Six Degrees of Separation – from What I Loved to Heart Berries

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 Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved. It’s one of the few books that got five stars from every member of my book group.

Alas, another by Siri Hustvedt – The Blazing World – got a universal thumbs down from my book group. From memory, no one managed to finish it…

In the same category was The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson.

It’s not the only Booker Prize winner that I couldn’t finish – the other was A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (I’m comforted by the fact that Karen at Booker Talk had the same experience with both books).

I bought Brief History for my husband the Christmas before it won the Booker. Even though he rarely reads for pleasure, I buy him a book each year, to keep his hand in if someone asks what he is reading 😉 Last Christmas I bought him Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing (and promptly read it myself).

Say Nothing is undoubtedly one of the best narrative nonfiction books I’ve ever read, so I jumped at the chance to hear Keefe speak (via Zoom – thanks COVID!). He was in conversation with David Grann about the art of writing true crime. Obviously I immediately bought Grann’s book, Killers of the Flower Moon.

Killers of the Flower Moon focuses on the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. My reading of books about Indigenous Americans has been very limited, with the last one being Terese Marie Mailhot’s memoir, Heart Berries.

Books I loved, books I couldn’t finish and books I haven’t yet read – where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (August 1, 2020), we’ll begin with a niche non-fiction book that you probably haven’t read but has a COVID-timely title  – How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell.

31 responses

  1. A great bookish chain. Interesting. I could not finish Hustvedt’s What I Loved and liked it less than The Blazing World. I just devoured The Blazing World! Killers of the Flower Moon is a great book too.

  2. Never even heard of next month’s book. A very entertaining chain Kate. How fascinating about your book group and those two Hustvedts. My group was Very mixed and mostly mystified by The Finkler question. But I loved it. The Jewish humour for a start just had me laughing.

    I’ve scheduled my Six Degrees for this afternoon so will be back later today with my link.

  3. I had booked Patrick to come to HomePlace in June (his only reading in Northern Ireland) and was utterly gutted when we had to cancel due to Covid. Fingers crossed I’ll get him back next year!

  4. I have heard of next month’s book though I haven’t read it. Like you, there seems to be more Booker Prizewinners that I’ve struggled with than those I’ve enjoyed. Nice chain, Kate!

  5. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation – From”What I Loved” to “Still Life” | Beverley A Baird

  6. I’ve had Heart Berries on my wishlist for a while. This was such a great Six Degrees link. Thank you for hosting. I have not heard of the book for next month but am sure I’ll enjoy the linking.

  7. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: from What I Loved to – What I Think About When I Think About Reading

  8. I’ve only read one book by Howard Jacobson – his take on The Merchant of Venice. It didn’t inspire me to read anything else by him. I have A Brief History of Seven Killings languishing on my Kindle. I’ll get to it one day.

    I hadn’t heard of the first book in this month’s chain, so I started at a tangent ended up choosing books at random that turned out to dovetail nicely.

  9. Sandra of A Corner of Cornwall has sent me to your blog, and your challenge. I think I’d like to join in, First challenge … source the book! So pleased to have found your blog, thanks to Sandra.

    • Hello Margaret! Would love to have you join in (although no requirement to read the book – sometimes the blurb, the book jacket, or even the title/ author nae is enough to start your chain).

    • Woo Hoo, hello, Margaret! I think Kate’s book choices in general may be a good match for you. (Quite what I’m basing that on is anyone’s guess, but I have a feeling…. 😉) And as Kate says, there’s no need to have read the book – most people haven’t read it each month. Statistically that’s hardly surprising and since we can link in any way we wish it’s easy to kick off with just the blurb etc. . But the meme is great fun! Looking forward to seeing what you make of it 😊

  10. I linked to The Blazing World too (also unfinished). Looks like we are in good company with our dislike of the Finkler Question and 7 Killings !
    Here’s my attempt at this month’s chain

  11. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: From What I Loved to The Story of an African Farm | Bookish Beck

  12. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation – From Hustvedt to… – FictionFan's Book Reviews

  13. Pingback: #6Degrees of Separation July 2020 – findingtimetowrite

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