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Six Degrees of Separation: Wintering by Katherine May

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. You can read all the rules at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

About the book

Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered. A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat…..

I read, and surprisingly loved, this book. Here is a link to my review.

Follow up on my review. After reading the book, I’ve spent more than a year having an ice-cold smoothie for breakfast. It is almost always chocolate blueberry. (1 cup of Carbmaster vanilla yogurt, 2 teaspoons baking cocoa, 1 cup of water, ice). I’ve always gone for cold drinks in the morning. The smoothie helps as much, or more, than just a cold caffeinated drink (unsweetened iced tea). That could be the vitamins in the unsweetened blueberries, but I think that blast of super-cold also helps. The idea came from one of the stories in the book and how to adapt that story’s “cure” to a landlocked area.

My Chain

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I intentionally read this book at the same time as May’s, so it was the first book that came to mind. This time the wintering is about geese. We still learn about coping and adapting though, just like in May’s book, both from the life of the geese and from the life of the author. Wintering: A Season With Geese by Stephen Rutt (the link is to my review).

Another book, and excellent movie, with flying fowl in the winter is The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate. Young Osbert’s duck still haunts me. (I read this not long after it came out so the link is to Amazon–I do not make money off your clicks). 

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Another book set on a (likely) one-time sporting estate that would have hosted shooting parties is The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly.

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Another kind of estate is the one that conveys money and other “effects” to one’s heirs. Of that estate is put into  a “trust” for tax purposes like in the book Family Trust by Kathy Wang.

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A book that includes both types of estates and has a garden-tie in (the Rose Festival) is the wonderful My Mrs. Brown by William Norwich, in which the main character benefits from the legal estate and decides to do something based on something she’s read.

 

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Another book (a lifelong favorite of mine) in which a main character decides to do something based on something they’ve read and involves a (legal) estate is Auntie Mame. (Sorry no geese). Patrick reads in The Digest (ok, it’s a magazine, not a book, but….) about someone’s most unforgettable character and decides to tell about his most unforgettable character–his Auntie Mame who was his only living realitive after his father died and so took him in and raised him.  Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis. (I’ve read Auntie Mame and Dennis’s The Joyous Season more times than I can count.)

So from a nonfiction book on coping to a book of the same title about geese to a book about shooting water fowl for sport to a book about the garden of an estate where birds probably were once shot for sport to the other kind of estate, to a book with both kinds of estates where a character bases a decision on something she read to another book where a character is affected by a legal estate and then acts on something he’s read. Got all that? Whew!

 

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Why not join the fun next month? We’ll start out chains with The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

My review of Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, from 2014 on my old blog:

  Odd book that isn’t really about a Buddhist nun like it proports to be. My favorite character was the cat. A little sprinkling of sci-fi and a dump of hard science that I couldn’t begin to fathom, but that didn’t last long. A few “ick” moments (skip the intro if you want to miss the biggest one). Overall, the story was interesting though. Could have done without the mandatory PC-anti war screed, but it was a fleeting second in the story.”
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6 Degrees of Separation: Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

About the Book

“Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-à-terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrick—the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happy—has just moved out.”

OR since that is one of the worst blurbs ever, click the linked text to read my review

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. You can read all the rules at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

My Chain

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My first thought was “Meg”–so another book by an author named Meg is The Wife by Meg Wolitzer.

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Another novel about the wife of a famous writer is The Paris Wife: A Novel  by Paula McLain. My review was lost on my old blog, but I loved it.

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Another book with Paris in the title that involves an affairs is The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel and translated by Alison Anderson.

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Another book featuring a train trip is The Last Train to London: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton. (It is also another book by a “Meg.”)

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A chocolatier has a big part in The Last Train to London. Another book with a chocolatier is Chocolat: A Novel b Joanne Harris. (My review for this book was lost).

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Chocolat featured a priest and in Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym like most of the Pym books I’ve read so far, are always debating High Church or Low Church, Catholic and Anglican priests are usually in there somewhere. Tenuous link, but it brings us back to London!

