TCL’s #6Degrees of Separation for February 4, 2023.

From “Trustby by Hernan Diaz to “The Address” by Fiona Davis.

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 “Trust” by Hernan Diaz! month (February 4, 2023), the chain begins with “Trust” by Hernan Diaz. Once again, this is a book I haven’t read! Goodreads says it is about Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the brilliant daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth. But the secrets around their affluence and grandeur incites gossip. Rumors about Benjamin’s financial maneuvers and Helen’s reclusiveness start to spread–all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. At what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of a successful 1938 novel entitled Bonds, which all of New York seems to have read. But it isn’t the only version.Okay, to be honest, this blurb doesn’t put me off. In fact, it does intrigue me. Mind you, I’m not sure I want to read about the problems of the rich and famous, but I do like books set between the two world wars. Hm… maybe!

First Degree. 

37969770Once again, I couldn’t use my first choice for this first link, because I used it only two months ago! However, I decided to go with the “rich and famous” aspect, and hit upon “The Kennedy Debutante” by Kerri Maher! I mean, really, despite the fact that Kathleen “Kit” Kennedy was a real person, and the Rasks are fictional, you can surely see where these two collide. Including the bit about aristocrats. Obviously, Kit was from a very wealthy, American family that many likened to be aristocratic, but she also married into the real British aristocracy by marrying William John Robert Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington! Although I knew how this story would end, I really loved it, and Maher made me cry in all the right places. That’s why I gave it 5/5 stars!

Second Degree.

009fe-different-classNow, bear with me for a moment while I’ll explain how I got to the next link! When you think about aristocrats, you probably think about the social construct where a group of people within a society who possess the same socioeconomic status, are considered part of a particular class. Therefore, my next link is “Different Class” by Joanne Harris, even though in this context the word has a double meaning – both in the socioeconomic and the educational realms! Yes, this is the 2nd of Harris’ St. Oswald novels, and although it didn’t twist quite as well as the first one, it was still a very impressive read, and it made me go on to read the last one of the series, as well as the other Harris book which takes place in the same location, but not at the school itself.

Third Degree.

6ea4c-today2bwill2bbe2bdifferentThis next link uses one of the words from the previous novel’s title. I’m talking about “Today Will be Different” by Maria Semple. You see, I saw all the hype for her debut novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” and decided I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy into it all. But I was curious about the author and decided I should try to read her next one, in hopes that it would encourage me to go back to the first one. Well, no… that was an epic fail, I’m afraid. Okay, it was good enough for me to finish reading, yes. But if this book is an indication of Semple’s prose style, then count me out (I can do without a page long run-on sentence that is so confusing, you don’t understand where it started or where it was going, or if it ever got there)! Just because I didn’t care for a book all that much, doesn’t mean I can’t include it in my chain, right? 

Fourth Degree.

7d10e-this2bshould2bbe2bwritten2bin2bthe2bpresent2btenseThis brings me to think about the word ‘today,’ and that if you’re talking about what is happening today, you’re probably talking in the present tense. That means my next book is “This Should be Written in the Present Tense” by Helle Helle! In complete contrast to Semple, I was totally blown away by the writing here. Okay, the story was a bit vague at times, but the writing… OMG, and even in translation from the Danish! I admit, I had a hard time reviewing this, but another critic said it for me, “Some pieces of literature, no matter how great an effort you make as a critic, cannot be opened or captured in a way that does justice to the work. That’s how I feel about Helle Helle’s new and unusually precious novel… Most of the sentences are small works of art, containing a whole story in themselves.”

Fifth Degree.

b0ccb-visitationAnother beautifully written novel that lost nothing in translation was “Visitation” by Jenny Erpenbeck. I called my review of this “A Plot on a Plot of Land” because the whole story centers around a house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once belonging to Erpenbeck’s grandparents)! Erpenbeck follows the history of the home, spanning over 100 years and 12 different occupants. That’s amazing all on its own, but that she does this so vividly, and with such stunningly lovely poetry, in only 150 pages is what is the real surprise here. I don’t know how I found this book, but I’m so glad I did, and it holds pride of place on my shelf! Truly fascinating and a total joy to read from start to finish. If you’re looking for something to read this coming “Novellas in November” or for this year’s “Women in Translation” month, I’d strongly recommend you pick this one up for one of those reading challenges.

Sixth Degree. 

Address Fiona DavisAnother author who makes something inanimate into another character for her books is Fiona Davis, and for this final link I’ll go with her novel “The Address,” which goes into the famous New York apartment house called The Dakota. Both Erpenbeck and Davis make a structure into another character of their novels, and both see lots of changes happening around them, as well as inside them. I can’t say that Davis’ book is as artistically written as Erpenbeck’s, but both were very compelling stories. I’m sad to say I haven’t read anything else by Erpenbeck (you know, sometimes you worry that the next one will disappoint after you’ve falling so deeply in love), but I’ve already read two other of Davis’ books, and I’m sure I’ll be back for more (fingers crossed I get the ARC for her upcoming novel, The Spectacular, about Radio City Music Hall).

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?

I think the best connection is that our last book is about a place where some of New York’s rich and famous lived, and the characters in the first novel are exactly the type of people who would resided there! Also, both seem to have lots of secrets and scandals!

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 04 February 2023

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 (March 4, 2023), we will start with Passages by Gail Sheehy.

33 thoughts on “TCL’s #6Degrees of Separation for February 4, 2023.

  1. Love the clever links you made between the books, especially from today to present tense, and the Helle book sounds so very fascinating (TBR+1).. I love Davis and haven’t read The Address yet (so TBR+1 again!) and then The Kennedy Debutante and Visitation appeal to me as well (TBR +2 now…) My TBR thanks you .. 🙂
    Here is my 6 Degrees of Separation

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have given thought to this and have tried but I can’t come up with anything that I have read that connects; I am one of those sporadic readers with no rhymes or reasoning. Thank you for the time and continue with this as it is most intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed “Trust,” it was a good story with a clever structure that held my interest! “The Address” was disappointing, not very artful I guess. But now I want to read “Visitation” so thanks for suggesting it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Most interesting is this link of the chain of books and confusing to me; yet amazing as to how it is done, since I don’t always understand how the books connect. ‘Brilliant you all are for the doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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