Six Degrees of Separation – from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to Royal Lists

six-degrees-extremely

It’s Grand Final day in Melbourne but it’s also #6Degrees day (am I stretching the friendship, saying that they compare?!). Anyway, three cheers for reading great books and three cheers for joining in!

We begin this month’s chain with Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-seller, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I was totally immersed in this book, to the detriment of what was going on around me… Which happened to be a holiday in Palm Cove.

The other book that I took on that holiday (and I remember because I spent so much time crying by the pool as I read) was One Day by David Nicholls.

One Day has an ‘oh dear God’ moment, much like The Children Act by Ian McEwan – it’s a short book but McEwan delivers his trademark moral twist.

Some of The Children Act takes place in the courtroom, as does Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.

Apple Tree Yard has been sitting in my reading stack for ages, along with another book that I set aside for the ‘titles with trees’ category of the What’s In a Name? Reading Challenge – Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer (see what I did there?!).

Clearly Foer loves visual writing and unconventional publishing – Extremely Loud and Tree are both great examples, as is the ‘choose-your-own-ending-wheel-of-fortune’ in Caroline Smailes’s e-book,  99 Reasons Why.

The main character in 99 Reasons Why, Kat, believes that Princess Diana is her biological mother. Have I mentioned how much I love the Royals? When I was 11 (and living briefly in England), I invited Princess Diana to my birthday party (I had access to a stately home so it would have been more than a glass of lemonade and a bowl of Cheezels affair). Diana politely declined and to make up for it, my accomplice, Keith, a guy my dad worked with, gave me a copy of Craig Brown and Lesley Cunliffe’s The Book of Royal Lists. Although I don’t refer to the book as often as I did in 1984, it still holds a special place on my bookshelf.

From New York, London and courtrooms to a book that must be seen to be understood, Scottish estates and palaces – where will other chains lead?

Is it horror, science-fiction or dystopian? Next month (November 5th, 2016) we begin the chain with Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

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22 responses

  1. Kate, I really am enjoying taking part in Six Degrees of Separation! I hadn’t heard of Safran’s books before and loved Extremely Loud…

    I haven’t read any of the books in your chain , although I have read other books by Ian McEwan and Louise Doughty and have been wondering whether to read The Children Act and One Day.

    I’m looking forward to where Never Let Me Go will lead me – I have read it and was horrified by the concept, but I do love Kazuo Ishiguro’s books!

    • Thanks for joining in Margaret and I’m most impressed that you read the Extremely Loud for the chain (you don’t have to have to read the book, but of all to pick, I’m glad you did with this one because it really is an amazing story).

      AS many readers find, McEwan can be a bit hit and miss but I loved The Children Act – it was thought-provoking and would be a great choice for a book group. As for One Day – it appears to be a ‘light-weight’ read but is so much more.

      I’m expecting Never Let Me Go will produce some interesting chains!

  2. I really must read Foer one of these days. The new one is getting interesting reviews too.

    And hopefully I’ll get around to finished my of my post for this 6 degrees during the week…

    • That’s interesting because although I liked the film well enough (and thought it was well cast), I struggled with how they ‘aged’ the actors – it wasn’t perhaps as convincing in that respect as the book.

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  5. I haven’t read this month’s starter book either (but at least I have this one). I cried so much in One Day. And then I just sat in shock for a while. I remember when the movie came out, my ex came with me to see it and he hated me for it afterwards; not because it was a terrible film (although Anne Hathaway has much to answer for in regards to her terrible accent in it), but because of *that* moment.

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  7. I enjoyed your links Kate. I haven’t read any of yours, except for the Foer, and I have read quite a lot of McEwan, just not that one.

    I’ve read Never let me go, so I might give it a go again, having enjoyed doing this Foer.

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  9. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation // Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Fourth Street Review

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