 

Next Month

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Why not join the fun next month when the starting book will be Wintering by Katherine May (my review is linked) an interesting nonfiction choice!

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6 Degrees of Separation: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

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. You can read all the details HERE at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

The Starting Book

“I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false.” In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.

I have not read this book and probably won’t be reading it. I had enough Westerns and that sort of story when my Dad was alive, well, and in command of the tv to last me a lifetime!

My Chain

Book One

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I’m starting with the first book that comes to mind. In this case it is a favorite of my Dad’s, True Grit (though he knew the John Wayne film–not sure if he ever read the book). Mattie is 14 to Ned Kelly’s 12 when she is orphaned. She and U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn hunt down his killer. Some similarities in the stories.

Book Two

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A book I know my Dad read that has a John Wayne/Western-ish topic (and a very serious topic) is Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown. It presented a very different version of the West from the John Wayne one. It was possibly the first book to tell the truth about what the United States did to the Native American population.

Book Three

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A novel that deals with U.S. “Indian” policy in a different way–the institutionalization of children to force them to “assimilate” is This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (link is to my review).

Book 4

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Another population treated badly by U.S. policy are the incarcerated–especially African American men. In this novel they are  young men sentenced to “reform school” in Florida. The Nickel School has a lot in common with the School in This Tender Land. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (link is to my review).

Book 5

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Nanci Kincaid’s novel has a link with incarceration in the state of Florida–a chain gang member who befriends a young girl. (My review was lost on my old blog). As Hot as it Was You Out to Thank Me by Nanci Kincaid is just $1.99 for Kindle right now.

Book 6

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Rory’s life isn’t that much like Berry’s in As Hot As it Was, but it also isn’t that much different. I’d put money on someone in that trailer park or in Rory’s family being in prison or just out of prison. Certainly someone has seen the inside of a jail cell. Plus it’s in Nevada where a lot of John Wayne movies could have been set and might have been film. That’s almost full circle!  Girlchild: A Novel by Tupelo Hassman (link is to my review).

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Why not join in the Six Degrees fun next month when we will start our chains with Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason which, for once, I just bought.

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Six Degrees of Separation: Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

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. You can read all the rules at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

About the book

Leah is changed. A marine biologist, she left for a routine expedition months earlier, only this time her submarine sank to the sea floor. When she finally surfaces and returns home, her wife Miri knows that something is wrong. Barely eating and lost in her thoughts, Leah rotates between rooms in their apartment, running the taps morning and night. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home. As Miri searches for answers, desperate to understand what happened below the water, she must face the possibility that the woman she loves is slipping from her grasp. (from Amazon)

I had not even heard of this book, so it is obvious I haven’t read it.

Most links are to my reviews.

Book One

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Unless you count the nonfiction books on Noel Coward and his long-time partner Graham Payn, the first book I LOVED about a single-sex couple like Leah/Miri in the starting book, was Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I LOVED it.

Book Two

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A fictionalized version of a real life First Family that included (over the years) more than one same-sex relationship (including a trio living together with linen having all three monograms) was the family of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. While Franklin could have coined the term “work wife,” Eleanor had relationships with both men and women. I love this book–it was “my” Eleanor. The best-seller, rival novel, was not “my” Eleanor at all, but was well-written. Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert

Book Three

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Another book I loved with “Loving” in the title is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, about Frank Lloyd Wright. I haven’t read it’s “twin” or “rival” novel by TC Boyle because I liked this one so much. It was my favorite book of its publication year, in fact.

Book Four

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Another book with a character named Frank (why do Americans say “named” and Brits say “called”??) is M*A*S*H–the novel that spawned the movie and long-running t.v. show. Frank Burns, the idiot doctor from Ft. Wayne, Indiana who had the affair with Hot Lips! (There was actually a series of MASH books–MASH Goes to Maine, etc which are now long forgotten and out-of-print). M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker is $1.99 for Kindle right now (with a new cover–this is the original, the one it had when I read it in the ’70s).

Book Five

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M*A*S*H was set in Korea (during the Korean War). Another novel partially set in Korea is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Book Six

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Pachinko dealt with a marginalized group of people in Japan. Another book dealing with a marginalized group of people in Japan is Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa. What a moving book!

