Six Degrees of Separation – from My Brilliant Friend to Swimming Home


It’s time for #6Degrees (and as the new-ish host, I’m asking you in the loveliest possible way to join in!).

We begin this month with the first book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, My Brilliant Friend. I’ve only just started reading it, but the story focuses on two young girls who remain friends until adulthood. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves to The Crucible


I’m late to the #6DEGREES party this month and it took all my willpower to keep studying last weekend and not start thinking about links between books. But exams are finished (hoorah!) and now I can blog, blog, blog (Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman created the #6DEGREES mem, for bloggers to share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along).

This month, #6DEGREES begins with Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, a book that I loved for so many reasons (in fact, here are 11 of them). Continue reading

Q by Evan Mandery

I’m not ordinarily into books about time travel but Q by Evan Mandery begins with a first date where the couple make lists – Greatest Game Show Hosts of All Time*; Best Sit-Com Theme Songs**; Top Frozen Dinners***. In my opinion, that’s enough to recommend it.

The story is narrated by the unnamed main character. Shortly before his wedding to a woman named Q (“Q, Quentina Elizabeth Deveril, is the love of my life.”), he is visited by a man who claims to be his future self who ominously tells him that he must not marry Q.  His reasons are compelling (and made me cry). The narrator leaves his fiancée and the void in his life is impossible to fill. One after the other, future selves arrive urging him to marry someone else, divorce, attend law school, leave law school, travel, join a running club, stop running, study the guitar, the cello and so on. The only constants in all these versions of his life are his yearning for Q and New York City, which is used as a wonderful backdrop. Continue reading