Six Degrees of Separation: From Passages to Industrial Roots

It’s March. I’ve had a couple of months off from Six Degrees of Separation, but this month’s starting book made me think about my mum’s bookshelves in the late 1970s and I decided to join in again.

Six Degrees of Separation is the book meme hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite And Best where we start with the same book and then create a chain of six books that link to the one before. Sometimes kismet allows you to link all of the books to each other, but it’s okay if it doesn’t. You don’t have to have read any of the books in the chain, either. Which is handy for me because I’ve rarely read Kate’s starting book.

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Reading Challenge Update

First up is an update on how I did with my 10 Books of Summer reading list. 20 Books of Summer is an annual challenge hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. This is the third year I’ve taken part, and once again I’ve managed to knock a few books off my To Read pile.

This year, 130 people signed up to the challenge. Cathy posted recently about how she’d done, which reminded me to do the same.

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Six Degrees of Separation: From Sorrow and Bliss to How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

From the posts in my WP Reader, I see it’s time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book meme hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

I have lost track of the days because Britain is in the middle of an extended weekend that started on Thursday with a reallocated Bank Holiday Monday, moved through a Bank Holiday Friday that felt like Sunday, and now it’s anyone’s guess what day it is.

It is the first Saturday of the month, though. Really.

For our starting book this month, Kate has chosen Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason.

I haven’t read Mason’s debut, so genned up on it by reading a review. I now want to read it.

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Read 23/12/2020-06/02/2021

Rating 4 stars

James Clavell’s Shōgun was published in 1975. Five years later, it was adapted into a television mini-series starring Richard Chamberlain, which I was allowed to stay up past bedtime to watch. Ten years after that, the novel reached 15 million sales worldwide. It’s a true blockbuster novel. I hadn’t read the book until my friend Lisa lent me her copy, a well-read 1982 edition she picked up on the pound shelf at the local superstore. When I started reading it, it felt like pure escapism. There came a point, though, during my reading, when real world events made me reflect on the way human nature doesn’t change, our political systems behind their veneers of democracy are still feudal at heart, and to live through interesting times makes you fodder for future historical fiction. Shōgun is still a cracking yarn, though. Continue reading



Read 15/11/2020-23/11/2020

Rating 5 stars

Stasiland has the subtitle Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall. In it, Anna Funder shares the experiences of a number of East Germans to build a picture of life under an oppressive regime. Her interviewees range from people who tried to escape, people separated arbitrarily from family overnight, and people who worked for the Stasi. There are amazing people between these pages who survived unimaginable horrors, and there are also the people who supported the use of those horrors. I found it a very moving book. Continue reading