Six Degrees of Separation – from Moscow to Naples

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 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. This book was one of my book group’s selections earlier this year and I didn’t read it. That’s notable because I almost always read the book. The last one I didn’t read was Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (we did that in 2003 and my excuse was I’d just had a baby and couldn’t focus on 900+ pages).

My husband rarely reads for leisure, however, he has been meaning to read Shantaram for more than a decade. In fact, he takes it on every holiday with the intention to start. It has become a running joke when we are packing –

Me: Have you got your bathers, your fishing gear and Shantaram?
Him: Yep, all packed.

Last holiday, Shantaram came with us, as well as The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper. My husband picked up the Hooper and read it in one day (Shantaram remained untouched). The Arsonist focuses on the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Alice Bishop’s A Constant Hum is a fictional take on those same fires.

I’m obsessed with the cover of A Constant Hum. The designer, Imogen Stubbs, recently won an award for her cover for The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot.

Kernot’s book is about taxidermy and a girl whose mother has died. I couldn’t think of any other books I’ve read about taxidermy but there are plenty about mothers dying – the first book that popped to mind was Lost and Found by Brooke Davis, whose real life experience of her mother dying prompted the novel.

‘Lost’ links me to The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, the final instalment in the Neapolitan series.

I started in Moscow and ended in Naples – where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

Next month (October 5, 2019), we’ll begin with a book that everyone’s talking about – Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.

38 responses

  1. I’ve listened to Shantaram, I’m not sure it’s worth carrying to the beach every year. But I do have books I carry with me for years in the bottom of my work backpack without ever reading them. The latest is a collection of The a Ashley short stories, no longer in my ‘currently reading list but still at the bottom of my bag.

    • I have books that I’ve had on my TBR shelf for years but I don’t carry them around with me! My husband does so much reading for work that when it comes to leisure time, it has to be light an undemanding (I think Shantaram is too much of a time investment). So what will prompt you to read the books in your backpack?

      • Sometimes its time comes (ie. I feel like reading it), sometimes I feel guilty, but more often I get held up somewhere and slowly make my way through all the reading material in the truck.

  2. Love the Shantaram story!

    My link will post at 10am, so I’ll come back then and share my link.

    BTW Next month’s book that everyone’s talking about? This is weird, it’s not in my radar at all, so I decided to look it up. Hmm, it rings a bell, but I tend not to pay much attention to bestselling books, so their titles and authors rarely stick in my brain these days. I feel I’m becoming a literati failure. Anyhow, I can see that it won’t be hard to link from it.

  3. Pingback: 6 Degrees of Separation: From A Gentleman in Moscow to On the Brink of Everything | Treefall Writing

  4. Pingback: Six degrees of separation: From Moscow to Vimy | Words And Peace

  5. I really enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow but have not read any of your others. The author went to school in the next town over from me and when my book group read it and I was reading some reviews I found a funny story about his visiting his old school. It sounded as if everyone had been assigned to read the book before his visit and, knowing teens, I wondered how many had actually done so.

    I thought about switching to WordPress once because it does seem easier to manipulate photos. I like the way you included all seven covers!

  6. Hi Kate, My links stayed in Russian and with some of the books mentioned in A Gentleman in Moscow: Essays by Michel de Montaigne; Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy; Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak; The Master and Margarita by Milkhail Bulgakov: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky; and We the Living by Ayn Rand.

  7. Pingback: #6Degrees of Separation, September 2019 – findingtimetowrite

  8. Funny that so many of the books were books you struggled reading. We all are in the same place. I actually added a book to my list this time that I haven’t read which is a first for me. Here is my list: My Six Degrees

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