Six Degrees of Separation – From Rules of Civility to The Light at the End of the Day

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.

Cover images

This month we’re starting with Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility set in 1930s New York high society. I loved this dazzling first novel which opens on New Year’s Eve.

As does Kathleen Rooney’s Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk which follows Lillian on her walk around Manhattan after her New Year’s Eve plans fall apart.

Despite being firmly anchored in place, Rooney’s novel has a curiously timeless almost old fashioned feel to it as does Virginia Feito’s Mrs March which follows the spectacular unravelling of its eponymous character, convinced that her husband’s novel is all about her.

Jill Dawson’s The Crime Writer follows a similar breakdown as Patricia Highsmith goes to pieces in rural Suffolk in this smart piece of literary fan fiction.

The title of Highsmith’s novel, The Price of Salt, was changed to Carol for the release of the excellent film adaptation starring Cate Blanchett.

Another title change for film purposes is Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark which became Schindler’s List for Spielberg’s movie.

I remember going to the Schindler Museum in Krakow on my first visit to the city which leads me to Eleanor Wasserberg’s The Light at the End of the Day, based on the flight of her family from the city, too late to entirely save themselves from the German occupation in 1939.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from high society New York in the 1930s to the German occupation of Krakow less than two years later. 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.

A very happy new year to you! Here’s to a healthier more hopeful 2022 overflowing with great books.

32 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – From Rules of Civility to The Light at the End of the Day”

  1. I LOVED Lillian Boxfish… Oh, and if I may be so bold, can I suggest you NOT read the latest book about Krakow during the war – The Girl with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff – the woman got it ALL wrong about the Krakow sewers (I know, a friend and colleague of mine actually survived those sewers)!

    1. Isn’t Lillian wonderful? And thank you for the tip. How infuriating for your friend – I do think authors (including screenwriters) owe it to those who’ve been through such dreadful times to get it right.

  2. Mareli Thalwitzer

    Such lovely books you have on your chain today. I have a copy of Schindler’s Ark and remember browsing through it when I was much younger.

    Lilian Boxfish takes a walk seems like the type of book I will enjoy for sure.

    Happy New Year!

    Elza Reads

  3. I’ll remember my visit to the Schindler Museum for a long time, so I’ll be borrowing the Wasserberg from the library next time I go in. An interesting list – thanks!

  4. Wonderful links Susan. I really want to read the Towles, and I’ve been interested in Lilian Boxfish for a while too. I bought it for someone once but haven’t read it myself. Thoroughly enjoyed your chain and your links. Nice to see Keneally in the mix, too!

  5. Thanks for reminding me about Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and Carol, loved both those books. And you prompted me to check if Kathleen Rooney has written anything else, and she has so that’s Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey added to my wishlist (which if laid end to end I’m pretty sure could encircle the globe).

  6. Schindlers Ark brings me back, we studied it for A-level English, a few years before the movie. A great choice when I think back. Have also seen ‘Carol’ which I loved. Great list.

  7. I’ve not read any of these, but do have Kathleen Rooney’s Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey in my TBR. Enjoyed your chain. All the best for 2022!

  8. That’s two recommendations for Lillian Boxfish, so I have already added that to my creaking TBR list!

    I have The Price of Salt but haven’t yet read it. I loved the film (Carol) so much; I remember feeling quite overwhelmed at the end of it. Cate Blanchett is such a wonderful actor. (I recently watched Mrs America – hard to believe Phyllis Schlaffly and Carol were played by the same woman, she’s so versatile.)

    i enjoyed your chain.

    1. Oh, excellent, and thank you! I’m sure you’ll enjoy joining Lillian on her walk.

      The film was beautifully done, wasn’t it? Very affecting. I watched Mrs America a while back. Quite an eye-opener.

  9. I find myself strangely fascinated by this tableau of covers. It’s such a busy scene, the kind that would normally leave me blinking (although I always love a spread of covers, no matter what), but something about the colours in all these…they really connect subtly and I love it!

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