Six Degrees of Separation – Born to Run to Mouth to Mouth

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 Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run which I’ve not read, although I have a lot of time for Mr Springsteen.

Keith Richards is another ageing rock star I have an affection for although I suspect I won’t get around to reading Life, his autobiography.

I was stunned to hear Richards proclaim himself an introvert in a BBC interview making me want to recommend Susan Cain’s Quiet to him, a book all introverts should read if only to feel better about themselves.

Cain’s title leads me to Graham Greene’s The Quiet American set against the backdrop of increasing American involvement in Vietnam in the last days of French colonialism.

David Park’s Spies in Canaan explores the fallout of that involvement as an American revisits his time as a junior spy in Saigon.

Park is one of those writers who never seems to get the recognition he deserves. The same could have been said of Elizabeth Strout here in the UK until she changed publishers for My Name is Lucy Barton.

Lucy Barton is a writer as is the narrator of Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth who bumps into an old acquaintance at an airport and hears the story that will become his next novel.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a rock star’s story to a novel narrated by a failing writer given another chance by an old acquaintance’s story. 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

19 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – Born to Run to Mouth to Mouth”

    1. I think she does now, but when I first came across her novels they were packaged in really offputting pastel colours. Penguin put that right. HBO’s adaptation of Olive Kitteridge probably helped, too.

  1. Quiet sounds like a book for me! I didn’t know that about Elizabeth Strout–haven’t read her yet but all my bookish friends speak highly of her. Enjoyed your links this month, the only one of which I’ve read is TQA.

  2. It’s hard to remember that Keith Richards was “someone else” before he was a Rolling Stone. Like Michael Jagger going to the London School of Economics! lol Or a later life, like Charlie Watts who bought/wore some of the Duke of Windsor’s suits! Good chain

    1. Thanks! The BBC did a fascinating set of interviews with each of living Stones and a commemorative one for Charlie Watts. His tailor still has suits waiting to be collected but clearly couldn’t bear to sell them. It was a very personal relationship.

  3. If nothing else, Keith Richard’s must have some stories to tell, right? But introverted is not a work I would have thought of to describe him.

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