Six Degrees of Separation: How To Do Nothing to Rohan’s Echo

Hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, on the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form Six Degrees of Separation. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

This month the chain begins with How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell.

“When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as… doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.”

**********

Based on the synopsis, my instinct is to leap to The Moment of Everything by Shelly King. Her protagonist is unemployed after being made redundant by a Silicon Valley tech start-up. In this charming romantic novel, Maggie knows what she doesn’t want – a marriage like her parents or to work in a bookstore. She thinks she wants a casual, fun relationship and the status and wealth of a career in high tech. It is only when she decides to make the Dragonfly profitable while waiting for ‘the’ job that she discovers that the store is exactly what she needs, and only when she nearly loses it all, what she really wants, what will make her happy.

Owning a bookstore would certainly make me happy, though few of the bookstore owners in books I’ve read seem to be so. Shaun Bythell, the author of Confessions of a Bookseller, for example, rarely seems to be anything but morose or stressed.

Working in a library would also make me happy, especially if it was one of the magnificent libraries featured in Library Architecture + Design by Manuela Roth. From the blurb, “This volume from the Masterpieces series presents outstanding examples of revolutions in library design and renovation, an architectural challenge to strike the finest balance between functionality and aesthetics.”


Architecture is the link to The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka, a quirky, rather rambling novel which centres on characters who live in a social housing block of flats in North London named Mandelay Court. One of them is Berthold Sidebottom who has lived in the top floor apartment with his mother, Lily, for most of his life, named after the building’s architect, Berthold Lubetkin, with whom his mother claimed to have an affair.

Lily King is the author of Euphoria, a fascinating novel about three cultural anthropologists studying native tribes in Papua New Guinea in the 1930s, based loosely a real-life love triangle involving renowned anthropologists Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson.

Rohan’s Echo by Joanne Van Os features a forensic anthropologist. Catriona Kelso’s curiosity is roused when she learns her next assignment will be the exhumation and identification of the hundreds of World War 1 soldiers buried en masse on the French battleground, and that her great grandfather’s twin brother may be among them. Excited by the possibility, Cat begins to ask questions about her family, but uncovers more than one long buried secret.

**————————————-**

Next month the Six Degrees of Separation meme will begin with Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest novel, Rodham.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BookerTalk
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 07:15:13

    Interesting links. I think this is the first time I’ve seen a chain include a book on architecture. Any notions I once had about owning/running a bookshop were quickly scrapped after reading Bythell’s diary entries

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. bevbaird
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 09:01:21

    Great chain – some fascinating books!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. hopewellslibraryoflife
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 09:07:51

    I like your approach! I’m a librarian so…. lol I enjoyed Euphoria

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Yvonne
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 13:02:52

    Enjoyed your chain. I hadn’t heard of Ronan’s Echo. Definitely a book I’d like to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Davida Chazan
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 15:31:25

    Ah… go from nothing to everything… that’s a great way to make a first link. Some interesting books here. I haven’t read that Lewycka, but it sounds okay. I think she’s gotten a bit heavy handed over the years since her first book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Marg
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 17:13:09

    Love that you included a book about libraries in your chain!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. whisperinggums
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 17:26:16

    I enjoyed these links Shelleyrae … particularly to the book about libraries, and then to the Lewycka book. What a beautiful cover. I hadn’t heard of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. margaret21
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 17:52:54

    This is a great chain, and I like its focus on the recent past.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Trin Carl
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 22:52:52

    Love the combination of romance and IT world.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Trin Carl
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 23:20:42

    love that romance is being combined with IT sounds great. I don’t know if you read this comment already, I had a hard time posting to your blog this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. MarinaSofia
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 23:27:51

    Books about libraries and bookshops – what more could one want! But then you also include a book about anthropologist – I absolutely loved Euphoria and thought it was a much better book than her more recent one Writers and Lovers (although that one wasn’t bad either).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  13. Linda Schueler
    Aug 03, 2020 @ 10:54:41

    Ah, anthropology! Right up my alley. Thanks for some intriguing selections for me to dig into.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s