spells   The History of English Spelling

1.  What Are You Going Through, by Sigrid Nunez

I have not read this book, and probably will not.

“A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life: an ex she runs into by chance at a public forum, an Airbnb owner unsure how to interact with her guests, a stranger who seeks help comforting his elderly mother, a friend of her youth now hospitalized with terminal cancer. In each of these people the woman finds a common need: the urge to talk about themselves and to have an audience to their experiences. The narrator orchestrates this chorus of voices for the most part as a passive listener, until one of them makes an extraordinary request, drawing her into an intense and transformative experience of her own.
In What Are You Going Through, Nunez brings wisdom, humor, and insight to a novel about human connection and the changing nature of relationships in our times. A surprising story about empathy and the unusual ways one person can help another through hardship, her book offers a moving and provocative portrait of the way we live now.”

2. Or What You Will, by Jo Walton

VERDICT from my 5 star review:
Unique fantasy love letter to the Renaissance. Luscious!

I so need to read more books by her!

3. Twelfth Night Or What You Will, by William Shakespeare

Jo Walton’s book got its title from this play, so the link was obvious.
A fun play that I read in 2012. Alas I didn’t review it. The disguise and quidproquo were great!

“Named for the twelfth night after Christmas, the end of the Christmas season, Twelfth Night plays with love and power. The Countess Olivia, a woman with her own household, attracts Duke (or Count) Orsino. Two other would-be suitors are her pretentious steward, Malvolio, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
Onto this scene arrive the twins Viola and Sebastian; caught in a shipwreck, each thinks the other has drowned. Viola disguises herself as a male page and enters Orsino’s service. Orsino sends her as his envoy to Olivia—only to have Olivia fall in love with the messenger. The play complicates, then wonderfully untangles, these relationships.”

4. The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France, by Constant J. Mews

Again, read in 2014, but not reviewed. This was a fabulous presentation of Héloïse’s and Abélard’s early love letters. Text and explanation. Loved it! If you love the Middle-Ages, you really need to read this one.

“This book examines a medieval text long neglected by most scholars. The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard looks at the earlier correspondence between these two famous individuals, revealing the emotions and intimate exchanges that occurred between them. The perspectives presented here are very different from the view related by Abelard in his “History of My Calamities,” an account which provoked a much more famous exchange of letters between Heloise and Abelard after they had both entered religious life.
Offering a full translation of the love letters along with a copy of the actual Latin text, Mews provides an in-depth analysis of the debate concerning the authenticity of the letters and look at the way in which the relationship between Heloise and Abelard has been perceived over the centuries. He also explores the political, literary, and religious contexts in which the two figures conducted their affair and offers new insights into Heloise as an astonishingly gifted writer, whose literary gifts were ultimately frustrated by the course of her relationship with her teacher.”

5. The Lost Spells, by Robert MacFarlane

My short Goodreads review:
This is a gorgeous book, with wonderful little poems, containing lots of plays on sounds, and fabulous illustrations. All about nature, birds, fox, etc. Really a gem.

Again, an author I really want to read more

6. The History of English Spelling, by Christopher Upward & George Davidson

For once, a book that’s on my TBR. I love books about languages.

The History of English Spelling reveals the history of Modern English spelling, tracing its origins and development from Old English up to the present day.
Includes a wealth of information and data on English spelling not available anywhere else. Includes detailed coverage of the contributions from French, Latin, Greek – and the many other languages – to our current orthography Serves as a companion volume to Geoffrey Hughes’s A History of English Words in the same series.” 

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