Six Degrees of Separation – from Olive Kitteridge to Doppler


It’s time for #6Degrees (and for the first time, I’m hosting – that’s code for you absolutely must join in, please)!

We begin with Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge. The story is set in a small town in Maine, as is John Irving’s beautiful saga, The Cider House Rules.

The Cider House Rules was made into a film in 1999. I was nervous, as anyone is when one of their favourite books is made into a film but my worries were unjustified – the movie was brilliant.

Which brings me to Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates – another book I love with an equally good movie to match.

My reading year began with Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety. It’s the first Stegner I’ve read and I found his style similar to that of Richard Yates – a happy discovery, indeed.

Much of Crossing to Safety is set in a ramshackle apartment, in a university town. It brought to mind a similar arrangement in Susan Choi’s My Education.

I read My Education a few years ago but one of the secondary characters, Dan, stood out. Likewise, the character of Melanie, from The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie, plays a small role but I’m quite sure that it’s her I’ll remember in years to come.

An important element of The Portable Veblen is the main character’s conversations with squirrels (‘conversations’ because the squirrels ‘talk’ back). Similarly, in Erland Loe’s Doppler, the main character has lengthy dialogue with an elk.

From small town Maine and great contemporary writers to campus life and conversations with animals, all in six moves.

Next month (March 5th, 2016) the chain will begin with the first book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, My Brilliant Friend.

I wonder where other chains will lead? Join in and link up!

13 responses

    • Links can be creative or very, very simple (two books by Elizabeth Strout for example!). Books are linked most strongly for me because I read them around the same time or one author has a style similar to another – tenuous, but linked nonetheless!

  1. I enjoyed Olive K, Revolutionary Road (book & movie) and Crossing to Safety. I hope you enjoy the Elena Ferrante books (I read all of the earlier books and the first 2 in this series and enjoyed all.

  2. Brilliant idea and back in my old bookselling days when I was in full possession of a memory I would have joined in but I think I’ll just be cheering from the sidelines. Great to see Stegner, Irving and Strout all linked up in the same chain, too.

  3. I’ll join! I just wrote my chain on a post it (I’m at work) and I’ll type it up tonight! I ended up at True Grit.

    But my favorite thing about your list is it’s exactly why we became friends… Olive Kittredge, Cider House Rules, Revolutionary Road!

  4. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation // Olive Kitteridge

  5. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation // My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

  6. Pingback: 6 Degrees of Separation: Passing the Baton |

  7. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation // A Prayer For Owen Meany

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