Six Degrees of Separation: Kitchen Confidential

First Saturday of the month, time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, I’ve been so busy, I’ve missed the past couple of months, but I’m back to joining in today! Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books chosen.

This month our starting book is…

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

This was a book group read from 2005 for me. Very enjoyable and a great choice for book group discussion, with plenty of advice including: Never eat fish on a Monday!!!

My link is via another kitchen to:

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and this is certainly the case in the title novella in this slim volume of two by Yoshimoto. Mikage has grown up as an orphan, living with her grandmother. When her grandmother dies, she is taken in by Yuichi to lodge with him and his wonderfully unique parent, Eriko. She stays there for some months before finding her own place, but when something happens to Eriko, it is Yuichi who needs looking after.

My link is via banana to:

How Bad are Bananas? by Mike Berners-Lee

Mike B-L (brother of Sir Tim), is a environmental expert in calculating the total carbon footprint of everything. The important word here is ‘everything’.  His method factors in not just manufacturing, but the footprint of the ingredients too and the corporations that make and sell things, plus the footprint of the item in use through to its eventual disposal – ie the total contribution of an item to global warming (its CO2e – equivalent).  This complete way of looking at things throws up some amazing results. Serious yet fun and very informative.

My link it through the environment to:

Enough. by Dr Cassandra Coburn

Similarly, Coburn takes a whole earth approach to looking at taking in the impacts of climate change and what we are doing to our environment for food and farming to make the case for eating more healthily and sustainably. Enough. gives food for thought, a more holistic approach to health and diet with some fascinating insights and figures that I will continue to think about, and plan to put at least some of the recommendations within into practice.

My link is via Cassandra to:

Elektra by Jennifer Saint

Although primarily Elektra’s and Clytemnestra’s stories, a third strand in Saint’s second novel of ancient Greek heroines is Cassandra, who was cursed to see the future but have no-one believe her. A slightly difficult second novel for Saint, but still enjoyable.

‘Elektra’ means amber in ancient Greek, and that’s my link to:

The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes

Haynes debut novel was surprisingly, perhaps, a contemporary one, and a psychological thriller to boot – but the ancient Greeks still feature in it. Set in a Pupil Referral Unit in Edinburgh, a new cover teacher arrives to do drama therapy. She manages to engage her pupils by discussing and acting out ancient Greek myths, including that of the Erinyes, aka the Furies. But teacher Alex is hiding something… An assured debut which I loved.

My link is via Edinburgh to

Children of Paradise by Camilla Grudova

Edinburgh is Canadian author Grudova’s home where she is a cinema usherette as well as writer. Her novel is set in an ailing arthouse cinema called The Paradise. Its staff are a team of oddballs, steeped in film school lore – or not, and newbie Holly will have to earn their respect to be accepted as a colleague, and admitted to the after work scene. As is so often the case these days, the future of the Paradise is not assured, and drama will ensue. The Paradise crew off duty remind me very much of a kitchen brigade, which just about links back to where we started.

My links have taken me from the kitchen through the science lab to Ancient Greece ending in Edinburgh. Where will yours take you?

15 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Kitchen Confidential

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thank you. The first was a bit obvious, but I dashed this off this morning when I realised I’d forgotten about it.

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    I also thought of Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto as a possible first link, but then ended up with something else. Camilla Grudova’s book doesn’t sound anything like what I was expecting from the title, which just goes to show I shouldn’t be superficial.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I did this in a rush this morning, so I went for the obvious first link.
      The Grudova reminded me of Lydia Yuknavitch, whose memoir I loved. Gritty and subversive.

  2. margaret21 says:

    Every one of your choices in this chain interests me: the first three are currently unknown to me, but not for much longer. I enjoyed Atalanta, so Elektra is easy to put on my must-read list. I love to hear Natalie Haynes speak, but enjoy her books less, so we’ll see about this, and your last choice too. Can’t read everything!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks. I know Berners-Lee has updated his thinking on some of the things he covers in Bananas. Don’t know if there’s a new edition though. Enough. was certainly food for thought. Both excellent reads.

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