Six Degrees of Separation is a meme run by Books are my Favorite and Best. You are given a starting book and then you link it to six others using whatever stream of consciousness reasoning pops into your brain.
The Starting Book this month is Room by Emma Donoghue
Room is about a woman and child held captive in a room.Â There is a similar story in my local area that recently had a book written.
Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry
“On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: â€œHelp me, Iâ€™m Amanda Berry. . . . Iâ€™ve been kidnapped, and Iâ€™ve been missing for ten years.â€
A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughterâ€”Jocelynâ€”by their captor.”
There have to be happier books set in Cleveland. I found a list on Goodreads.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
“In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons.”
True confession time. I’ve never read anything by Celeste Ng. I know, I know. Maybe I should read this one. Guess who else I’ve never read anything by? Ursula Le Guin. I feel like I have to turn in my sci fi/ fantasy fan card with that confession.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.”
The name Ursula is always going to remind me of mermaids. There is way too much Little Mermaid in my past.
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
“Telling the story of Jessie Sullivan — a love story between a woman and a monk, a woman and her husband, and ultimately a woman and her own soul — Kidd charts a journey of awakening and self-discovery illuminated with a brilliance that only a writer of her ability could conjure.”
I read The Mermaid Chair but I don’t remember it. I like her other books better. Another book I know I’ve read repeatedly but never remember the plot of is:
“Drawing on the wellspring of much-loved, well-remembered fairy tales, Tepper delivers a thought-provoking and finely crafted novel that thoroughly involves the reader in the life of one of the most captivating heroines in modern fantasy — Beauty. On her sixteenth birthday Beauty is seemingly able to sidestep her aunt’s curse. Instead she is transported to the future. Here begin her adventures as she travels magically back and forth in time to visit places both imaginary and real. Finally she comes to understand what has been her special gift to humanity all along.”
Even that description means nothing to me.Â Time travel, you say?Â Not ringing a bell but the blurbs for her books are never quite representative of the books.
I did recently read a time travel book that I remember though.
The Unintentional Time Traveler by Everett Maroon
“Fifteen-year-old Jack Bishop has mad skills with cars and engines, but knows heâ€™ll never get a driverâ€™s license because of his epilepsy. Agreeing to participate in an experimental clinical trial to find new treatments for his disease, he finds himself in a completely different bodyâ€”that of a girl his age, Jacqueline, who defies the expectations of her era.”
I’ve never read any Ng either, but Le Guin is a lifelong favorite of mine. Not all of her books are equally compelling, but they are all interesting, and the best are absolutely amazing. I knew I’d read The Mermaid Chair but couldn’t remember anything about it–I checked on Goodreads and see I just gave it two stars, so I clearly didn’t like it. Tepper is wildly hit-or-miss for me. I really, really liked the first couple of her books that I read, and really, really didn’t like the next two, so I gave up on her. I do like time travel and retellings, so maybe I should give Beauty a try all the same.
I agree with you about The Mermaid Chair. I’ve read a few by this author and while I enjoyed most of them, this definitely was not among my favorites.
Hope looks like an amazing story… not sure I’d have the guts to read it though! I imagine it would be fairly grueling. On a similar (but fictional) theme, I did conside using Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days as my starting point – have you read it?