After a couple of months where I was so busy to plan ahead, I’m back for the First Saturday of the month, time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, 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.
This month our starting book is…
Trust by Hernan Diaz
I’ve not read it yet – it’s in my TBR piles, but I know it’s set in Manhattan.
Three Bedrooms in Manhattan by Georges Simenon
An obvious Manhattan link for me was to Simenon’s standalone roman dur, which can be viewed as auto-fiction, confirmed to me at an event many years ago now by Simenon’s son John, who said that it was basically a novelisation of how his mother and father met.
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
This novel about a red lockdown and siege in an English boarding school, is one of the best domestic thrillers I’ve read in years. The best, and worst thing in this novel is that the whole scenario is so very plausible indeed. Lupton gets every detail of how such situations work perfectly right, especially how the police handle the siege and the anxious parents. Highly recommended.
To Rise at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
From three thrilling hours to a decent one for my next link to this novel about a dentist. I see from my review that I got fed up with this novel and didn’t finish it due to its rambling nature, despite enjoying parts of it.
Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe
Another novel featuring dentists is the third volume of Nina Stibbe’s series following the life of young Lizzie Vogel who has become a dental technician, following on from her teenaged Saturday job at the care home in Paradise Lodge. Sadly, my review of this hilarious third volume got lost when Shiny New Books had to be rebuilt during Covid, but I remember loving it. Stibbe is on of our best comedy writers, and this book won the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. It has a cactus on the front cover, as does…
Oligarchy by Scarlett Thomas
A Russian oligarch’s daughter is sent to a Home Counties boarding school for girls, and finds it hard to fit in with the pecking order. This is a world of peer pressure, eating disorders, and extra lessons for a select few with the headmaster. When her only real friend Bianca goes missing, Tash resolves to get to the bottom of the strange goings on at the school. A bitter comedy, Thomas comments on her own experiences at boarding school and eating disorders. And sadly another of my lost Shiny reviews too.
Paradise City by Joe Thomas
And finally, another Thomas is Joe, who has written a quartet of gritty crime novels set in Sao Paolo, of which Paradise City is the first. I’ve read this and the sequel, Gringa, both of which feature Detective Mario Leme, who has to deal with both sides of Sao Paolo – the poor barrios and the rich, corrupt corporations. However much you take to Leme, the real star of these novels is the city itself – the sense of place in the books is tremendous!
My six degrees this month have taken me from one large city to boarding school to the dentist and then back through similar places again ending at another large city. Where will your six degrees take you?