6 Degrees of Separation: From Trust to The School Teacher of Saint-Michel
Welcome back to the bookish version of Six Degrees of Separation, where Kate from booksaremyfavouriteandbest provides us with the title of a book, and we all link that to six other titles, depending on the weird and wonderful connections our brains decide to make.
This month, the starting book is Trust by Hernan Diaz; it is set in New York and has been described as “a literary puzzle about money, power, and intimacy”.
A book that got me thinking about trust and vulnerability is actually last month’s starting book Beach Read by Emily Henry, which led me to Book Lovers by the same author. On the face of them, they are both contemporary romances, which I picked up to read over the holiday break. However, I was intrigued to see that in each one, the protagonist had exited a relationship in which she didn’t feel safe enough to truly be herself.
I’m about to read an Australian contemporary romance on the recommendation of a friend—The Last Love Note by Emma Grey.
At the same time that I bought The Last Love Note, I also picked up Root and Branch: Essays on Inheritance by Eda Gunaydin, which I ordered several weeks before it was awarded the Victorian Premier’s Award (non-fiction category). I’m hoping it will offer some guidance for the form and structure of my own work-in-progress.
There has been so much good life writing coming of Australia in recent years. I’ve also been reading Sam Van Zweden’s Eating with My Mouth Open, which explores her (and our) relationship with food.
A book Van Zweden discusses is Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland, with a focus on Alice’s relationship with food as she travels down the rabbit hole.
On the subject of food, my wonderful friend Shannon Meyerkort recently invited me and several other writers around for dinner in honour of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists. We were asked to choose a book and bring a dish from that particular story. I opted for The School Teacher of Saint-Michel, which is set during the Second World War, and involves a town that sits on the border of occupied and free France. My dish was cherries and French Vanilla ice cream. To understand why, you’ll have to read the book!
So, this month I’ve traveled from 1920s/1930s New York to current day North Carolina, before heading to the other side of the world for Australian fiction and non-fiction before heading down the rabbit hole and popping up in wartime France.
Where will six degrees of separation lead you?
If you would like to know where it led others, then head over to booksaremyfavouriteandbest.
Next month’s starting book will be Passages by Gail Sheehy.