So, I didn’t go “full circle” this month, but I did make a chain!

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Why not join the fun next month? We’ll start out chains with Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang.

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Six Degrees of Separation: End of the Affair by Graham Greene

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. You can read all the rules at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

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I read this book when I was too  young to appreciate it. I loved the movie with Deborah Kerr. I may try to listen to it now that I am “old enough to appreciate it”–especially since Colin Firth is the performer on the new version.

My Chain

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Covert Affair by Jennet Conant was the first “affair” book that came to mind. These two served in a part of WWII headed by an expert at affairs!

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The “Supremo” or Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, where the Julia and Paul Child served was Prince Philip’s Uncle” Dickie.” The Mountbattens by Andrew Lownie. Lord Louis (aka “Dickie”) as he was then, is famous for saying that he and wife, Edwina, spent the whole of their married life getting in and out of bed with other people.

I have read, but not reviewed The Mountbattens: Their Life and Loves by Andrew Lownie

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Another scandalous Mountbatten was Nada, Marchioness of Milford Haven. Born Countess Nadejda de Torby daughter of Russian Grand Duke Michael Michalovich and sister-in-law of Dicki Mountbatten, she was mentioned in the trial over “Little Gloria” for having been the same-sex lover of Gloria’s mother. (For those who do not know, “Little Gloria,” is the mother of Anderson Cooper).

[It was Nada and her husband, George, who mostly took care of Prince Philip in the holidays. Dickie came in only after George’s death. It is Nada’s grandson, Ivor, who is the first openly gay (and in a single-sex marriage) member of the greatly extended “royal” family. He was at school with Prince Edward].

 

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Little Gloria’s mother had a twin sister, Thelma, who was the “woman before Wallis” in the life of the then Prince of Wales, Edward (aka “David” to friends and family). He had one of the most notorious affairs in history.

 

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One of the saddest and most cowardly things done by a royal until that Oprah interview, was the way Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) dumped his long-time mistress, Freida Dudley Ward. When she called, as she did every day he was in London. the Buckingham Palace Operator had to do the dirty work for his future sovereign by saying “I’m sorry, Ma’am, I have orders not to put your through.” He had been almost a second father to her daughters and had been with her since the [WWI] the War.

 

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If you thought that fabled tampon conversation was the most embarrassing thing to come out of a royal affair, you ain’t seen nothing yet! David and Wallis wrote each other infantile letters (well, David mostly did). That a Field Marshall could write such drivel doesn’t shock me. I’ve read General of the Army [5 star general–US equivalent to a Field Marshall] Douglas MacArthur’s “Dimples/Daddy” letters to his mistress, “Dimples” which he signed “Daddy.” David had the mumps during puberty. It and the sycophants ruined him.

I left the royals take this chain over, but honestly? It’s what came to mind! I wish I could do a neat-and-tidy round up the chain into a circle, but….. 

 

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Why not join the fun next month? We’ll start out chains with Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield.

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Six Degrees of Separation: No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Confession time: I threw this book back. I couldn’t…I just couldn’t with it. What’s profound to some is vapid navel-gazing to others. Sorry, but I’m with the latter party.

So, my chain took real work!

Six Degrees of Separation

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. You can read all the rules at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

Book One

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Another book I couldn’t stand and DNF-ed with “talking” in the title was Daniel Isn’t Talking Yet. I don’t want to read about anyone licking sweat from anyone’s butt-crack–or was it a tongue-bath?, let alone about someone licking someone’s eyeball (better than the other type of &al!s). Ick!! Daniel Isn’t Talking Yet by Marti Leimbach

Book Two

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On to a much better book–one with Daniel in the title. The fictionalized story of the Rosenbergs. Excellent book–highly recommended. If you don’t know, they were executed for being Soviet Spies. The Book of Daniel by E.L. Doctorow.

Book Three

I’ve only seen the movie, so I’m going by it. Anther story of Americans spying for the USSR is The Falcon and the Snowman which I saw on a date with a future Foreign Service Officer…..

