Six Degrees of Separation - December 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020


It's a beautiful sun shining day and we've just realized that we haven't done Six Degrees of Separation yet this month. We didn't really have a plan for this month's theme, but the closer we get to Christmas, the more inspiration struck. Six Degrees of Separation is hosted by Books are my Favorite and Best.

 On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Books can be linked in obvious ways, for example: same authors, same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or you might choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read in the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend or books that remind you of a particular time in your life. The choices are endless here!  

The starting point for this month is Are you there God? It's me, Margaret by Judy Blume

We haven't read this book yet, but it is on our Classics Club reading list, so I guess we'll get to it sooner or later. Can't tell you all that much about it, luckily Goodreads can!

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.
But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.
Margaret is funny and real, and her thoughts and feelings are oh-so-relatable—you’ll feel like she’s talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend.

So where to start? The question quite strike me and I immediately thought of 4 other ladies who most probably asked that exact same question in 70 C.E. 


In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman's novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael's mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker's wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior's daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and an expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.
The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets - about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
 

I'm sure they felt Godforsaken with no hope or salvation in sight. That is until we reach our second degree.


Fulton Oursler's outstanding classic 
The Greatest Story Ever Told narrates the ever-new, everlasting story of the life of Jesus Christ. Written with powerful simplicity and set against a rich and accurate historical background, this account of the greatest life ever lived describes the moving story of Christ's nativity, the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, Christ's youth, His public ministry, passion, death, and resurrection.
While there have been many lives of Christ published, few have received so wide a popular acclamation as Fulton Oursler's classic tale. Since it was first published in 1949, when it was instantly acclaimed by both the secular and lay press and endorsed by clergy of all faiths, The Greatest Story Ever Told has gone into scores of printings, has been read by millions, and is one of the most successful bestsellers of all time. The life of Christ is certainly the greatest story ever told, and Fulton Oursler has told it superbly well.

I was contemplating using The Nativity Story, I so love that story. But Fulton Oursler's classic just really tells the greatest story ever told. Mommy can read me The Nativity Story on Christmas Eve. 

We all know how Jesus' life on earth end and that brings us to our third degree.


A Roman soldier, Marcellus, wins Christ's robe as a gambling prize. He then sets forth on a quest to find the truth about the Nazarene's robe-a quest that reaches to the very roots and heart of Christianity and is set against the vividly limned background of ancient Rome. Here is a timeless story of adventure, faith, and romance, a tale of spiritual longing and ultimate redemption.

This book is easily one of my all time favorite books. I've bought so many copies and hand it out as presents. Marcellus walking in Jesus' footsteps just made The Gospel so much more real to me. 

During his endeavors, he did of course cross paths with our fourth degree.


The dramatic story of Simon Peter, is set on the shores of Galilee, he crossroads of the world--a polyglot world of quarreling, scheming peoples, warring then as they are today.
Lloyd C. Douglas has taken his characters from this world: Simon, the Big Fisherman, two-fisted and profane, who lays down his nets in a momentous act of faith; Fara, half Judean and half Arabian, bent on an errand of vengeance; and Voldi, the young Arabian prince who takes up Fara's vendetta when she is purged of her hate.
In The Big Fisherman, the characters in the greatest story in Western culture live in three dimensions.
Only the man who wrote The Robe could have written The Big Fisherman.
 

Another man called Peter brings us to our fifth degree.


Filled with humor, wisdom and loving detail, the powerful story of 
Peter Marshall's life has touched the hearts and minds of millions of people. It is a book about love - the love between a dynamic man and his God, and the tender love between a man and the woman he married. It is also the gripping adventure of a poor Scottish immigrant who became chaplain of the United States Senate and one of the most revered men in America.
A Man Called Peter became the number-one best-seller when it was published in 1951, and around the world lives were changed by reading of the chaplain's remarkable faith. In the foreword to this book, Peter's son writes, "Even when [Dad's] words were preached 'secondhand'. . . in the movie version of A Man Called Peter, they had an amazing effect on people."
Through Peter's story and the compelling sermons and prayers included in A Man Called Peter, you will discover insight into God, man, and life on earth and hereafter. You will also be encouraged by the realization that "if God can do so much for a man called Peter, he can do as much for you."

