I stumbled upon this participation post while visiting Jana @ Reviews From the Stacks. It’s hosted by Kate @ Books Are My Favourite and Best. In it, each blogger begins with the same book and then moves progressively down the line choosing a book that’s related to the prior one. Start at the same place as other readers and see where our imaginations and thought processes take us. What a fascinating and wonderful concept!
#1 – The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld
Have I read this book? No
This month, we begin with the book, The Bass Rock, by Evie Wyld. I have not read this book, but it looks pretty incredible. Here’s the synopsis from goodreads:
Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.
In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community.
Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth’s belongings and discovers her place in the past – and perhaps a way forward.
Each woman’s choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with anger and love.
Wow, what an exciting and wonderful premise! In this one, I can think of one book that this immediately makes me think of, as there are multiple ties.
Connection themes: Witches, sisterhood, historical fiction featuring women’s issues.
#2 – The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Have I read this book? YES! Read my review here.
This is a fabulous book that blends historical fiction and fantasy into something superb and timely. I loved everything about it from the setting to the characters to the amazing writing. Here’s a synopsis from goodreads:
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
Connection themes with #3 – Three sisters.
#3 – Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
Have I read this book? YES! Unfortunately, pre-blog…
Liane Moriarty always delivers something wildly entertaining. I didn’t like this one as much as her other work, but it was still good. This book has a pretty loose connection to Harrow’s historical fiction novel, as it’s an entirely different genre, but it sill follows three sisters trying to navigate the difficulties of life while clinging tight to their sometimes rocky relationships with one another. Both are extremely good reads. Here’s the synopsis:
Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Whenever they’re together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow. But apart, each is very much her own woman, dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, juggling the many balls of work, marriage, and motherhood with expert precision, but is she as together as her datebook would have her seem? Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage — can she bring another life into her very precarious world? And can free-spirited Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, ever hope to find lasting love? In this wise, witty, hilarious new novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their thirty-third-year, as they struggle to survive their divorced parents’ dating each other, their technologically savvy grandmother, a cheating husband, champagne hangovers, and the fabulous, frustrating .
Connection theme with #4 – Australian setting.
#4 – In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Have I read this book? YES! Also pre-blog.
Bill Bryson is absolutely hilarious while still being utterly informative. Honestly, Australia is the only thing these two have in common, as this one is non fiction travel literature and there’s a lot more death, though many of them are quite humorous when you really think about it. Morbid, I know. Here’s a synopsis:
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.
Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide
Connection theme to #5 – Travel memoir
#5 – Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Have I read this book? YES! Again… pre-blog.
Admittedly, I was not in the majority of folks who fawned over this book. I didn’t really understand the hype and found Cheryl to be a narrator with whom I simply couldn’t connect. It is a travel memoir, like the previous book, but it’s a completely different tone from the Bryson book. Here’s a synopsis:
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Connection theme to #6 – Grief and loss, journey of discovery.
#6 – American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Have I read this book? CURRENTLY READING!
This one is a bit of a leap, but bear with me. Cheryl chooses to go on an arduous journey as a way of discovering her way through her grief. Lydia and Luca, from American Dirt are forced to flee their family home in Acapulco to survive. They have lost literally every single person they love and they have to set aside that grief temporarily for the purposes of survival. Sure, that’s a very different kind of journey, but I still feel there’s a life altering connection there in both cases. Here’s a synopsis:
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
And there you have it, my first installment of #6Degreesofseparation! Where will your thoughts take you?