Six Degrees of Separation: What You Are Going Through by Sigrid Nunez

Welcome to 6 Degrees of Separation for November 2021

Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman began the 6 Degrees of Separation meme in 2014 (and Books Are My Favourite and Best took over in 2016). So, to the meme. 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. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

How the meme works

Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.

A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain. This month’s first book is What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez. Read all about 6 Degrees here on the blog Books Are My Favorite and Best.

The Blurb From Amazon:

In each of the 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.

I got the book on audio from the library but the first two people were too obnoxious for me so I DNF.

My Chain


The first book that came to me was Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris–the title included “talk” which is what the obnoxious people in What You Are Going Through did.


David Sedaris spends time in France in Me Talk Pretty One Day. That brought to mind Every Frenchman Has One.


Another book set in Paris that deals with a lot of French manners is The Red Notebook.


Another fun novel that centers around a notebook is The Authenticity Project.


The Authenticity Project features a septuagenarian who makes new friends. Heading Over the Hill is about a couple of septuagenarians who make new friends and ride a Harley.


A book with an older guy, who has a notebook, encounters strangers, talks about what he is going through and would probablyh love a motorcycle, is The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/2 Years Old. That pretty much brings us full circle.

Why not join in next month? You can read all the rules here. It a lot of fun! In December 2021 we will start with Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.


Too see past posts of 6 Degree Chains use the search feature or the word cloud in the right sidebar (if you are on a pc).

15 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: What You Are Going Through by Sigrid Nunez

  1. This made me laugh: the title included “talk” which is what the obnoxious people in What are you going through did! So good!

    I know of the Sedaris novel, but not many of the others. However, i love the covers of most of your books.


  2. Ha! Loved the Sedaris link. I enjoyed the Nunez but get how the characters came across as obnoxious (to the point where I thought if I’d overheard any of their convos. I’d probably be rolling my eyes!).


    1. I was truly blessed to hear Sedaris’ long-ago debut on NPR with the Santaland Diaries back in ’92 when Aids was feared, coming out was a huge deal for gay people and people were still somewhat shocked by it here in the Midwest. I laughed so hard listening to the Diaries. I have to hear at least some part of it every Christmas now.


  3. Great chain Lisa. I loved that you couldn’t finish the book because of the obnoxious characters. You did a good job. Heading Over the Hill is the only one I read and I did enjoy it.


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