From “Wintering” by Katherine May to “The Book Woman’s Daughter” by Kim Michele Richardson.
This is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain. The rules are:
- Link the books together in any way you like.
- Provide a link in your post to the meme at Books are My Favourite and Best.
- Share these rules in your post.
- Paste the link to your post in the comments on Kate’s post and/or the Linky Tool on that post.
- Invite your blog readers to join in and paste their links in the comments and/or the Linky Tool.
- Share you post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hash tag.
- Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.
THANKS FOR PLAYING!
This month we start with “Wintering“ by Katherine May!
This month (July 2, 2022), the chain begins with “Wintering” by Katherine May. According to Goodreads this book is “An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.” Oh dear… a self-help book? This is not my thing at all. I didn’t realize that there’s a subtitle here, which is “The power of rest and retreat in difficult times.” Well, after the last few years this world has gone through, I can see where a book of this type would have an audience. However, it also seems to me that… well… rest and retreat is something we may have had a bit too much of lately. I mean, yeah, when things go bad you probably will need to rest and retreat (if you can). But after over two years of lock-downs, working from home, furloughs, and even lost jobs that may never come back, maybe it is about time to wake up and get back out there? I don’t know…
So, because I’m not connecting with the subject matter of this book, I’ll make the first link of the chain using the author’s name. While another Ms. May already appeared in one of these posts, I’ll go with Katherine, and the only one of those I have is “The Printed Letter Bookshop” by Katherine Reay (and look, the last names rhyme)! Okay, I’ll admit that I found this book to be just okay, since it had slightly too much of a Christian undertone to it, but I did like most of the characters, and I thought Reay had a very nice turn of phrase in her writing. Plus, it does take place in Chicago, and they do visit my home town of Evanston in the book, so I did recommend it to my readers – with some caveats.
Using the word “bookshop” takes me immediately to Penelope Fitzgerald’s novella “The Bookshop” which I bought to read after seeing the movie. Admittedly, I think I liked the film a touch better, but I’m glad it turned me on to Fitzgerald’s writing, which I found to be absolutely delightful. The title of my review is called “A Village Education” because the story is about a woman who opens a bookshop in a small, sea-side village in England’s East Anglia region, where she slowly turns them on to authors and novels that they otherwise might never have read. Mind you, the opposition she faces is pretty heavy, partly because she’s an outsider, and partly because she’s a bit of a rebel!
The continuing with the “book” connection, and changing shop for store, I think I’ll go with “The Lost for Words Bookstore” by Stephanie Butland. This is a charming novel about Loveday, a girl who likes books more than people, and is obsessed with opening lines of the novels she reads and loves. One of the reasons why I wanted to read this book is because the store she works in is located in York in England – a city that I truly adore, which is just as charming as this novel. Plus, Butland draws Loveday with an acerbic wit that is mixed with fierce independence together with a good dollop of self-depreciation, where many of her funnier observances are directed towards the reader, thereby breaking the proverbial “fourth wall.”
You know what? I just realized that I can use “book” for this whole chain, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do! For the next link, I’ll go with “The Paris Bookseller” by Kerri Maher. This is a biographical, historical fiction novel about the American Sylvia Beach who opened the store Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919. I’ve actually been to the modern incarnation of that shop in Paris, and while it is obviously not the same today as it was then, there’s still a whole lot of the historical feel to the place. Plus, when you visit a country where you can only speak a few words of the language, finding a place that is unabashedly all in English (especially in France) was a real pleasure!
I am a bit surprised that my next link didn’t get into any of my previous posts, but now is the perfect time to rectify that. I’m talking about “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Michele Richardson. While many people read Jojo Moyes’ novel “Giver of Stars,” my regular readers will know that I truly believe that Moyes’ ripped off great swaths of this book for her novel, and I will NEVER read anything by Moyes (not that she drew me to her before, since her books sound far too romantic for my tastes). Sadly, this beautiful novel got less attention than the ripped-offed one did, and I think that’s a shame. I couldn’t recommend it more highly, and even if you don’t believe the rumors, do read this book, please.
Now, just to prove that Richardson really was the original here, she wrote a sequel to my previous link, and that’s the next one in my chain. Obviously, I’m talking about “The Book Woman’s Daughter” by… Richardson, of course! Granted, I liked the first book a little bit better than this one, but it was really lovely to see a follow-up to the first story (something that Moyes could never do, thank goodness). Richardson really knows how to make you love her characters. Plus, it was lovely to learn that the Pack Horse Libraries really did continue after the official government program ended, even if prejudice continued – as sadly, it does to this day. I think you should read them both!
There you have it – my chain of books for this month. So… the question is, does this last book connect in any way back to our starting novel?
This has been a chain of novels connected by the word “book” (with all female authors). However, the starting book is non-fiction, about how to heal yourself through ‘rest and retreat’. Personally, when I need to rest and/or need a retreat, I go straight for a book of fiction! So, there’s your connection!
If you don’t know any of these books, I hope you’ll click on the links to my reviews and check them out!
If you decide to join in on this meme, I hope you’ll give me the link to your post in the comments below, and/or put your link on the linky page that Kate has on her blog for this meme.
Next month (August 6, 2022), we will start with the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction winner “The Book of Form and Emptiness” by Ruth Ozeki.