The Falcon and the Snowman by Robert Lindsey

The Falcon and the Snowman film

Book Four

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Another book with Snowman in the title is one I haven’t read, but I have watched the documentary about it. Snowman: The Story of A Champion by Catherine Hapka.

Book Five

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Another story of a champion horse is Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. I loved both he book and Seabiscuit the film.

Book Six

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Another book I loved that is not about horses, but is written by a Laura is Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquirel.

I can’t say that I connected the chain to make a circle back to the starting book, but I did make a more original chain than I did last month!

You can read all of the Six Degrees of Separation rules and procedures at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Why not join the fun next month? We’ll start off with The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.

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Six Degrees of Separation: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

 

Finally! A book I’ve actually read. But I have no memory of it being an Edith Wharton! Go figure! Well, I did read it at one go [a lot of skimming, but still….] in a urologist’s waiting room many years ago. That’s probably why the memory lapse. I recall being really depressed after reading it. I clearly recall that.

Here’s the blurb:

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. ….Wharton moves this ill-starred trio toward their tragic destinies. 

I promised myself I would not use this chain to dredge up other depressing books. So, here goes….

My Chain

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I admit, this one starts off with a depressing note. We learn that Macon’s son, Ethan (the link to Ethan Frome) has died. But, the rest of the book is about working through grief and beginning life anew. It is possibly my favorite Anne Tyler. The Accidental Tourist

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While travel guide author Macon in an Accidental Tourist aims to make travel as much like being at home as possible, home is the last place Arthur Less wants to be right now. He travels, albeit without a guide as helpful as Macon’s to escape. Less by Andrew Sean Greer. Travel is one link; both authors having won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is another.

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Someone who could relate to how Arthur Less feels is Leslie Anne Green Carter–the last first/original wife in her social set. The rest have been replaced by newer, younger women in their husband’s beds and lives–just like poor Arthur. Leslie finally finds the life she wants. The Last Original Wife

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An original wife who put up with more husbandly shenanigans before finding a life she wanted was Eleanor Roosevelt. Loving Eleanor by 

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Enduring husbandly shenanigans was the watchword of women in Anne Glenconner’s titled world. Her husband moved on from the first day and the final insult was giving all of his worldly goods–the very same pledged to Anne on their wedding day, to a man who had worked for him on his private island. Anne had her very bed sold right out from under her! But, she’s hardly living on the British equivalent of a Social Security check. Still, I think there’s a special place in hell for her late husband. Lady In Waiting. 

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Finally, an older lady who has written a book and who could teach Lady Glenconner a thing or two about economizing to live on an actual OAP [Social Security check to us in the USA] is Marie Sharp. She’s not a dreary old bag, she’s lived her to the full, but facing 60 [like me] she’s making some changes, one of which will not be a book club membership! Her diary is well worth the read.

Not my best chain (nor my worst), but that’s all the band width I have right now for anything. Hope you enjoyed it. I may be a few days getting around to reading everyone else’s due to seasonal employment.

Join in the Six Degrees Fun next month!

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. You can read all about it here at Books Are My Favorite and Best.

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.

In January we start with Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

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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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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6 Degrees of Separation The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

I chose this cover because, although she will probably disagree, it reminds me of photos of my Mom as a girl.  Now, on to The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I have not read anything by this author so here is the summary from Wikipedia. (Do not tell any of my students that I am citing to Wikipedia, please!) This was one of the most difficult titles to work with in all the time I’ve been doing Six Degrees.

The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson, first published in the June 25, 1948, issue of The New Yorker. The story describes a fictional small town which observes an annual rite known as “the lottery”, in which a member of the community is selected by chance. The shocking consequence of being selected in the lottery is revealed only at the end. Readers’ initial negative response surprised both Jackson and The New Yorker; subscriptions were canceled, and much hate mail was received throughout the summer of its first publication, while the Union of South Africa banned the story. The story has been dramatized several times and subjected to much sociological and literary analysis, and has been described as one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature. [Wikipedia]

My Chain

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Matched was the first book that came to mind–it gave me a similar “vibe” with others deciding the fate of ordinary people. I’m not a dystopian fan, but I did at least skim this one. Matched by Ally Condie.

