Collage of book covers: Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld; Possession by A.S. Byatt; The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati; The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow; 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami; The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

6 Degrees of Separation: Love Stories

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.

I missed last month’s 6 Degrees because I was still on vacation in early July. But I’m back for this month’s exercise, which begins with Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld:

With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.


first degree

I don’t watch any TV series or film that describes itself as a romantic comedy. However, I do often enjoy genre-blending books built upon the backbone of a love story. One such book is Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt, a work of historical fiction that Goodreads calls “an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and a triumphant love story.”

second degree

Another such work of historical fiction is The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati. (Scroll down the page to find my review.)

third degree

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow is a fantasy based on an epic story of the search for lost love.

fourth degree

Haruki Murakami’s novel 1Q84 is many things, one of which is the story of the search for lost love.

fifth degree

Science fiction writers also sometimes incorporate a love story into their works, as Audrey Niffenegger does with The Time Traveler’s Wife (the story of love lost and found many times over).

sixth degree

Finally, there’s nothing more poignant than the story of thwarted love. Just ask Romeo and Juliet. Or read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.

(I’m claiming double points here for the Shakespeare-related linkage. Blame my hubris on our recent visit to the restored Globe Theatre in London.)

Current Globe Theatre, London, England. A 3-story circular building, white stucco with brown trim and roof.

I’m glad to be back home, and I look forward to reading everyone’s 6 Degrees of Separation lists.

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

8 thoughts on “6 Degrees of Separation: Love Stories”

  1. Great chain; and I like how it carries through the theme of love but not of the same tone. Possession is the only one of these I’ve read, and I loved it too, except some of the poetry which felt too long.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      I’ve read Possession twice, but I must admit that I skimmed over some of the poetry both times. Thanks for reading and commenting, Mallika.

  2. Possession has been sitting, unread, on my shelves for a very long time. Who knows why? You are providing the necessary nudge. This a is a great chain, though it includes at least two authors I don’t get on with: Murakami and Niffenegger – my loss, no doubt. Maybe I should try again?

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      Thanks, Margaret. 1Q84 is the only book by Murakami that I’ve read. And I think I read the book Niffenegger published after Time Traveler’s Wife but didn’t find it anywhere near as compelling.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      Thanks, Davida. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to London–though I’ll continue to hope.

  3. The only one of these that I have not only read, but used also in a 6 Degrees, is The Time Travellers Wife so I trust your other recommendations – however, I need a long illness or a covid style lockdown to even make a dent in my TBR list which is not something one should wish for…

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