Saturday, March 2, 2024

Six Degrees of Separation – from Tom Lake to Some Writer!

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 Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, which I reviewed in September and liked so much it made my Best of 2023 list.
First Degree

My book group also read Patchett’s State of Wonder (2011), in which the heroine embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon (there were definitely too many snakes and bugs for me to fully enjoy this book). My review.
Second Degree

In Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (2001), an English orphan, early 20th century, is sent to live with distant relatives who own a rubber plantation along the Amazon River. The relatives turn out to be dreadful and forbid her from exploring but Maia finds her own adventures – which include a triumphant voyage down the Amazon.
Third Degree

The river in Long Bright River by Liz Moore (2020) is metaphorical:
“All of them children, all of them gone. People with promise, people dependent and depended upon, people loving and beloved, one after another, in a line, in a river, no fount and no outlet, a long bright river of departed souls.”
It’s a novel about the pain of opiate addiction and sisters who chose different paths (with some suspense thrown in): Mickey is a police officer and feels incredible guilt because her sister Kasey is a drug addict/prostitute who can’t stay clean. My review
Fourth Degree

Our old friends Jack, Dinah, Philip, Lucy-Ann (and Kiki the parrot) are recovering from flu on a river cruise in The River of Adventure by Enid Blyton (1955) and, of course, run into danger – when they get trapped beneath a forgotten temple where no one has set foot for 7,000 years. This Blyton series was written for older children than the Famous Five or Secret Seven and always seemed of higher quality to me.
Fifth Degree

When Nicola sets off in her car for a vacation in Sweet Adventure by Mary Burchell (1952), she has no specific destination in mind but is hoping for adventure. So she should not be surprised when a wrong turn has dramatic results - including her becoming the temporary guardian to a little girl she doesn’t know and falling for a man who is engaged to someone else.  Burchell has always been my favorite M&B/Harlequin writer.
Sixth Degree

Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White (2016) is a children’s biography of the author, known for his writing for the New Yorker and of course, his children’s books. My link here is not the title but the author’s name - Melissa Sweet. She is a gifted artist who mixed White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own appealing artwork to tell his story. My review
So I managed to travel from Michigan to the Amazon and Philadelphia, to the Middle East and England, and finally to the farm in Maine where E.B. White lived with his wife, a New Yorker editor, and stepson Roger, future writer. How do they connect? Well, Ann Patchett is not only a gifted writer but also owns a bookstore in Nashville that brings authors and readers together and has inspired some of her essays and E.B. White's farm was the inspiration for his best-known work, Charlotte's Web.  How is that?

Next month (April 6, 2024), Kate says to pick a travel guide from our bookshelves. Did you play #6Degrees this month? Please share your link!


Helen said...

I loved Enid Blyton as a child and the Adventure books were some of my favourites, particularly The Castle and The Valley of Adventure.

TracyK said...

Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White looks very good. I will have to look into finding a copy. Since I am not buying any books until the book sale anyway, I will check there in September and then get it elsewhere if I can't find one.

I was interested in Long Bright River by Liz Moore back when you reviewed it, I will put it on my list also.

Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady) said...

Yes, that book about E.B. White does sound good. Thanks. Lovely chain here.

Marianne said...

Of course I played this month. I absolutely love it. It's not always easy to find links, so I went with words in the titles again. Maybe not as interesting for others but I love words and looking for the chains that way. But I am always delighted to see chains like youre. I'm already looking forward to next month.

My Six Degrees of Separation ended with Silent House.