Six Degrees of Separation – Kitchen Confidential to The Paper Palace

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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We’re starting with Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, a memoir of Bourdain’s life as a chef which taught me what to avoid at the breakfast buffet.

Bourdain also wrote a couple of novels leading me to my favourite restaurant critic, Jay Rayner, whose story of friendship and entrepreneurial success, Day of Atonement, I enjoyed very much.

It’s an easy, if lazy, jump to Ian McEwan’s Atonement, in which a child delivers the wrong version of a letter from a young man to the object of his affections which will have far reaching repercussions.

I’ve always thought McEwan’s novel owed a great deal to L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between.

William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault follows another child caught up in adult problems who suffers lifelong loneliness because of a misunderstanding by her parents.

Trevor’s story is one of the saddest novels I’ve read but Sebastian Barry’s tragic Old God’s Time in which a retired policeman’s past is raked up eclipsed it this year.

My review of Barry’s novel is currently the most popular post on my blog, taking over from Miranda Cowley Heller’s The Paper Palace. Ironically, both seem to be visited by readers wanting to know the novels’ endings, something I do my very best to avoid giving away.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from a kitchen memoir to a novel set the day after a fateful dinner party whose ending lots of readers seem to want explained. 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.

28 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – Kitchen Confidential to The Paper Palace”

  1. I’m thinking that this Sebastian Barry book might be a good one for me. I only read his Secret Scripture and loved it, but all the other Sligo books just didn’t draw me in. Interesting chain here.

  2. I’ve been so busy I haven’t done this for a couple of months. Will try to get something up later! I love your link to the Paper Palace – I think I have this on my shelves, but I’ve read none of your choices, even Atonement! I did enjoy Kitchen Confidential though.

    1. I’m amazed at the number of people who want endings explained for those two! I really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential – I still remember how scathing he was about chefs who built towering pyramids of food on plates, a trend that’s passed, thankfully.

  3. Great chain! The only one of these I’ve read is Old God’s Time. I love Sebastian Barry’s writing, but his books are always heartbreaking!

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