TCL’s #6Degrees of Separation for November 5, 2022.

From “The Naked Chef” by Jamie Oliver to “The Chef’s Secretby Crystal King.

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.


This month we start with “The Naked Chef” by Jamie Oliver! month (November 5, 2022), the chain begins with “The Naked Chef” by Jamie Oliver. Now, I always wanted to own a cookbook by Oliver, and several years ago, my son bought me a present of this one – but in HEBREW! The thing is, while my dyslexia doesn’t allow me to read novels in Hebrew, I have been known to read and use recipes in Hebrew, and one of the first books in Hebrew I owned was a cookbook (called “Cakes for Every Occasion” by Nira Scheuer). That said, I am totally and completely ashamed to say that… er… um… I’ve never actually cracked the spine of this one! You see… that cake book was just straight recipes, but Oliver’s book has long explanations, and stories so… that’s a bit too daunting for me, I’m afraid. I know, I should try to skim over those and go straight for the recipes, and maybe I will… some day! (But I did watch some of the TV series.)

First Degree. 

d4055-lacucinaFor this link I could go two ways… the culinary way, or the daunting way. Now I know that Oliver’s book is non-fiction, but culinary fiction is a real genre. That’s why I decided that the first link here would be to one of my earliest reviews of a culinary fiction book, “La Cucina” by Lily Prior. They say that authors like Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate) and Joanne Harris (Chocolat, Five Quarters of the Orange) invented the genre of “Cuisine Romance” or “culinary fiction” novels. If this is true, then with her first novel, “La Cucina,” Lily Prior took this genre to heights that none of them ever dreamed they could reach.

Second Degree.

6a5b3-blackberry-wineSince I’ve already mentioned Joanne Harris, my next link it to one of her culinary fiction novels (the only one I haven’t used for this meme), which is her “Blackberry Wine.” This book is not a sequel to “Chocolat,” however it is part of her trilogy of novels set in the fictional French town of Lansquenet, and therefore has peppered it with many – if not all – of the minor characters from her previous novel. While I enjoyed this book, the fact that there was a bit of magical realism here wasn’t overly attractive to me. Obviously, that didn’t stop me from reading more of Harris’ books, since I totally devoured (pun intended) her St. Oswald stories!

Third Degree.

11a36-apple2bplisherThe protagonist of Harris’ above book is called Jay Mackintosh (yes, as in the type of apple), a writer whose first and only hit novel was called “Jackapple Joe.” The apple references are what brought me to my next link, “The Apple Polisher” by Heidi Belleau. I didn’t realize when I asked for the ARC of this book that it was a gay romance novel. Now, I have no problem with the LGBTQIA+ community, but I do have a problem with graphic sex scenes (including straight ones). Still, I liked the characters here, and I thought that Belleau’s writing was pretty good, and the story was interesting, so it wasn’t a total bust for me – I just cringed my way through the sex scenes.

Fourth Degree.

101c2-farawaysmelloflemonMoving on to another story with a fruit in the title, I’m going to go with the short story by Rachel Joyce “A Faraway Smell of Lemon.” This ended up being part of her short story collection “A Snow Garden” which are connected stories set around Christmas time. Only Rachel Joyce could get me to read anything Christmas related, and I not only loved this short story, I also adored the collection in which it ended up being included. I’m such a Rachel Joyce addict, I can’t resist anything she writes (and I’m very much looking forward to reading her new novella this month).

Fifth Degree.

Rhododendron PieNow, lemon is usually an ingredient, and sometimes people use unusual things in what they cook. Take for instance, flowers! That’s what brought me to the 1930 novel “Rhododendron Pie” by Margery Sharpe. This totally charming story is about a very unusual family, whose parents try to accommodate even the strangest of requests that their children make. The point here is that once one of the children asked for this pie for their birthday cake, it became a tradition to make one for all of them. But the youngest daughter, Ann, really wants a conventional cake, and for many years she silently allowed them their eccentricities, until she could take it no longer!

Sixth Degree. 

chef's secretThat’s how I got to my last link – the secret that the daughter Ann has. That is why my last link is to “The Chef’s Secret” by Crystal King. This novel takes place in the 1500s in Italy, where Bartolomeo Scappi lived, who is known to this day as one of Europe’s most creative and talented chefs. He too included ingredients in his cooking that were unconventional when he wrote his multi-volume cookbook, that is still considered a classic. Aside from that, what King did with her descriptions of the foods that Scappi made was totally mouth watering, and a true tribute to the title of Culinary Fiction. Obviously, I also thought this would be a great way to bring my chain to link up into a very nice circle.

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?

YES because both the first and my last book have the word CHEF in the title! Plus, the first one is a cookbook by a famous European chef, and the last one is about a European chef who wrote a famous cookbook. YEAH!

If you don’t know any of these books, I hope you’ll click on the links to my reviews and check them out!

#6Degrees 03 November 2022

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 (November 5, 2022), we will start with The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey!

21 thoughts on “TCL’s #6Degrees of Separation for November 5, 2022.

  1. Brilliant that you can connect your first and last book. I have gone with pictures and actually found a connection between my two, as well, there is a table on both the covers.

    My Six Degrees of Separation took me from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver to Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kästner.

    And I am so happy that I found a way to comment on your posts again. ♥


  2. I think you ARE the only one who followed the food theme all the way through! The Joyce novellas intrigued me so I just went to the online library and checked out Smell of Lemon – I’ll be reading it today! Great list.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rhododendron Pie sounds like a lovely book. I must read that one! I read the new Rachel Joyce book a few weeks ago and enjoyed it (I haven’t written my review yet). I’ll have to try her short stories too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am going to have to try some culinary fiction. I have read fiction that includes recipes but none that I remember that centers on food. My favorite here is your link to Rachel Joyce’s short story. I will look out for “A Snow Garden”, I like short story books.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I decided to eschew the culinary way in this meme mainly because I am a bit contrary. (My parents reckon my first word was “no”). But I did enjoy yours. I loved Like water for chocolate, and I did like the movie Chocolat.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now then, I didn’t realise Rachel Joyce writes short stories too, She came last week to an event organised by our local indie bookshop, and was such an engaging speaker. Anyone who didn’t already like her work became a complete convert. A lovely foodie chain!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. She spoke so spontaneously. She must have had to do dozens of interviews over the course of her book tour, but it was if we were her first and only audience. We all wanted her as our new best friend!

        Liked by 1 person

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