As the Lord says "I have called you by name, you are mine". Therefore, our last link to make up this month's chain, will be one more name.


THE TOUCHING TRUE STORY THAT WON THE HEARTS OF MILLIONS OF READERS AROUND THE WORLD.

Anna was only four years old when Fynn found her on London's fog-shrouded docks. He took her back to his mother's home, and from that first moment, their times together were filled with delight and discovery. Anna had an astonishing ability to ask--and to answer--life's largest questions. Her total openness and honesty amazed all who knew her. She seemed to understand with uncanny certainty the purpose of being, the essence of feeling, the beauty of love. You see, Anna had a very special friendship with Mister God.



May you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. Take care and remember the first Christmas was nothing glamorous or extravagant, we can all have a simple and safe Christmas this year.

Lots of Love,

Mareli & Elza 





31 comments

  1. You've included two of my favourite novels of all time, books I read years ago, but ones I loved - The Robe and The Big Fisherman. I'd love to re-read them!

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    1. Hi Margaret! Yes, they are two of my favorite books as well. So grateful for my aunt who introduced me to them. Such Classics, but with such relevant stories.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. It's never too late to take part, and you certainly took a very seasonal, Christmas-appropriate approach.

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    1. That was the intention Marina. I love Christmas and will use it as much as I can!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. Ah... I assumed from the title that this post was about famous book heroines, but I see that you focused on the "God" aspect. Very interesting picks, can't say I've read any of them, but consider me hooked! Now you've got me interested in Roman Empire lit/ movies. *Sigh*

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    1. That's the problem with Six Degrees! It makes you realize how many other connections there still are out there!

      Glad you got some inspiration. I love famous book heroines as well, you'll find them lurking here somewhere as well.

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  4. I used names a lot in my #6Degrees post this month, too! I haven't read any of the books in your chain, but I enjoyed reading your reasons for linking them.

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    1. Names is always an interesting link, but will always work!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. A very spiritual chain. Good for you for getting it done! Better late than never!

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    1. HI Davida! I thought of just leaving it, but then I'll miss a whole month. So rather late than never yes!

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  6. I love how you created this chain! Only a couple of these titles are familiar to me. I’ll check out the others.

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    1. Thanks so much! All of these are favorites of mine.

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  7. Loved this chain. Have either read the book or saw the movie for most of these. The last I must find and read.

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    1. Hi Beverley, oh yes. Mister God, this is Anna is a must read. Hope you get to it soon.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I haven't read any of these but I have read Christy by Catherine Marshall, so that's a link. My best friend in elementary and middle school was named after Christy. The mission that Christy worked at is within about an hour's drive of my house. We pass by it often on one of our favorite weekend getaways.

    I've read a few books by Alice Hoffman but I haven't read The Dovekeepers. It sounds like something I would like. Mister God sounds intriguing too. Great chain!

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    1. Hi Jen! What a great memory of Christy. Sure you will always remember it.

      The Dovekeepers is my favorite Alice Hoffman book of all time. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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  9. What a great chain. It's full of books I've heard of but not got round to. Time to put that right, I think ...

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    1. Hi Margaret! All of these are on my favorite lists. So I do hope that you will also enjoy it when you get around to them.

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  10. Love your comment about the first Christmas. How true and how important to remember. I haven't read any of these except for Are You There God It's Me Margaret and I remember enjoying it but not understanding the whole thing with the pad and the belt! I should reread it!

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    1. I still have to read it, so I can figure it out with you! Yes, I believe a quiet, no fuss Christmas is exactly what we need this year. A time to reflect and just be in the present.

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  11. The Dovekeepers was gorgeous. I loved it.

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  12. I never read any of these but I love the idea of this chain =^^=

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    1. Thanks IzaBzh! Are you taking part in Six Degrees? It really is a fun feature.
      Hope to see you there!

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    1. Neither have I. Don't stress. There are a couple of her books in the school library, can't remember if Are you there God is one of them.
      It is on my Classics Club Challenge, so I will definitely get to it.

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  14. Great 1st connection! Oh I had forgotten, I loved Mister God, this is Anna

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  15. Cool chain! I haven't read any but the last one, which is excellent.

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  16. Great chain! Lovely that you also used Mister God, This is Anna. It is such a wonderful book.

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