Year of Wonders // Six Degrees of Separation

I’ll begin this post with an odd confession. The word ‘degrees’ always looks misspelled to me. So the entire time I compose this post, my eyes are drawn back to the title, looking at that right-but-doesn’t-look-it word. Silly distractions aside, the idea behind this exercise is to connect books in any way that’s meaningful to you, from the profound to the inane. Although Kevin Bacon is typically behind the six degrees game, books are just a bit more fun.
Six Degrees Year of Wonders

This month we’re beginning with Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. It’s a historical fiction novel that I have not read, and while I may read it, it’s certainly not in my upcoming stack. For my first link, I am going with a simple, superficial connection: title.

Wonder Boys is a wonderful (I can’t help myself) book by Michael Chabon and it’s quite a bit of fun (ranks up among my favorite college/campus novels). It was made into a so-so movie with a stellar soundtrack. On the campus novel note, Straight Man by Richard Russo is another favorite of mine. There’s a particularly memorable part involving possible seduction with peach pits.

Another food used for seduction? Sandwiches. In Patricia Park’s Re Jane, Jane falls for Ed over illicitly consumed late night…sandwiches. It’s a good retelling of the classic novel, as is Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. Jane Steele features a determined, strong, if slightly unhinged heroine. It’s great fun to read, as is Tom Perrotta’s Election (though not of the same caliber as Jane Steele). Election’s Tracy Flick, over-achiever with a dark side and an over the top determination to succeed, is the link between these.

The last link is a personal one, and it’s hard to describe. I wanted to like Election, but I just didn’t love it in the much the same way I wanted to like Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story, but did not. Both books evoked the same sort mild regret, yet oddly satisfied feeling when I read them. A tenuous, intangible link, but it exists nonetheless.

This month’s six degrees went from the plague in 17th century England to the world inside of an odd, modern marriage. Considering joining in? Visit booksaremyfavouriteandbest.

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