My favourite monthly tag, hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, Six Degrees of Separation picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps.
Links in the titles will take you to my reviews where they exist. Our starting book this month is:
Normal People by Sally Rooney
I haven’t read this yet, but it is in my ‘Bedside Bookcase’, and thus could be one of my ’20 Books of Summer 20′. One thing I noticed about the book is its lovely endpapers featuring the sardine can ringpull from the front cover. Another book with gorgeous endpapers is:
The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan
Another book which is in my TBR – but which I should promote maybe as it concerns a man who agrees to self-isolate in a suite of rooms for seven years with no external social contact. However, I am judging books by their covers this month, and there are loads of flowers its cover, which leads me to the graphic flowers here…
One of my favourite pieces of TV ever, Mike Leigh’s 1977 play started out in the theatre before transferring to the small screen under the ‘Play for Today’ umbrella. Penguin reissued the original theatre script for its 40th anniversary, replete with a 1970s wallpaper design on the cover. This play is still hilarious and cringemaking and shocking as a group of adults have a cocktail party while the kids are at another house. I’m sticking with the flowers, but going even more stylised to:
While I adore all of Magnus Mills’s novels, this was possibly the weakest for me, but what a concept. A group of chaps gather weekly to sit and listen to vinyl singles. They have a rather rigid format, and when someone starts a rival record club, the apple-cart is truly upset. I loved the way Bloomsbury produced this book as 7inch single size – underneath the dustjacket with the sleeve on, the black vinyl is on the book’s boards. Great fun. This leads me to another music format…
I’ve also enjoyed all of French author Antoine Laurain’s novels, but this one is perhaps my favourite. It concerns a lost letter which brings a bittersweet surprise to the ex-members of a band who had hoped to get a record contract when they sent out their demo tape 33 years previously. Can Alain find the tape, can he get the band back together? Very, very enjoyable. A cassette tape also features on the cover of…
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
One of these days I’ll get around to actually reading a David Mitchell book. I have this one on the shelf as a signed hardback too. The cover also features a golden apple, and fruit will be my final link to another extraordinary book cover.
I can’t say I like this cover, but it is striking – as is the book. Describing it is not easy though. If I said it’s an existential drama about the lives of two police detectives told through a series of mostly linked short stories about characters that come into and out of their lives, I’d be doing it a disservice in trying to categorise it at all. I can say that although it features policemen, it is not a crime novel, but a novel in which crimes happen. It’s strange, and I would re-read it (skipping the rather in-yer-face gay orgy scene though!)
Having lurked around all of these book’s covers I shall delve into the text for one final link to bring us back to where we started. Hawthorn & Child is full of snappy dialogue which is unencumbered by he said / she saids and speechmarks, which is also very much Sally Rooney’s style.
Where will your six degrees take you?