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 Fleishman is in Trouble which many in my neck of the Twitter woods were raving about last year. I’ve yet to read it but the blurb tells me it’s about a man looking forward to his new-found freedom whose ex-wife disappears.
Which reminded me of Katie Kitamura’s unnamed narrator in A Separation called in by her ex-partner’s parents to help find their son who has disappeared while on holiday in Greece.
Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk sees Sofia, also on an enforced holiday, this time in Spain where her mother is seeking help from the mysterious Dr Gomez for an illness which defies diagnosis.
A holiday turns sour then becomes an adventure for Vendela Vida’s protagonist in The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty when she’s mistakenly handed someone else’s identical backpack.
Vida’s novel is narrated in the second person which took some getting used to for me but I enjoyed it very much once I was accustomed to it. The same goes for TaraShea Nesbitt’s The Wives of Los Alamos which is narrated in the first person plural. It’s an ambitious impressive debut about the wives of the scientists who developed the atomic bomb.
Much more conventional in style, Joseph Kanon’s thoroughly enjoyable thriller, Los Alamos, is set during the same period and features an intelligence officer who falls in love with one of the scientist’s wives.
Lydia Millet’s Oh Pure and Radiant Lives begins with the first mushroom cloud in the New Mexican desert which sees the scientists responsible catapulted into 2003 where they try to adjust to a very different America. I loved this funny, original novel.
This month’s Six Degrees of Separation has taken me from a bestselling satire about modern marriage to a set of time-traveling scientists. 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.