Six Degrees of Separation – No One is Talking About This to Piranesi

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 Patricia Lockwood’s Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted No One is Talking About This which follows a woman who finds herself opining on all manner of things when her cryptic tweet goes viral. 

Lockwood’s was one of several novels published last year that took swipes at social media my favourite of which was John Boyne’s The Echo Chamber in which a celebrity’s family’s week goes horribly wrong when he gets his pronouns in a twist when tweeting about his publisher’s trans receptionist.

A similar disaster happens in Jonathan Coe’s House of Sleep when a character confuses the numbering of a footnote with life-changing results.

Coe was once a film critic and a novelist leading me to actor Ethan Hawke’s road novel Ash Wednesday, presumably written between movies.

Days of the week takes me to Lily King’s new collection of short stories, Five Tuesdays in Winter.

Sticking with title connections, Helen Dunmore’s A Spell of Winter, about a brother and sister growing up in their grandfather’s decaying mansion, popped into my head.

Dunmore’s novel won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Women’s Prize for Fiction which was won last year by Susanna Clarkes’ Piranesi, set in the strangest of houses, the same prize for which No One is Talking About This was shortlisted.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a novel about social media to one set in a fantastical house. 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.

40 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – No One is Talking About This to Piranesi”

  1. Now yiu have me trying to work out what could go so badly wrong with a footnote. Wrong use of italics? A misplaced comma? Incorrect author name? So many ways to trip up

    1. Ha! A number is missed with life-changing results which actually tie in to another theme in my chain but I’m not going to say what in the hope that some might read House of Sleep.

  2. I was intrigued by the footnote as well. Also a big Helen Dunmore fan, she doesn’t get nearly enough recognition. Very clever and varied connections, I’ll have to up my game!

  3. We’re all intrigued by the footnote! Of these, the first on my TBR list will be the Helen Dunmore, and yes, Coe, why not? But I couldn’t cope with the much-lauded Piranesi, and simply couldn’t get through it. I’m not much good at fantasy. An interesting chain.

    1. Thank you. Definitely not going to reveal more about the Coe, now! Dunmore was such an accomplished writer and so underrated. I suspect Piranesi is a Marmite novel. I’ve been dithering about reading it and still am.

  4. I’ve had Echo Chamber in my TBR stack for ages, nervous to begin because how could it be as wonderful as Hearts Invisible Furies?!

    House of Sleep sounds interesting – one to check out.

  5. I must re-read The House of Sleep – I read it when first published and can’t remember a thing! Lovely to see Piranesi there (natch). Maybe this year I will manage to read the Boyne – I bought it after your original review as I love comic novels, but have had too many commitments to fit it in – it could be my contribution to Cathy’s Irish Reading Month – now there’s an idea.

  6. I loved The Echo Chamber too – I’ve read quite a few of John Boyne’s books and really enjoyed nearly all of them. I haven’t read any of the other books in your chain, but I’m hoping to read Piranesi soon.

  7. I own a copy of The House of Sleep but haven’t read it yet. I do remember a similar incident from another Coe novel, though: in Number 11, a predictive text error wildly changes the meaning of a message and causes a falling-out.

  8. Mareli Thalwitzer

    The only book I recognise on here is Piranesi! But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to check the rest of your list out. Wow! You have some very interesting books on here.

    Have a wonderful February!

    Elza Reads

  9. Haha, I’m also intrigued by this footnote! What a teaser. The Echo Chamber sounds good, it definitely appeals more than No One is Talking…. Piranesi was such a fun novel!

  10. I do like the cover of Five Tuesdays in Winter – and the title is very evocative. I don’t read many short stories but I’ll see if my library has this.

    I was completely beaten by this month’s starter book, and despite trying (in vain) to think outside the box I just had to give up. Hoping for better things next month!

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