Six Degrees of Separation – from The Dry to I Am Charlotte Simmons

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up.

This month we begin with Jane Harper’s best-selling debut, The Dry.

The Dry passed the ‘Ham’ test, so my next book is Rosalie Ham’s latest, The Year of the Farmer.

I loved The Year of the Farmer but still haven’t written a review. In fact, I have a bunch of reviews to write, including that of another recent read I loved (and my first five-star read of 2019) – Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.

The were many elements of Boy Swallows Universe that reminded me of Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies– both feature boys living a life on the edge of crime; both have families that love, despite how their circumstances appear to others; and both made me laugh and cry.

I find it quite difficult to review books that I loved – how can I ever do them justice?! Such was the case with The Glorious Heresies, so instead I put together a literary mixtape. I did the same for The Ice Storm by Rick Moody.

A party is critical to the plot in The Ice Storm, as it is in Linda Grant’s Upstairs at the Party.

Upstairs at the Party is set at a university. If a book is described as ‘campus-lit’, count me in. I’ve read a few from this list, including I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. I can’t remember much of the story but do recall thinking the cover was unappealing!

From droughts and five-star reads to parties and campus-lit – where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (June 1, 2019), we’ll begin with the winner of the 2109 Wellcome Prize, Murmur by Will Eaves.

48 responses

  1. Hi Kate, I like your link the Year of the Farmer because it is my selection too!! My links wereThe Year of the Farmer, Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic, An Isolated Incidence by Emily Maguire, The White Earth by Andrew McGahan, The Tree of Man by Patrick White, and another one of Jane Harper’s The Lost Man.

  2. Pingback: 6 Degrees of Separation: From The Dry to Italian Neighbours | Treefall Writing

  3. I didn’t have any of the same books in my chain, but I did love Boys Swallows Universe. I was a bit worried about reading it because I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. And I love the idea of literary mixed tape, as I would like to give reading recommendations, but struggle to write reviews.

    • The blurb for Boy Swallows Universe didn’t grab me either but a friend pressed it on me and once I started, I couldn’t out it down. It had such a tender heart…

  4. Been out all day, but here is mine: https://whisperinggums.com/2019/05/04/six-degrees-of-separation-from-the-dry-to/

    I”ve never even heard of Murmur, so that will be another I haven’t read. I’m on a roll this year. Haha. It will be an interesting challenge to link to as I’ll have to research it first (though I guess I could think of links without knowing anything about it – word association and all that!)

    I enjoyed your links. I’m intrigued that you have books waiting to be reviewed. I do mine within a week of finishing, though my current one is probably going to be on the cusp as life has been so busy … hmm, maybe that’s your challenge too! BTW I find it hard to write about books I love too.

    • I hadn’t heard of Murmur either however a quick look at the blurb and already I had a few leads.

      I go through phases when I’m hopelessly behind on reviews (usually after I’ve done a lot of reading during holidays). Sometimes I’ll catch up with short reviews but other times, such as the present, I have books that I feel deserve a full review (I have five on the list and two are five-star reviews!).

    • I read it before the recent hype so perhaps I had fewer expectations. When I first started it, I thought it wasn’t going to be my kind of book, but I was soon hooked – the individual characters are beautifully done, the dialogue is cracking, and it made me laugh and cry – what more can I ask for?!

    • Any books about groups of friends at boarding schools or universities are my weakness – bonus points when they are set in New England in the US or England – I blame a childhood of Enid Blyton reading 🙂

      • A childhood of Enid Blyton is the reason I ended up at boarding school! I actually asked to go because of the Naughtiest Girl in School, I got to experience it so perhaps that is why I am not drawn to read about it anymore. Boarding school was great, I got to be naughty with my friends.

  5. Interesting links! I find it difficult to review books I loved too and I’m always behind with writing reviews, as I’m so keen to get on with my next book.

    • Hi Mary, my comment was blocked on your post (???). What I wanted to say was this:

      I have also bought Harper’s next few books but haven’t read them yet – The Lost Man has had rave reviews!

      Like you, I enjoy this exercise as it has me thinking about books I’ve read in the past, particularly pre-blogging days. Thanks again for joining in.

  6. I would love to read The Ice Storm and Upstairs at the Party sounds good. Nice chain! I had not heard of Campus Lit but the list looks interesting. I have added my URL for Six Degrees to the Linky.

  7. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation (9) – The Cozy Pages

  8. I’ve only read I Am Charlotte Simmons from your list, Cathy. Like you, I don’t remember very much about it, but I’m also a huge fan of campus novels. I’ll have to look into Upstairs at the Party.

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