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 Anne Tyler’s latest novel, Redhead By the Side of the Road. I haven’t read it but as soon as I think Tyler, my mind turns to the first book I read by her, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – it was part of my high school English course.
Also read for school (but one that I very much enjoyed, unlike Dinner) was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. It remains my favourite of all of Shakespeare’s comedies.
My son is busy with reading his English texts, one of which is The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. We’ve listened to a recorded radio performance of the play and I was reminded of how funny it is.
I love books that fall into the ‘British madcap farce’ category, including the hilarious Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson. Lucia’s ‘friendly’ rival, has a penchant for trends in spiritual health and much of the plot revolves around the characters dabbling in things not usually seen in English drawing rooms, such as yoga.
Seeking spiritual health reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. I abandoned it part way through the ‘Pray’ section – it was all so self-obsessed, and I swore off Gilbert…. until I read The Signature of All Things, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I started with an author I feel indifferently about (against popular opinion), jumped to comedies, and finished with an author who didn’t convince me initially but made me change my mind. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.
Next month (March 6, 2021), we’ll start with a book I’m hoping will make the Stella Prize 2021 longlist – Phosphorescence by Julia Baird.
LOL My #6Degrees features parental reading for Year 12 too.
Very good! As much as I love Anne Tyler, I still haven’t read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant!
I did Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant at school too but I bloody loved it and it turned me into a lifelong Tyler fan… I’ve read almost everything she’s ever written.
The Accidental Tourist is what turned me on to her. I want to read Dinner… and there are many others from the earlier years that I haven’t read.
I have fond memories of The Accidental Tourist. I’ve read most of her books pre-blog but the ones I have reviewed are here: https://readingmattersblog.com/category/author/anne-tyler/
My experience is her books are fine but I don’t get excited about them… suspect I’m missing something.
To be honest, they are not books to be excited by: they’re understated but oh-so humane and compassionate and about universal themes related to family and marriage and parenthood and growing older. She shines a light on all the little things, good and bad, that make up a life.
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Some really great ones on this chain. I want to read Tyler’s Dinner (even if you didn’t care for it). Importance is one of my favorite Wilde plays! Now you’ve got me wanting to read that Queen Lucia! https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2021/02/06/6degrees-of-separation-for-february-6-2021/
Here is mine but it is now past 1 am so I will have to check out all of yours in the morning! I do think I might try this Anne Tyler but January was much too full of library books already. The Julia Baird is not yet out in the US but it looks like Random House is publishing it in the spring.
I hope you can glean enough from Goodreads about Phosphorescence to get your chain started!
Actually, I found it quite easy to get my first link to this book!
I read lots of Anne Tyler about 15 years ago, but haven’t read any of her work for ages. But here’s where ‘Redhead At the Side of the Road’ led me:
I’ve only ever read Tyler’s Vinegar Girl, but although funny, but not something I’d re-read. And interestingly, it was part of my last set of #6Degrees books. For Shakespeare, my own favorite is Macbeth but Twelfth Night follows a close second. And Oscar Wilde’s Importance of… is really too funny (the movie, not as much I thought).
Thanks for a great #6Degree selection, as always.
~#6Degrees Post @Lexlingua
This has caught me by surprise and I haven’t put my chain together yet. Hopefully tomorrow!
I love The Importance of Being Ernest – also read in Year 12!
Got there at last!
Fab chain Kate – I always love to see Shakespeare popping up!
Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: From a Redhead to a Blue Dress | Bookish Beck
I had a similar experience to you with both Gilberts. The Signature of All Things convinced me to try another – The Last American Man – which I also enjoyed.
Nice links. I have only read the one by Shakespeare, excellent. My quirky chain is here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2021/02/06/six-degrees-of-separation-from-a-redhead-to-an-alien-head/
I’m a big fan of British madcap farce, so Queen Lucia looks great.
I really loved The Signature of All Things! I liked Eat, Pray, Love as well, but I can see the self-absorption!
Here’s a link to my chain: https://happiestwhenreading.com/2021/02/06/6degrees-from-redhead-by-the-side-of-the-road-to-the-seven-husbands-of-evelyn-hugo/
The Importance of Being Earnest is so over the top! I love it! Queen Lucia has been on my TBR for years. I need to make a bigger effort to find it.
Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: from Redhead by the Side of the Road to Snow Crash – What I Think About When I Think About Reading
I only know two on your list – both the plays. Both superb, of course. Surprisingly, none of the others in your chain have grabbed me – that has to be a first!
My random scattering for this month is here https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2021/02/06/six-degrees-of-separation-from-redhead-by-the-side-of-the-road-to-snow-crash/
Pingback: Six Degrees-From “Redhead” to “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” | Shoe's Seeds & Stories
Eat, Pray, Love was dire. Not for the first time I had a strong aversion to a best seller!
My chain this month took a completely different direction to yours. Such good fun to see how everyone responds.
I’ve used Mr. Linkey for the first time, but, I don’t know, I just feel better posting my link here: https://www.notesinthemargin.org/2021/02/06/6-degrees-of-separation-whats-in-a-title/
Now I’m off to read everyone else’s posts. This is one of my favorite monthly activities!
Fun, great connections!
I just posted mine – lots of romance this month for me!
Enjoyed seeing your links! I have really enjoyed several Anne Tyler books in the past.
Love your chain Kate, including the school reads. Here is mine https://whisperinggums.com/2021/02/06/six-degrees-of-separation-from-redhead-by-the-side-of-the-road-to/
Pingback: Six degrees of separation — From a redhead to a girl with a tattoo… – Cathy's Reading Bonanza
Here is my very arbitrary list of light reading:
I hadn’t read Elizabeth Gilbert because I had no interested, but I did love Signature of all things!
Pingback: #6Degrees February 2021 – findingtimetowrite
I’m really late this month: lots to catch up on, including yours! https://margaret21.com/2021/02/07/six-degrees-of-separation-february/
It’s my first time doing the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found building a chain encouraged me to try different things. Here’s mine, and I’ll hopefully be back next month. Phosphorescence won’t be published in UK until May but your review will guide me to my first link.
Hi Kate! I also made a stop at Shakespeare, but not for Twelve Night. The Importance of being Ernest is a good, funny classic and worth the audio recording.
I also loved The Signature of all things.
Sorry I’m a day or two late again, but I did add my link.
Have a wonderful week!
6 Degrees of Separation – missed it by a red hair’s breadth
I went from this to Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson!
Great idea. I saw this last week and couldn’t help myself, I had to join in.
My Six Degrees of Separation lead me to Egypt, “Palace Walk” by Naguib Mahfouz. Looking forward to next month.
Thank you so much for doing this. May I ask what programme you use for your collage?