Six Degrees of Separation – Lonely Planet Guide to Budapest and Hungary to The Plot

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 Kate has asked us to use a travel guide as our starting point. I’ve picked the Lonely Planet Guide to Budapest and Hungary as Budapest’s the last foreign city I visited.

When I got back, I read Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge which begins in Budapest and follows a group of young people through the years of the Second World War.

Orringer’s novel was loosely based on her family history as was Eleanor Wasserberg’s The Light at The End of the Day which follows a family who flee Krakow on the eve of Germany’s invasion.

I visited a very cosy bookshop in Krakow which had piles of titles I remember returning to the publisher in my bookselling days many years ago including Roberto Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, much hyped on publication.

Calasso’s book was translated by Tim Parks whose latest novel, Hotel Milano, I’m keen to read having enjoyed a holiday in the city a couple of years back.

Milan was where I read and enjoyed Emma Straub’s All Adults Here.

My last holiday read was Jean Hanff Korelitz’s entertaining page-turner, The Plot, which I finished in Budapest bringing me full circle, a rare event for me.

This month’s Six Degrees has taken me from Nazi-occupied Budapest to a literary thriller about a blocked writer. 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.

23 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – Lonely Planet Guide to Budapest and Hungary to The Plot”

  1. I loved that Julie Orringer, and I think the Wasserburg must go straight on the list as it seems to cover similar ground from a Polish standpoint – and my father, who studied in Krakow was one of those Poles who fled to England during WWII (Polish Airforce, of course).

    1. The Wasserburg sounds like a must-read for you, then. I seem to remember seeing a statue in Edinburgh to mark the contribution of the Polish Airforce. I must confess I knew very little about Hungary during that period. The Orringer was very enlightening.

  2. I lived in Poland for a few months and visited Krakow often (one of my favourite cities!) One thing I like about acquiring books when you are overseas is that the selection is so very different, so you end up buying and reading books you normally wouldn’t.

    1. A lovely city, and a beautiful country. Very true even if, like me, sadly, you’re monolingual, given how excellent many bookshops’ English language sections are. American holidays hit my book budget particularly hard!

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