I have had a brief break from this blog in recent weeks, but if there is one thing to get me going again, it is the monthly Six Degrees meme hosted by Kate. These posts are always such fun to compile and I love reading everyone else’s lists too.
The starting point this month is Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. I had not heard of this before, which is surprising given all the plaudits from a wide range of luminaries on its Amazon page. I’ll have to give it a look sometime.
Meanwhile, the last book I read which involved trouble was The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. This is a light and jolly romp concerning the misunderstandings of children and the prejudices of adults, all set in 1976 when the UK was in the grip of a heatwave.
I remember that summer well and feel drawn to related books, so my next link is to Maggie O’Farrell’s brilliant Instructions for a Heatwave, which has two things in common with Cannon’s book: the time setting and the plot device of someone going missing.
But, however much I like reading about the summer of 1976, I find it difficult to read about warmer months when it is winter, so let me leap quickly to a book with a more fitting title for this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere: Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. This is a beautiful-sounding novella which I have on my TBR for the forthcoming ‘A Novella A Day In May’ project run by the wonderful Madame Bibliophile.
One of the themes of Snow Country is unspoken love, which puts me in mind of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, perhaps my favourite of her novels. I don’t know if this is a controversial choice but who cares! I just love that simmering tension between Anne and Captain Wentworth.
Another book which features a sea-faring hero is All The Nice Girls by Joan Bakewell. My lovely Mum bought me a copy of this when it was first published in 2009 and over ten years later I can still recall the pleasure of reading it.
While Bakewell’s hero is at sea, her heroine is a teacher. I am currently reading and very much enjoying Ruth Adam’s I’m Not Complaining, which is also set in a school. It tackles some bleak and serious subjects head on and is a marvellous window on a range of social challenges for people from different backgrounds in the 1930s.
So the two ends of this month’s chain provides a life lesson: one might find oneself in trouble, but don’t moan – just crack on. 🙂