Six Degrees of Separation – from Redhead to Signature

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.

40 responses

  1. 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.

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  3. 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

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  9. 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?

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