Six Degrees of Separation is the brainchild of Kate from Books Are My Favourite and My Best. Each month there is a different starter book and through six books, with what can be, on my part, extremely tenuous links, you see which book you end up at.
The starter book this month is Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill. The author Susan Hill transcripes her year of reading or re-discovering books that make up her collection, eschewing buying new books in favour of those lost treasures dotted around her house. Now I love books about books, could read them endlessly. This is however one I’ve not read.
One I have read is The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller. In it, Andy takes us through his year of deciding to read more, what he picks and how he gets through them. He has his 50 pages a day rule to see him through some newly discovered delights and some not so delightful reads.
In The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman, Laura discusses how food in books helped her in her road to recovery from anorexia. For example plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes and the wounded Robert Graves’ appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.
Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink sees the reader following Cathy from her love of books as a child, to her eventual career in books and writing, via her job in the Harrods book department before moving on to Waterstones. Throughout, Cathy reflects on the books that sustained her during difficult periods in her life and gives anecdotes about customers she met during her work in the bookstores.
Another book detailing the real life interactions with book customers is The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. In it the author provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from eccentric customers to buying trips, together with many book recommendations.
Onto a fictional bookshop and in The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, Sara leaves Sweden for the first time. At 28 she cashes in her savings and heads to Broken Wheel, Iowa. There she opens the first bookstore in the town.
Of course bookshops would be empty without writers. In The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen, only very special people are chosen by children’s author Laura White to join ‘The Society’, an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. When the tenth member, Ella, joins the society she discovers all is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual, ‘The Game’? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura’s winter party, in a whirlwind of snow? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her?
So as you can see, the recurring link this month is books about books. Because these hold a special place in my heart I will be doing a separate blog post highlight some of the best I’ve read, and ones I still need to devour. After all, us bookworms need our sustenance.