 

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The terror in this book is palpable. It also has a dystopian feel in places. “Shocking consequence” of the main characters decision ties it to The Lottery, while the dystopian feel ties it to Matched. Tenuous? Hmmmm.  The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark.

 

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The odd feel of this book ties it to the previous two books and the “revelation” and its shock value ties it to The Lottery. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel by Haruki Murakami

 

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Consequence of decisions made by others ties this one to The Lottery. It is tied to Colorless Tsukuru… by being, in part, a pilgrimage to and in Japan. Midnight in Broad Daylight by Pamela Rotner Sakmoto.

 

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Living under the decisions of others ties it to The Lottery. That it is a family’s story of tragedy and, spiritual pilgrimage, ties it to the previous book. The racial injustice of apartheid means the family has little control over its own future. Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

 

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The Servants’ Quarters (a book I had to leave unfinished as it was due at the library and I never got back to it),  is set in South Africa and the events of the story likely shocked the neighbors. So, South Africa ties it to Cry the Beloved Country and shocking events tie it to The Lottery as does a lack of control over life.

Why not join us on the first Saturday in November? Next month (November 6, 2021), we’ll start with Sigrid Nunez’s What Are You Going Through. You can read all of the rules here on the blog Books are My Favourite and Best.

Uncategorized

Six Degrees of Separation: Second Place by Rachel Cusk

 

Six Degrees of Separation: How it Works

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best.

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 Starting Book

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I’d never heard of this book or its author, so here’s the blurb from Amazon:

A woman invites a famous artist to use her guesthouse in the remote coastal landscape where she lives with her family. Powerfully drawn to his paintings, she believes his vision might penetrate the mystery at the center of her life. But as a long, dry summer sets in, his provocative presence itself becomes an enigma—and disrupts the calm of her secluded household. ….A study of female fate and male privilege, the geometries of human relationships, and the moral questions that animate our lives. It reminds us of art’s capacity to uplift—and to destroy.

 

My Chain

 

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A man with a mystery at the center of his life is Harry Clifton–all the more fascinating because it is a self-made or self-chosen mystery. Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer. (Scroll down in the linked post for my review).

 

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Another man with a mystery at the center of his life who certainly disrupts a few households over the course of his career is William Monk. That there is also a lot of female fate and male privilege adds interest to this entire series.  The first book in the series is The Face of A Stranger where the first part of the mystery is introduced. (I devoured the first umpteen of these, but I do not usually review series fiction due to spoilers).

 

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An artist of another kind has a mystery at the center of her life that causes visitors to disrupt her household and almost sealing her female fate and more male privilege. Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller.

 

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A play in which a radio personality’s visit disrupts the calm of the household is The Man Who Came to Dinner. He stayed and stayed and stayed–hence the suggestion that you “don’t want to be the man who came to dinner….”

 

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Some very lovely households got completely destroyed in World War II (and a few in World War I) not by bombs, but by being requisitioned for government use as Army bases, naval hospitals, code-breaking offices and whatever else they needed them to be. Still others were invaded by entire schools, old folks homes, and other entities in need of escape from the Blitz in London and other cities.The privilidge males who traditionally inherit and own these houses, for once, got a taste of female fate, but having to do the bidding of others exactly as the others said! Our Uninvited Guests by Julie Summers.

 

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Finally, the book with an artist (Charles) who is at least a tad mysterious due to being only middle class, lands during the war in a requisitioned estate of the grandest proportions where the household that has been disrupted is so reeking of male privilege and female fate that it would take hundreds of pages to discuss all of the many forms of that privilege. The War has now disrupted the family of Lord Marchmain, but in the bygone days be

wteen the wars, Charles himself disrupted the household by intriguing the mother, wanting to marry the sister after having an affair with the brother. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

 

 

Next Month

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October’s chains will start with….. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

Did you do a chain this month? Leave me a link in the comments–I’d love to read your post.