Saturday, February 5, 2022

Six Degrees of Separation – from No One is Talking About This to Rachel's Holiday

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up. This month’s starting point is No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood (2021). It's a Booker Award Finalist novel about manipulation, human interdependence, and social media which I haven’t read.
First Degree

However, I was reminded of No One You Know by Michelle Redmond (2008). This is about a young woman whose sister has been murdered: when she confides in a man who uses what she says to write a true crime book, her family is further traumatized. All of Redmond’s books I have read are set in California so I was interested to read that she is originally from Alabama like my friend Tracy.
Second Degree

My second degree is Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (2018). Espionage! Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. Then she finds out one of the leaders is someone she knows, which shouldn’t but does change how she responds. I couldn’t put this book down and see she has now written several more I need to investigate.
Third Degree

On a more frivolous note about knowledge is Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book by Anita Silvey (2009). Sometimes I think I should have written this book, perhaps more amusingly! Silvey is a children’s book expert also known for her hats. I met her once and when I learned she didn’t know it, sent her a copy of Polly Poppingay, Milliner, a very charming book, and was disappointed she never told me if she liked it. I am using two of her other reference books for a paper that is exactly half done.
Fourth Degree

Speaking of children’s books knowledge, I just ordered a copy of Another Country: A Guide to the Children's Books of the Lake District and Cumbria by James Mackenzie (2008). I am thinking about my next trip to Britain, which will be in June if all goes well.
Fifth Degree

My fifth degree is England's Lake District. Arthur Ransome is one of several well-known authors to set books there and Winter Holiday (1933) is my favorite of those, fourth in the Swallows & Amazons series. It’s about a very disappointing holiday - his extremely outdoorsy characters have the mumps and must amuse themselves indoors while in quarantine.
Sixth Degree

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes (2000) is about another holiday gone wrong. Rachel thinks she is going to a spa but her family has done an intervention and sent her to rehab. I remember Jennifer Hershey, an editor at one of my former publishing companies, telling me Keyes was the next Maeve Binchy when we published her first book, Watermelon, but I found this book, part of the same series, was more depressing than amusing.
Have you read any of these? Did you play #6Degrees this month? Next month (March 5, 2022), Kate will start us off with The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.  


Lex @ Lexlingua said...

I think I need to read Winter Holiday to get some more tips on the quarantine! I've never read Ransome's books at all, but that's one author I've heard a lot about. And Anita Silvey's book title reminded me of all the books I read as a kid and made me wonder what lessons I may have learnt there... it actually seems like very good food for thought.

Helen said...

Great chain this month. I read some of the Swallows and Amazons series as a child but I can't remember much about the individual books. I think I need to set aside some time to catch up on re-reading childhood favourites!

JaneGS said...

I haven't read any of these books, but I absolutely love reading these chains. No One You Know sounds like it could be very good. Intriguing. I would love to read a version of Everything I Need to Know...Children's Books. Another Country sounds like so much fun--I'll be looking forward to your travelogue in June, should you make it to Britain as hoping. I have still never read Arthur Ransome and need to do something about that!

Happy February and happy reading.

TracyK said...

It is interesting that your first book was written by an author who grew up in Alabama and now lives in California. She must be younger than I am and I wonder what experiences she had in Alabama. I looked into some of her books and several of them sound interesting.

Need to Know sounds very interesting. You know I like espionage fiction. I agree that you could write the book Everything I Know I Learned from a Children's Book. I know of Arthur Ransome's books but haven't read any. I have Watermelon by Marian Keyes but have not read it.

So, all in all, a very good chain.

Yvonne said...

Like Helen, I also read Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series as a child but don't remember much about the books or how far into the series I got. I see a personal reading challenge coming up :-)

Marina Sofia said...

Winter Holiday was my favourite too, probably because I grew up in Aistria and knew more about wintry conditions than about sailing.

Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady) said...

Nice chain, and no, I don't know any of these.

Katrina said...

Winter Holiday is the only one that I've read. Have you visited the Lake District before? It's pretty (not as good as Scotland of course!) but it is so touristy and busy nowadays, maybe in June it won't be quite so bad as the schools won't be on holiday.

CLM said...

A funny coincidence to find that Marian Keyes has written a sequel to Rachel's Holiday after all these years! I did not know the book was based on her own experience in rehab.

Katrina, I have not been to the Lake District and I suspect it needs a more leisurely visit to appreciate than a weekend.

Marina and Yvonne, I can't decide how well Arthur Ransome holds up. I certainly never sailed or camped as a child and found them interesting but I tried reading the first one to my nephew ten or so years ago and we were both bored by all the sailing language and gave up. I am guessing as a reader I ignored most of the nautical terms. I wonder if I would have read and reread these books if my mother hadn't liked them as a child?

Tracy, I know you and I like these espionage books. I liked Need to Know a lot - I will have to check what this author has been doing recently.