Book covers: Beach Read by Emily Henry; Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan; The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline; Exiles by Jane Harper; The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield; A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki; The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

6 Degrees of Separation: A Very Short Journey

As of December 1, 2022, I am no longer using Twitter. Instead, I’ll be promoting blog posts—other bloggers’ and my own—on Mastodon. You can find me there under this name:

You cannot search for people by their real names on Mastodon. To find someone, you must go to Mastodon and search for the user name. I think you have to have your own account with Mastodon to do this.

It’s time for another adventure in Kate’s 6 Degrees of Separation Meme from her blog, Books Are My Favourite and Best. We are given a book to start with, and from there we free associate six books.

Beach Read by Emily Henry is this month’s starting point: 

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.


As intrigued as I am by the writerly aspects of this novel, the fact that it was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Romance (2020) put me off reading it. So I took off in a different direction.

first degree

Another beach book that I’ve had on my TBR shelf for a while is Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan’s first historical novel. 

second degree

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline is another historical novel on my TBR shelf. This novel features Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London who is seduced by her employer’s son. When her pregnancy is discovered, she is sent to a penal colony in Australia.

third degree

A novel with a similar title, Exiles by Jane Harper, will be published in the U.S. on January 31, 2023. In addition to the similar title, this novel, like The Exiles, is set in Australia. Another similarity between the two novels is that, while The Exiles is currently on my TBR shelf, Exiles will be there as soon as it’s published. 

fourth degree

The plot of Harper’s Exiles involves both present and past timelines. Another dual-timeline novel is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The Thirteenth Tale isn’t on my TBR shelf, but it is right below it, on my TBRR (to be reread) shelf. 

fifth degree

Another tale on my TBR shelf is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

sixth degree

Sitting right next to A Tale for the Time Being on my TBR shelf is The Book of Form and Emptiness, also by Ruth Ozeki.

This month’s 6 Degrees journey didn’t take us very far, since we never got off my TBR and TBRR shelves. However, this month being January, the journey did get me thinking about some titles to list in my planner for 2023’s reading.

Where did your 6 Degrees journey take you?

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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