#6Degrees: From Second Place to This Is How It Always Is

Welcome back to the bookish version of Six Degrees of Separation. Here’s how it works: Start with the book suggested by Kate over at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, and see where you end up by linking it to six other titles. It’s easy and it’s fun, and no two chains are the same!

This month’s starting point is with a 2021 Booker Prize nominee, Second Place by Rachel Cusk.I decided to connect my chain by the titles of the books.

First Degree

The first book in my chain is The Second Life of Tiger Woods by Michael Bamberger. I was hoping for a whole lot more in this book and finished it pretty disappointed.Woods declined to be interviewed for this book, so it has a journalistic feel instead of the personal aspect I was hoping for.

Second Degree

From The Second Life of Tiger Woods, I went to The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, a book I had mixed feelings about. I loved Choo’s writing; it’s beautiful, lyrical, and hooked me from the start. I eventually abandoned my hardcover copy in favor of the audiobook because Choo reads it herself and it entranced me. I didn’t love the step-sibling relationship and felt like it was an unnecessary addition to the story, and there is a mid-book slump that ruined the momentum for me. Overall though, it was an engaging story that I mostly enjoyed.

Third Degree

Next up is The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna. I think this is one of the most underreated gems of 2019. Zinna flawlessly nails the unsettling and mysterious undertone of this story, and I was compelled to find out what happened as fast as possible.

Fourth Degree

Next, I linked to The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. This book had the perfect mystery, spookiness, and pacing. I loved St. James’ previous book, The Broken Girls, too!

Fifth Degree

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is a book full of quotable quotes, but missed the mark for me overall. I didn’t find the relationships or the plot to be very believable, and I just never found my stride or became invested in the story. However, I will say that a lot of people have appreciated the portrayal of mental illness and feel that Green gave it an accurate depiction.

Sixth Degree

I cheated a little on this last one, but I’m ending this chain with This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel. I’ve read this book twice and took something different from it each time. It’s about a transgender daughter and what’s most important to me as a mother are the themes of family, compassion, and unconditional love.

Next month (October 2, 2021), we’ll start with a (frightening) short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

14 thoughts on “#6Degrees: From Second Place to This Is How It Always Is

  1. I remember the Tiger Woods scandal and so I can understand why he declined the interview! But it’s a great start to the chain, as is the rest of the sequence. I also really like Simone St. James’ work, so always good to see her mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent chain! I’ve been eyeing Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride and The Night Tiger as well. I’ve never ready anything by her and am excited to learn read that her reading is lyrical although you had mixed feelings about The Night Tiger.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although you noted that it lacked punch, I’d be interested to read the Tiger Woods story. Often these scandals are quickly forgotten (particularly when men are at the centre) but this one seems to have lingered in the public’s mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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