Six Degrees of Separation – from Normal People to New Lives.

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 Sally Rooney’ bestseller, Normal People. I absolutely loved the book, and thought the TV series was perfection. My next book-to-TV-series to watch is Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True.

Lamb’s novel is about identical twins, as is Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland.

Sisterland has been on my TBR stack for years, but I’ll be reading Sittenfeld’s latest book, Rodham, first.

I heard Sittenfeld speak about Rodham last week – as a reader, she said she likes stories about ‘talented, complicated women’. Meg Wolitzer said something similar, and certainly many of her protagonists are ‘talented, complicated women’, but I’ll choose one and link to The Wife (there are obvious parallels between Hilary Clinton and Wolitzer’s main character, Joan, who puts her own ambitions on hold so that her husband’s career can flourish).

Staying with author talks, the night I saw Meg Wolitzer, I also saw Jenny Erpenbeck, who was speaking about her novel, Go Went Gone.

Go Went Gone is set in Berlin, and although I could probably do a whole chain based around Berlin, I’m instead linking to the book that Erpenbeck said was “…the best book I’ve read about the fall of the Wall” – Ingo Schulze’s New Lives.

Author talks dominated my chain this month, but I was pleased to land in Berlin. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (July 4, 2020), we’ll begin with What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt (inspired by a recent post by A Life in Books).

35 responses

  1. It must be something to do with the starter book, I haven’t read any of Theresa’s choices and I haven’t read any of yours either…
    I have had a bit of a disaster with my desktop computer with the lovely big screen and am hunched over my little travel laptop to write this, which is not doing my eyes any good. But if I can get #6Degrees done I will let you know. Cheers Lisa

    • oh, poor your Lisa. Can the Offspring fix it? And I’m sorry your eyes are still causing such problems. I know from my own experience how exhausting it is when your eyes are not comfortable.

      • He’s taken it away to do major surgery and will bring it back next week. I may have lost everything, which is not a disaster except for my reading journal.
        Apart from that it’s probably a blessing in disguise, because you know how we tend to hoard stuff digitally, because we can…
        I took a good long walk to refresh my eyes, and have just done mine, here ’tis:

      • Well, I can restore it. (Or most of it). It’s an Excel file that I do access a lot, that lists every book in my Reading Journals (A4 200 page lined hardback books) along with the author, the date, and all kinds of miscellaneous data like author gender, origin &c. The Excel file tells me which journal a book is in so that I can find it without having to look through 40+ journals. (It’s also what I use to do those annual stats on my blog.)
        I can recreate all that though it will take me a while, and then I can go to Goodreads to add in all the books from before 1997 when I started keeping the journals.
        And I have two old hard disks which I kept only because I didn’t know how to destroy them for privacy reasons, one from 2011 and one from 2013. Both of them will have the Excel file up to whatever date I replaced that computer, though how I actually get it from them I do not know… that’s a job for The Offspring.
        It’s odd though… I would have been devastated if this had happened when I was working, but now not much of it matters any more and I just hadn’t got round to culling it.
        I am a bit worried about losing some of my contacts but I figure that all the people I care about contact me every now and again and so that will sort itself out, and my contact with publishers is mostly saved and synched on One Note.
        Nearly all my photos seem to have backed themselves up to either Google or OneDrive, so that’s good.
        Things will be messy this week because I only have my laptop, but once I get the new computer next week I can start restoring everything properly and all will be well.
        And I’ll do without whatever is not!

  2. The only book on your list other than Normal People that I’ve read is I Know This Much is True. I like where you took your connections.

    My list will be up tomorrow!

  3. I’d forgotten about the Lamb. I read it when it first came out and remember it now with much pleasure. I’m not certain I’m going to re-read that, but your choice for next month has decided me that it’s time to re-read the Hustvedt, which is one of my favourite novels.

  4. Great links Kate! I’ve just posted mine but I’ve realised I’ve been doing it all wrong and including the starting point book in my six! I’ll remember for next month!

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  6. I’m reading a different identical twins novel now, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I loved Sisterland, but I know it’s a divisive one from Sittenfeld. I’ve only read She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, but have always meant to read more. The length of I Know… has put me off, though. The Wife was on my chain in February! We read it for book club and I thought it was fantastic.

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  9. What a great chain! I don’t think I could get my brain to work that well right now. I’m finding it harder and harder to read which is painful to admit.

    I also loved Normal People. I finished another novel, Exciting Times, that reminded me so much of it. Contemporary, character driven, Irish. Somehow, even though there wasn’t a lot of action I couldn’t stop reading.

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