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.
This month we’re starting with Georgi Gospodinov’s International Booker Prize-winning Time Shelter. I’ve yet to read it but the blurb tells me it’s about a clinic for dementia sufferers in which each floor recreates a decade in minute detail. It sounds intriguing.
My first link is by title to Frances Greenslade’s enjoyable debut, Shelter, about two sisters who lose first their father, then their mother when they are children. I bought my copy years ago on holiday.
Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station was also a holiday purchase found in a Madrid bookshop the day before taking a train from the same station.
My favourite read from that holiday was Ethan Canin’s A Doubter’s Almanac about a man with a genius for maths, an addictive personality and a distinct lack of humility whose son inherits the first two traits. I loved it.
As opposed to one of my more recent holiday reads, Anna Bruno’s Ordinary Hazards, for which I had high hopes but which turned into a DNF. Not a bad book, just not for me.
Bruno’s novel takes place in a bar as does Jim Powell’s Things We Nearly Knew, set in small-town America where the husband and wife owners talk over what they’ve heard every night before sleep.
Mary Beth Keane’s The Half Moon features another small-town American bar, this one in danger of closing, owned by a couple whose marriage has hit the skids. A few more weeks before this one’s published here in the UK, but I loved it and couldn’t resist including it.
This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a book about a clinic for dementia patients to a small town American bar in trouble rather like the owners’ marriage. 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.