Six Degrees of Separation: Wild card for the hols

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 titles will take you to my reviews where they exist. This month – the starting book is a wild card – the book you ended your last chain with, which for me was:

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

As I said previously, I think this is my favourite werewolf novel ever – and it’s told as a prose poem! This is a quirky contemporary novel about packs of werewolves in LA, combining themes of gang warfare with a murder story and a touching central romance, like The Sopranos with lycanthropes. Today, I won’t take the paranormal route, but choose another book set in Los Angeles

Lost Light by Michael Connelly

In the 9th Harry Bosch novel, Connelly’s dogged detective is now retired from the LAPD and working for himself. When he left, he took the file of an unsolved case with him. A film production assistant was murdered four years earlier days before a daring $2 million robbery on set – Harry was there investigating her murder when the robbery happens, but neither case was solved. Twisty plot beckons. I shall stay in Los Angeles for my link, but move back a few decades:

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One of my favourite books so far this year, this super novel set in the 1960s/70s is just so rock’n’roll! Jenkins Reid tells the story of the band at the book’s heart in documentary interview style, as all those involved look back on their time in the spotlight. Just loved it. 1960s rock’n’roll leads me to a rather different book.

The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice

Take one big happy family; add some horses, a big country manor in Cornwall, plus doses of first love which doesn’t go easily. Shake it up and relocate to London, where it ends up with Tara becoming a pop star (the new Alma Cogan) at seventeen in the ready-to-swing London of the early 1960s. Young women going up to the city also happened in:

The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien

Starting in the LImerick countryside, O’Brien’s coming of age novel follows young Caithleen from the country to boarding school where she gets expelled, and thence to life as a shopgirl in Dublin. Wonderfully sensual and evocative, it was just too much for the Irish censors in 1960 and they banned it. Another book that was similarly banned was:

Peyton Place by Grace Metallious

The book that set the benchmark for every soap opera and drama of small town America that followed was banned for several years in the 1950s in Canada! With big themes, it’s got a little of everything; and although people will always dwell on the bad things that are going on behind the town’s closed doors, there is good too. It was adapted into a famous TV series, as was:

The Long Firm by Jake Arnott

A TV series I’d love to rewatch, as I remember Mark Strong as gay gangster Harry Clarke in 1960s Soho was excellent with a real air of menace about him. Arnott’s debut has an interesting structure too: five people who have been involved with Harry tell their stories. Fab stuff.

So this time I’ve gone from LA, and back a few decades through rock’n’roll to swinging London, then 1950s Ireland and New England ending back in 1960s Soho. Where will your six degrees take you?

20 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Wild card for the hols

  1. A Life in Books says:

    I remember my parents watching Peyton Place! And that cover is wonderfully tacky. I did rewatch The Long Firm a little while back and liked it just as much the second time around. Great set of links, Annabel.

  2. Davida Chazan says:

    Wow… I like the sound of most of these – except for Lost Light which I think my husband would like. I really, Really, REALLY must read that Daisy Jones book – its my personal history!

  3. Dark Puss says:

    I remember reading as a teenager in the 1970’s a couple of Edna O’Brien’s novels including “The Country Girls”. Still staggered to recall from your post that it was a banned book; so much for the infamous “good old days” 🙁

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      There was a very good programme on O’Brien in the Imagine strand a few weeks ago. I imagine it’s still on iplayer

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Margaret. I struggle to read older books than that! Every year I say I must read more books from before I was born which was 1960, but very few creep in – however Peyton Place was simply marvelous, so I should never write them off.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I’ve read so many vampire and werewolf novels over the years! This one was so different to the usual more fantasy-edged fare – very urban – and a prose poem. Loved it. 😀

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      That’s the problem – the banning makes you expect more. I loved reading Peyton Place and we had a great discussion about it in our book group a few years ago.

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