Greetings, bookworms and welcome back to Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly meme in which myself and fellow author Emma Chapman invite you to link six books in a chain, according to whatever connections spring to mind. This month’s chain begins with Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, a sweet and very funny rom-com which poses the question: is a questionnaire the best way to find true love?
One of my favourite scenes in The Rosie Project is the one in which our protagonist, Professor Don Tillman, dazzles the punters at a party by using his photographic memory to recall a series of insanely long and complicated orders for cocktails.
Another character with a photographic memory is 11 year old Quinn, reluctant hero of the first book in AL Tait’s fantasy adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles: Race to the End of the World, which I’ve been reading with my eight-year-old son.
Race to the End of the World is set onboard a ship, and in a rather cliched connection, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick comes to mind. I studied Moby Dick for a unit on nineteenth century American literature in my second year at university. NB: By ‘studied’, I mean I wrote an essay and an exam paper on a book I had not read.
Another book I ‘studied’ at university was James Joyce Ulysses. I’m sorry, but no! Staying with the university theme, I studied Ulysses in a unit on modernist literature, during which I read (yes, actually read, and loved) Virginia Woolf’s The Waves.
The Waves is the story of a group of friends over a lifetime, as is Peter Walker’s new novel Some Here Among Us, whose characters meet at university in New Zealand in the 1970s and are still friends in the present day.
Some Here Among Us has some of the best dialogue I have read in ages. Another writer who I think is a master of dialogue is Michael Chabon, particularly in his most recent novel Telegraph Avenue.
Your turn: What books would you put in a chain which began with The Rosie Project? Share a link to your chain in the comments.
Next month: the 6 degrees chain will begin with Emma Healey’s novel Elizabeth is Missing.