Six Degrees of Separation – from How To Be Both to The Portable Veblen

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

This month we begin with Ali Smith’s award-winning novel, How to be Both. I haven’t read this book yet but I do know that it has an interesting format (you choose where to start reading). 99 Reasons Why by Caroline Smailes also has an unusual format – it ends with a quiz and a ‘choose your own adventure’ conclusion.

Princess Diana was an important part of the plot in 99 Reasons Why, so the next link is to Andrew Morton’s biography, Diana – Her True Story.

A book featuring the Royal Family that is not a ‘true story’ is Morris Gleitzman’s gentle junior novel, Two Weeks With the Queen.

Two Weeks With the Queen examines the 80s AIDS epidemic, as does Sarah Winman’s heartbreaker, Tin Man.

A painting is an important part of the story in Tin Man, as it is in Jessie Burton’s The Muse.

Odelle, the main character in The Muse, is a typist, as is Veblen, the main character in Elizabeth McKenzie’s crazy novel, The Portable Veblen.

Experimental formats, the Royal Family, AIDS, art and typists – where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (May 4, 2019), we’ll begin with Jane Harper’s debut best-seller, The Dry.

43 responses

  1. Haha good one Kate. I’ve only read one of those books – Two weeks with the Queen which was good fun.

    I’ve scheduled my Six degrees a bit later today than my usual 10am, so will come back and add my link later.

    And again next month, I haven’t read the book. That will make 0/5 for the year to date! What am I reading?

  2. I haven’t read How to Be Both, but my connections are The Time Traveller ‘s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell ; Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov; The Harmony Silk Factory by A W Tash; Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami; and Happenstance by Carol Shields.

  3. I’m another one who hasn’t read How To Be Both although reading the blurb has made me add it to my wishlist… I admire authors who can do clever things with a book’s structure although, of course, it still has to be a good/interesting/entertaining read.

    • Death is Hard Work is on my list of “to read” and your description will certainly move it up! And I have not read a book that made me laugh in a while so I am adding A Season on Earth to my list even though you say it is a serious book. Maybe one of these will be my choice for next year’s list of books for Muse & Views Bookclub. Michèle D.

    • As a Canadian I am of course partial to our authors and Carol Shields is one of my favourite. I am reading Transcription at the moment, I like Atkinson’s writing. The connections you make are fun and we must try to find “way out there” connections more often in our Six degrees . Michèle Dl

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  5. I haven’t read How to be Both either, but the format does sound interesting. I enjoyed The Muse and would like to read Tin Man. Great chain!

  6. Pingback: #SixDegrees April 2019: From How to Be Both – findingtimetowrite

  7. I keep hearing good things about How to Be Both (and I quite like Ali Smith), but I haven’t read this one yet either. Still, managed to think of some links. I like the sound of the Royal Family one – if it’s satirical.

  8. I do enjoy this challenge because it introduces me to lots of new books. The Tin Man is on my TBR wishlist and I have been meaning to read The Dry for a while, so I have just downloaded a copy. I shall be visiting challenge posts now and over the next few days.
    Meanwhile here is a link to mine

  9. I haven’t read any of these although How to Be Both is in the TBR and I’d like to read The Portable Veblen. I still remember the hoo-ha when Diana Her True Story was published, I don’t think a biography has caused quite such a stir since.

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  12. I’m really surprised at the number of people doing this month;s meme that said they couldn’t finish the Ali Smith. I loved it but I really think it was because my edition began with the medieval painter and not the very irritating mother….

  13. Hi, Kate. I got here through a 6 Degrees of Separation on another blog. I’d like to join the meme, but on your page about it, the link for its origin (in your opening paragraph) no longer works. I want to be sure to give credit where credit is due, but I don’t want to include a link that no longer works. Similarly, in the graphic of the rules for the meme, I guessing the part about including a link to Annabelle or Emma’s sites no longer works, either? I just want to be fair and accurate when I describe the meme, so could you please advise? Thanks.

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