It’s time for another Six Degrees post. Hosted by Kate, this is a meme where we all start with the same title, add six linked titles and see where we end up. It’s amazing and fascinating to see how different everyone’s chains are.
Mt chains seem to have become a repository for my reading aspirations and this month is no different. I decided to use as my links only titles that I already own, but haven’t yet read (with one exception) in the hope that it may spur me on to actually finish some of them some time……!
We start with Beezus and Ramona by Beverley Cleary. This is not a book I had heard of before Kate picked it for this month’s chain. Apparently this is a classic children’s book about ‘the ups and downs of sisterhood’.
So for my first link, I am going with another book about sisters – The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. This is the story of identical twins whose lives take very different paths. This has over 45,000 four and five star reviews on Amazon and must be a strong contender for the 2021 Women’s Prize, for which it has just been shortlisted.
A book from the Women’s Prize longest which didn’t make the shortlist is Clare Chambers’ Small Pleasures. This is the one title from my chain which I have managed to read. I really enjoyed it, but haven’t yet written a review because it is quite hard to see how to do so in a way which is sufficiently meaningful without spoiling the book’s impact for a new reader.
Anyway, one thing I can say is that it is set in 1957, which allows me to link to a book published that year: The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier. This is my planned read for Ali’s annual DdM readalong next month.
I gather that the characters in The Scapegoat meet at a railway station. One book I am currently half-way through which involves a very famous railway-related meeting is Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train. I’ve wanted to read this one for ages and was particularly motivated to pick it up when I heard that Amanda Craig takes Highsmith’s story as her inspiration for The Golden Rule, which also sounds like a great read.
I could have taken that book as my fifth link, but I don’t yet have a copy of it. So sticking with my overall theme of books that I own, I am going with A Stranger in my Grave by Margaret Miller. In this story, the main character keeps dreaming of her own death and hires a private detective to help her reconstruct the day on which her dream is supposedly set.
And so for my final title, I am linking to another book featuring a private detective – the iconic Phillip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler.
This month’s chain starts with one type of classic and ends with another, although the two could hardly be more different!
Next month we start with The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld, which has just won the 2021 Stella Prize. I am very happy that Kate has picked this because it has literally just arrived in my library ebook loan list, and I live just up the road (relatively speaking) from its setting. I fully hope to have read this in time for next month’s chain. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