6 Degrees of Separation

Book covers: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, Billy Summers by Stephen King, Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow, The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins, The Women by T.C. Boyle, Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear, Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella

6 Degrees: What’s in a Name?

This month’s starting point is Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang. This novel, which won the Booker Prize and several other awards in 2001, opens with this declaration: . . . my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will …

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Book covers: Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick,Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, The Eleventh Plague by John S. Marr & John Baldwin, Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

6 Degrees of Separation: From the Sea to the Plagues

As this month’s starting point, Kate has chosen “a hot favourite to make the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist, Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield.” As wonderful as this book sounds, it won’t be available in the U.S. until July 12, 2022.  first degree Therefore, I’ve decided to start with a key …

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Book Covers: The End of the Affair, The Sense of an Ending, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, World Without End, The Deep End, The Deep End of the Ocean, On the Beach

6 Degrees of Separation: From One End to Another

This month’s starting point is The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. About 35 years ago I tried to read a couple of Greene’s novels, The Quiet American and Our Man in Havana. I didn’t get very far in either one. I kept waiting for something to happen. For this month’s 6 Degrees, I …

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Book covers: No One is Talking About This, The Dinner Party, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Sunburn, The Burning Room, The Guest List, The Distinguished Guest

6 Degrees of Separation

This month we start with a book that topped Best of 2021 lists, No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. I had seen this title on a lot of those Best Books of 2021 lists, where it was often described as “inventive fiction.” I usually love books described as inventive, experimental, or genre-bending, …

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Book covers: Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, The Lincoln Highway, Lincoln in the Bardo, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, At Swim-Two-Birds, The Searcher

6 Degrees of Separation

Kate has set as this month’s starting point a story that begins on New Year’s Eve – Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Because I’m still figuring out what I want to do in terms of a reading plan this year, I’m going to look at my TBR shelves for inspiration here. Every book sitting …

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Book covers: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, The Golden Bowl by Henry James, The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon, The Witch Elm by Tana French, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

6 Degrees of Separation: A Convoluted Journey

This month we start with the classic novella Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. 1. I never think of Edith Wharton without also thinking about her friend and correspondent Henry James. A prominent figure in Ethan Frome is a broken pickle dish that symbolizes the broken lives of the characters. Henry James also wrote a novel …

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7 book covers: What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez, How It All Began by Penelope Lively, We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker, The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, The Last Flight by Julie Clark, A Little Hope by Ethan Joella

6 Degrees of Separation: “Messy, messy lives”

This month we begin with Sigrid Nunez’s What Are You Going Through. Here’s the description from Goodreads: A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life: an ex she runs into by chance at a public forum, an Airbnb owner unsure how to interact with …

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book covers: The Lottery, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Haunting of Hill House, Mrs. March, The Yellow Wallpaper, Deep Water, The Butcher Boy

6 Degrees of Separation: Deranged Minds

This month we start with “a (frightening) short story,” “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. This is probably the story Jackson is best known for. It appeared in The New Yorker in 1948. What I love about Shirley Jackson’s work is the way she gradually makes the reader realize that things are not always what they …

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book covers: Second Place, A Crime in the Neighborhood, Atonement, Montana 1948, This Tender Land, Ordinary Grace, God Spare the Girls

6 Degrees of Separation: Prize-Worthy Coming-of-Age Novels

This month we start with 2021 Booker Prize nominee, Second Place by Rachel Cusk. Here’s the book description from Goodreads: A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. His provocative presence provides the …

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Book Covers: Postcards from the Edge, Edge of Eternity, Woman on the Edge of Time, Gone to Soldiers, Second Generation, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, How It All Began

6 Degrees of Separation

This month we start with a bestselling work of autobiographical fiction, Postcards From the Edge (1987) by Carrie Fisher. Wednesday will be the 30th anniversary of my reading it (August 11, 1991). The novel tells the story of 30-year-old actress Suzanne Vale as she goes through drug rehab and tries to put her life back …

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