Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Books are my Favourite and Best.
Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.
A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.
This month's Six Degrees begins with The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
This a dystopian novel about a father and son walking across America after an apocolyptic scenario. It's one of the most famous novels around at the moment and spawned a popular film as well. I gather it's compelling and intense and I might read it one day but not right now in the current state we find ourselves in.
Another book with 'Road' in the title is, The White Road Westwards by 'B.B'.
'B.B.' - alias Denis Watkins-Pitchford - was a children's author and naturalist. As a child I adored his 'Bill Badger', books borrowed from the library, but he also wrote a lot of non-fiction for adults about the natural world. This one is actually a travelogue of his caravan journey around the south west of England in 1960. I'd forgotten that I own this one and have yet to read it, will put in on the pile for next month. I love this quote that is on one of the introduction pages:
'It's the white road westwards is the road I must tread
To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head,
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes' song
In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong'
Another book with 'white' in its title is Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon.
This is a vintage murder mystery set around Christmas. A party of passengers from a train, stranded because of heavy snow and snow drifts, get stuck in a country house. The house is unoccupied but it's as though someone was actually expecting to have guests... A good book if you like snowy settings.
Another book with a snowy cover and a snowy setting is, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. Apparently, I read this back in 2006, I didn't realise it was that long ago.
The planet, Gethen, is one which the whole planet is in perpetual winter. An ethnologist travels there to study its people who are androgynous but who can become male or female at certain times. He gets mixed up in their politics and ends up on the run with a failed politician. I thought the ideas and the setting for this book were amazing but remember not quite understanding all the details. It would, I'm sure bear rereading at some stage as Ursula K Le Guin is one of my favourite sci-fi authors.
The edition of The Left Hand of Darkness that I read is a 'SF Masterworks' edition by publishers, Gollanz. Another of that series is, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.
I haven't read this so I'm going to quote the blurb on Goodreads:
When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.
This comes highy recommended by lots of people so I've put it on my tbr pile for next month as well.
Another female science fiction author whose books I like is Sherri S. Tepper. Her dystopian novel, The Gate to Women's Country, is one of my favourites, according Goodreads I read it back in 2005!
I'm not a huge dystopian fan but there were interesting ideas in this about the way in which a society tries to stop a third world war from happening.
So on my Six Degrees journey today I started in a dystopian America, moved to the south west of the UK, then to a snowy landscape also in the UK, from thence to the imaginary planet of Gethen, to Victorian England and back again to a dystopian America. Quite a journey, I'm exhausted!
Next month will begin with Normal People by Sally Rooney.