Six Degrees of Separation – From What Are You Going Through to Notes from a Small Island

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 Sigrid Nunez’s What Are You Going Through in which one friend diagnosed with terminal cancer asks another to help her end her life.

Steven Amsterdam’s sharp, funny The Easy Way Out explores the tricky question of assisted suicide through a nurse whose mother has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

One of my favourite cities, Amsterdam provided the backdrop to Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, set in the seventeenth century.

The titular character of Burton’s novel makes furniture for dolls’ houses leading me to Elizabeth MacNeal’s The Doll Factory which I’ve yet to read.

I have read Ian Banks’ cult classic The Wasp Factory. Not my favourite Banks but it was an impressive start to a brilliant career.

Ian Banks died far too young as did Andrea Levy author of Small Island which follows three members of the Windrush Generation as they negotiate the challenges of building a new life in Britain.

Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island is a love letter to the country from which Levy’s characters received such a mixed welcome.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a novel by a palliative nurse about assisted suicide to an affectionate travelogue about my own country by an American. 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.

31 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – From What Are You Going Through to Notes from a Small Island”

    1. Love your link to The Miniaturist. I’ve not read The Doll Factory either – it fell into the category of books i didn’t want to read because I saw them everywhere. Silly really, I might have been denying myself an enjoyable experience.

  1. Ah… another chain that isn’t filled with gloom! Lovely. I always like a freestyle chain like this – author’s name is Amsterdam, connecting to a book that takes place in Amsterdam! Lovely!

  2. Clever linking with Amsterdam. I’ve yet to read The Miniaturist, but I may have spoiled it for myself by seeing the TV series before reading the book. Interesting news that there is to be a sequel.

  3. Great links! The Levy/Bryson is interesting – two sides of the same coin. Thanks for the reminder of The Doll Factory – one I also meant to read but it had slipped off my radar…

  4. I do admire the unuusal ways in which you have linked your books!

    The only one I have read is Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island, which I remember loving.I once had to ask him for permission to quote from the book for a newsletter I used to edit. and I was so thrilled when he sent back a card with a personal note, saying it was fine. What a nice man – and his writing is so entertaining.

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