Six Degrees of Separation – from No.1 Ladies Detective Agency to The Heart’s Invisible Furies

It’s time for #6degrees. Join in and see where your book chain takes you.

This month we begin with the international bestseller,  No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith.

I haven’t read No.1 Ladies Detective Agency and some readers I know CAN’T BELIEVE IT. Nor can they believe that I haven’t read Harry Potter. I’m just not into wizards…

Although I have zero interest in Harry Potter, my son did. And I do remember the joy of a series of books, in particular the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene.

Which links me to the Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking – it was originally published in 1973, which probably says a lot about what was expected of Nancy Drew’s intended audience.

The book features recipes such as Sleuth Soup and Dancing Puppet Parfait. It reminds me of Fictitious Dishes by Dinah Fried, described as an ‘album of literature’s most memorable meals’.

One of the books included in Fictitious Dishes is Gone With the Wind (served with sweet potatoes).

Gone With the Wind is a doorstopper (960 pages) and I read it over one summer holiday. Although people usually favour light paperbacks as beach reading, I go for a big book each summer, knowing I’ll have the time to tackle it. This summer, my pick is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (at 600 pages, it should keep me busy).

From detective series and cooking to ‘heavyweights’ (literally) – where will other chains lead? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (February 3, 2018), we’ll begin with the book that topped the critics list in 2017 – Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.

51 responses

  1. I also favour a doorstop sized book on holiday, as you say, it’s the one time you won’t (hoepfully) get interuppted by life! I covet the Nancy Drew cookbook – I could put it alongside my Elvis cookbook…

  2. I love how your mind worked on this 6Degrees. I went to Tears of the Giraffe, the second novel in this series by McCall, then to Zarafa: A Giraffe’s True Story by Micahel Allin, next and staying in Paris, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, followed by The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, and finishing on The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola.

    • Oh! I had all but forgotten about Zarafa! I read it many years ago and though it was charming.

      I also thoroughly enjoyed Hedgehog. I read The Gourmet by Barberry, loved that as well, but started The Life of Elves and just couldn’t get into it (was very strange…).

  3. I have listened to far too much McCall Smith and you can safely give him a miss. HarryPotter though I really enjoyed – there’s plenty of wizard action but the strength of the books is that they are about people you care about.

    • One of my dear friends won’t rest until I read Potter… guess I’ll relent one day! (But not rushing into No.1 Ladies – cosy mysteries really aren’t my thing).

  4. Sorry, I clicked too soon on Mr Linky and entered the wrong link – please delete it for me … I’ve also entered the correct link.

    I’ve not read the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books – the TV series didn’t inspire me to read them either, but I loved Gone with the Wind and am wondering how to cook sweet potatoes in that style.

  5. Your links are a hoot Kate. I’M not into WIZARDS either but I read the frst Harry Potter to my daughter and was really engaged. However, by partway through the third book I was over it and fortunately by then daughter was well old enough to read chapter to herself.

    Anyhow, here’s my link

    Fascinated to see next month’s book. I bought it last week with a Christmas voucher but I don’t think I’ll read it by then.

  6. I’ve not read Harry Potter either and have no intention of doing so but I like the idea of Fictitious Dishes. The author might like to take a look at Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir’s Butterflies in November which features recipes using roadkill… or mabe not.

  7. I’ve enjoyed Margaret’s take on these ‘6 degrees’ and think I will try it myself. I’ll post a link when it goes live. This can be anytime during the month, right? Also, love that you have Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Precious Ramotswe, and Scarlett O’Hara all in one link-up. LOL

  8. I have taken part for the first time this month, after seeing how much fun other bloggers have putting their chains together. I read The Heart’s Invisible Furies last year and enjoyed it – I hope you do too!

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  10. I love the sound of Fictious Dishes! Looking forward to hearing whether your summer heavyweight is worth reading – think I’ll wait for your review! My sister-in-law has just finished Lincoln in the Bardo, and was raving about it, so I might have to check that one out in the next month.

    • I’m not always sucked in by the book that ‘everyone’ is raving about but it seems the critics were unanimous about Lincoln, so I bought a copy. Feel a little daunted by the cast of thousands though and wondering how I’ll keep all those characters straight…

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  14. I have such a clear memory of where I was when I was reading Gone with the Wind. On holiday actually! Lincoln in the Bardo is my book club’s book for January so I will be all set for next month’s challenge.

    • It’s funny because I do as well – on the beach in Torquay in Victoria, combined with a particular porch chair at the house I was staying in (with a high school friend).

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  17. I read GWTW with my book club, and it took me a long time to get through. I had mixed feelings about it, but at least I can say I read it! I tend to read door-stopped books on my Kindle, so that I’m fooled into thinking the book isn’t that long!

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  19. I’ve read three of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books now. I really like cosy mysteries, and I did enjoy the stories and characters, but had a voice nagging away at me that it was more than a little patronising for a white man with a colonial background to write about Motswana women the way he does. I think I’ve given up on them now.

    I read two chapters of the first Harry Potter book when I was on bedtime story duty with my twin nephews back in 1998 when they were seven. I didn’t take to it. I also got annoyed by the cynical publishing of editions with covers designed for adults who were ashamed of reading a children’s book for pleasure. I have nothing against adults reading children’s books for pleasure, but my personal take on it is that I get more out of it if I’d first read the book when I was its target audience. So Harry Potter is triply not for me. I haven’t seen any of the films, either.

    I’m thrilled that there is a Nancy Drew cookbook in the world. The 70s were a strange set of years.

    I admire your choice of weighty tomes for holiday reading. I save them for holidays spent at home. Holidays away are about quick reads that won’t hook me in to such an extent that I don’t explore the place I’m holidaying! And I, too, tend to get them on Kindle for wrist saving reasons.

    I wrote my Six Degrees in transit this morning, so it starts with a bit of overtired whingeing!

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