Saturday, January 7, 2023

Six Degrees of Separation – from Beach Read to Winter Cottage

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 Beach Read by Emily Henry. I haven’t read that but I did recently finish Book Lovers by the same author.  
First Degree

Book Lovers is about an unlikely couple, an editor and a book agent, whose love of books (and propinquity) brings them together in an offbeat location. My link is people in an unusual place who value books, which led me to Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (2003). This memoir describes a small literature discussion group Nafisi held in her home while teaching at the University of Tehran and the resulting conversations. In 1981, she was expelled from the University for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil. This was a great book group read some years ago.
Second Degree

Well, I wasn't going to pick Nabokov so although Tehran and Taran are not exactly homonyms my next book is Taran Wanderer (1967), fourth in the Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. Prydain is a fictional country inspired by Welsh mythology and folklore, and I read and reread these books from age 10 to about 14. I met Alexander once at a book signing at Books of Wonder in New York, and it was amazing how much he resembled one of his beloved fictional characters, bard Fflewddur Fflam.
Third Degree

This link is fantasy. Another Shore by Nancy Bond (1976) is a favorite of mine, in which seventeen-year-old Lyn, working in a reconstructed colonial settlement at Canada’s Fort Louisbourg, suddenly finds herself transported back to 1744, when the French inhabitants are at war with England.
Fourth Degree

From the shores of Nova Scotia to the those in South Dakota, my fourth link is By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1939). I loved these books about Laura and her pioneer family, although this time of year I more frequently think about the next book in the series:
Fifth Degree

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1940). Can anyone who read this book ever forget how Almanzo Wilder and Gap Garland risked their lives to bring 60 bushels of wheat back to the starving town?
Sixth Degree

The 1880-81 winter in DeSmet is a story of survival (and malnutrition) so my final link is a more upbeat winter setting. A family that is down on its luck during the Depression finds temporary shelter in Winter Cottage by Carol Ryrie Brink (1968), and with no other options, they decide to settle in and stay for the Wisconsin winter, optimistically rationalizing that they'll pay "rent" to the unknown owners when they leave in the spring. This book is not as well known as Brink's Caddie Woodlawn but is even more charming. 
Yes, it is summer in Australia where Kate is and winter where I am in Boston, which may have influenced my wanderings from the beach to Iran, Prydain, bleak Nova Scotia (I visited the Fort in July 2014 and was freezing), and then chilly South Dakota and Wisconsin. Next month (February 4, 2023), we’ll start with the book that - by complete coincidence - is my weekend reading, Trust by Hernan Diaz. It is described as “a glorious novel about empires and erasures, husbands and wives, staggering fortunes and unspeakable misery.”

Have you read any of these? Did you play #6Degrees this month?


Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady) said...

A very twisty chain here, but you pulled it off perfectly!

Marianne said...

Interesting chain. I read your first link and the two by Laura Ingalls Wilder, so interesting to follow your train of thoughts.

My Six Degrees of Separation took me from Beach Read to Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

Cath said...

Yes, I've read Beach Reads (thought it was 'Ok') and the two Ingalls Wilder books which I loved to bits. I 'want' to read Reading Lolita in Tehran and will get to it one of these days.

I've just spent 6 days reading The Starless Sea and am thinking this is 6 days of reading I can never get back...

stargazer said...

I loved the Laura series as a child as well, but don't remember too much about them. I wonder if they would still hold up if I were to reread one of them today? And yes, I am thinking more of snow and winter as well. I do envy Kate her beach weather, though, seeing that today is especially grey and wet here in London.

Whispering Gums said...

I have only read Nafisi - loved your link to this one. Good for you for not linking to the obvious from there. My son has read the Alexander series, and my daughter the Wilders, so does that count?!

Terrie said...

I'm not familiar with any of these titles/authors, but that's what makes the chain more interesting. I love the globe hopping.....
Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

TracyK said...

Winter Cottage looks like a very appealing book. I will be interested in what you think of Trust. It sounds complicated.

JaneGS said...

I always enjoy reading others' 6 Degree journeys. Yes to the LIW books--Shores of Silver Lake is one of my favorites--the Garth Williams illustrations are great in all of them, but exceptionally good in this book. I love Caddie Woodlawn--reread it about 10 years ago--so I really should read Winter Cottage. Thanks for the recommendation. Reading Lolita in Tehran was good, of course. Another Shore is appealing to this wannabe time traveler. True confessions time - I know many bloggers I follow loved Book Lovers, but I quit reading just over half way through. For some reason, I found the characters so annoying.

Happy reading and happy new year!

Lady In Read said...

I only read (part of) Reading Lolita in Tehran from the books on your list.. but I do have read more of LIW and soon..
Here is my 6 Degrees of Separation