Six Degrees of Separation – from Daisy Jones and the Six to Eucalyptus

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It works like this: each month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six others to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the titles on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

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This month we’re starting with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones and the Six which I haven’t read although it’s on my TBR list. I do know it’s about a ‘70s rock band which implodes at the height of its fame.

Leading me to Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments, set in working-class Dublin, which sees two friends put a band together singing ‘60s soul numbers. Despite their success on the Dublin circuit, tensions run high and the band splits. A very funny book which was made into a thoroughly enjoyable film.

Not at all funny but also set in Dublin, Belinda McKeon’s lovely novel, Tender, follows the story of a young woman who falls in love with her gay male friend.

Ann Patchett’s The Magician’s Assistant is about Sabine, married to a man she’s always known to be gay, trying to cope with her grief after his death and finding comfort in an unexpected place.

Ann Patchett runs a bookshop in Nashville – Parnassus Books – and I have to say it looks wonderful. Fellow author Jeanette Winterson also turned her hand to retailing with a delicatessen, no longer open, which also sold fruit and vegetables. Her debut Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit tells the semi-autobiographical story of growing up in an evangelical household.

That title leads me to Kathryn Harrison’s eighteenth-century set A Thousand Orange Trees, which sees Louis XIV’s niece abandoning the trees she’d hoped to take to Spain whose king she’s to marry.

Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus, features another sort of tree, collected by the father of a beautiful young woman whose hand in marriage he plans to give to the first man who can name each of the five hundred eucalypts in his collection.

This month’s Six Degrees of Separation has taken me from hedonistic LA in the ‘70s to an isolated New South Wales estate and a rather unusual competition. Part of the fun of this meme is comparing the very different routes other bloggers take from each month’s starting point. If you’re interested, you can follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #6Degrees, check out the links over at Kate’s blog or perhaps even join in.

32 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – from Daisy Jones and the Six to Eucalyptus”

  1. Interesting chain! I loved The Commitments (the movie) but never read the book. The Magician’s Assistant sounds interesting. I am about to start reading The Dutch House, if I get on with that, I may look into some of Patchett’s other novels.

  2. Great links! Somehow it’s hard to imagine authors doing things like running a deli – one imagines them permanently locked in garrets covered in ink-blots, only emerging occasionally to attend glittering literary parties… 😀

  3. Clever links! I read the Patchett book some years ago and have been meaning to read more of her books – must get round to it this year. It would be great to visit her bookshop.

  4. Great links! I read Daisy Jones and the Six a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. I haven’t read any of the other books in your chain, but I will be reading The Dutch House soon, which will be my first Ann Patchett.

  5. Such lovely, unexpected links (particularly Patchett to Winterson).

    Remarkably, I’ve either read or have on my TBR, all the books in your chain. Highest on the TBR is Tender (I think you alerted me to it in the first place).

  6. I’ve read 4 in your chain which is most unusual! I would never have linked them together and what you’ve done is so clever. I’ve not read Daisy Jones or the last two you chose, they all sound interesting.

  7. I can’t believe the rest of us forgot The Commitments! That was a perfect way to start. I am sort of creeped out by Kathryn Harrison, although that book sounds fascinating, but Eucalyptus is going right on my TBR. And I want to read more Patchett – I did love Bel Canto. In fact, my mother and I joke that it was one of the only books that she and I and my grandmother all enjoyed! My grandmother famously thought my mother’s and my reading was too lightweight, which we did not appreciate. When her retirement community put up notices they were reading Bel Canto, we ran out to buy her a copy and she was enchanted!

    Here is my chain – I tried to keep the rock theme:

  8. Great link to The Commitments. I tried this link and couldn’t get very far at all so abandoned it this mont. I never knew Winterson had a deli business. Wonder why she started this – was it before she was published perhaps?

    1. Thanks, Karen. Maybe something will pop into your head over the next few days. It was well after she’d become a well known author. Sometime in the early part of this century, I think. No idea why she did it, I’m afraid. It’s one of those anoraky bits of trivia that’s lodged itself in my brain!

  9. I enjoyed reading your chain. It has been interesting to see the different directions each of us has gone. I haven’t read any of the books you list, but Tender and The Magician’s Assistant are both on my TBR pile. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Yes, the Commitments is SUCH an enjoyable film. It’s one of the few music films that I’ve happily rewatched a few times (but not recently…hmmmm…maybe I should remedy that, or, at least, listen to the soundtrack soon). And I love Eucalyptus too. What a gentle story. Tender does sound sad. And I had no idea that Winterson started a delicatessen – go figure! (What a cute cover on that edition of Oranges. So much nicer than my old copy.)

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