Monday, 7 May 2018

6 Degrees of Separation Meme #6Degrees

I spotted this meme on Karen Mace's blog Books and Me. It is currently hosted by Kate on her blog booksaremyfavouriteandbest and everything you need to know can be found here!

It's a monthly meme and the rules are quite simple really. A book is chosen as a starting point, and you create your chain by adding 6 books of your choice. The books don’t need to be connected to each and every book on the list, only to the ones either side of them in the chain. There is no right or wrong answer. The link can be about settings, authors, genres, books you bought this year... the ideas are endless.

The starting point for this month is THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver and I end with WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE by Henry Farrell. So, without further ado, here is my chain:

Barbara Kingsolver's acclaimed international bestseller tells the story of an American missionary family in the Congo during a poignant chapter in African history. It spins the tale of the fierce evangelical Baptist, Nathan Price, who takes his wife and four daughters on a missionary journey into the heart of darkness of the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them to Africa all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to the King James Bible - is calamitously transformed on African soil. Told from the perspective of the five women, this is a compelling exploration of African history, religion, family, and the many paths to redemption. The Poisonwood Bible was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 and was chosen as the best reading group novel ever at the Penguin/Orange Awards. It continues to be read and adored by millions worldwide.

So, with the jungle connection in mind, my first book is RIVER RULE by Ameeta Davis.

The jungle is closing in. First it sends a welcoming party of parakeets. Next, a garland of disembodied chicken parts. Finally the tribesmen and their spears arrive demanding human trades of Avi and Una, the property developer’s firstborn grandchildren. Twice before, the jungle tried to take Una when she took risks. Twice Avi foiled their attempts. This time he’s not there — yet she can feel him somewhere near. River Rule is a dark, urban fantasy, which pivots precariously on the friendship between a boy and girl from different cultural backgrounds. It deals with deceit and treachery, but it shows that, even when familial unconditional love is withdrawn, strength and kindness can be found elsewhere – even in a jungle.

Using the river to link to my next choice, L'ENFANT ET LA RIVIERE by Henri Bosco.

Pascalet lives in Provence and is drawn to the river. He often dreams of it, especially when the poacher Bargabot brings fish to the house that he has caught.

When Pascalet's parents are absent and his Aunt Martine is too busy to look after him, Pascalet discovers the fascinating river, and Gatzo, an extraordinary young boy who fuels his thirst for adventure.

Making the connection via the location of Provence, my next choice is A YEAR IN PROVENCE by Peter Mayle.

Peter Mayle and his wife did what most of us only imagine doing when they made their long-cherished dream of a life abroad a reality: throwing caution to the wind, they bought a glorious two hundred year-old farmhouse in the Lubéron Valley and began a new life.

In a year that begins with a marathon lunch and continues with a host of gastronomic delights, they also survive the unexpected and often hilarious curiosities of rural life. From mastering the local accent and enduring invasion by bumbling builders, to discovering the finer points of boules and goat-racing, all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life are conjured up in this enchanting portrait.

Living in foreign parts gives me my next link to THE CORFU TRILOGY by Gerald Durrell

Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses. Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession . . . causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family.

Linking via the author's surname, my next book is WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MARGO? by Margaret Durrell

In 1947, returning to the UK with two young children to support, Margaret Durrell starts a boarding house in Bournemouth. But any hopes of respectability are dashed as the tenants reveal themselves to be a host of eccentrics: from a painter of nudes to a pair of glamorous young nurses whose late-night shifts combined with an ever-revolving roster of gentleman callers leading to a neighbourhood rumour that Margo is running a brothel. Margo's own two sons, Gerry and Nicholas, prove to be every bit as mischievous as their famous Uncle Gerald - and he himself returns periodically with weird and wonderful animals, from marmosets to monkeys, that are quite unsuitable for life in a Bournemouth garden.

Linking via the title, my final choice is WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE by Henry Farrell.

Once an acclaimed child star of vaudeville, Baby Jane Hudson performed for adoring crowds before a move to Hollywood thrust her sister, Blanche, into the spotlight. As Blanche's film career took off, a resentful Jane watched from the shadows as her own career faded into obscurity - until a tragic accident changed everything.

Now, years later, the two sisters live in a decaying mansion, isolated from the outside world. Crippled by the accident, Blanche is helpless under the control of her abusive sister, who is slowly descending into madness. And when Baby Jane decides it's time to revive her childhood act, she won't let anything - or anyone - stand in her way.

Well, this didn't go where I thought it would when I started. It's amazing what comes to mind when you are looking to make connections. I had a quick look at some other bloggers' chains and I found that my choice of A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle also featured in the Muse and Views Book Club selection this month! I didn't look beforehand/cheat honestly!


  1. Some of your selections sound so good. I added the Corfu book to my list and also the Provence book. I love this aspect of this meme. You did goo for your inaugural post! My Six Degrees list

  2. Well this is a very interesting chain! It is super that you included a book in French and the last two by Margaret and Gerald Durrell. All their books sound very interesting. What I have found interesting of your chain is that you used both fiction and non-fiction. Very creative.

  3. I just picked up one of Durrell's books that I haven't read - A Zoo n My Pocket (as it turns out, it could have been my first link in this month's chain).