Reading From Small-Town America to Iceland: 6 Degrees of Separation

#6DegreesofSeparation is hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest. The gist is that everyone starts with the same book, then finds another book that relates to it somehow, then one that relates to the second, until you’ve got a chain of six additional books. It’s a twist on the theory that every person on earth can somehow be connected to any other person in six or fewer steps, and provides an opportunity to talk about random books we love (or don’t).

Starting Point: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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Genre: Dystopian Short Story

Have I read it?: Yes

Synopsis: In a small American town, the local residents are abuzz with excitement and nervousness when they wake on the morning of the twenty-seventh of June. Everything has been prepared for the town’s annual tradition—a lottery in which every family must participate, and no one wants to win.

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1. The Golden Apples by Eudora Welty (Great Plains Trilogy #3)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Short Story Cycle

Published: 1949

I Read It In: 2017

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Link to Previous Book: On the surface, the small towns seem entirely normal. The farther you read, however, the more you see that there are unusual things going on. The Golden Apples isn’t as dark as The Lottery, but it conveys a similar sense of atmospheric anticipation and something being just a bit off. Also, The Lottery is a short story, and The Golden Apples is a short story cycle – a book made up of short stories all set in the same town and featuring many of the same characters.

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2. My Antonia by Willa Cather

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: 1918

I Read It In: 2016

Link to Previous Book: I read My Antonia for the same professor who assigned The Golden Apples. Both feature strong, if quirky, female protagonists in the (relatively) early landscape of the United States. The land and physical environment play a strong role in both books, and they show a complicated and realistic depiction of personal growth through adversity.

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3. When Calls the Heart (Canadian West #1) by Janette Oke

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: 1983

I Read It In: 2020

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Link to Previous Book: Independent (mostly) women protagonists who travel for work and are deeply connected to the land that they live on.


4. Maud by Melanie Fishbane

Genre: Middle Grade Fictionalized Biography of L.M. Montgomery’s childhood

Published: 2017

I Read It In: 2017

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Link to Previous Book: Set in Canada and featuring characters in the 1800s traveling west. I will take every opportunity to talk about good books about my favorite Canadian author ♥.

The Blue Castle

5. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: 1926

I Read It In: 2021

My Rating: ⭐⭐.5

Link to Previous Book: From a book about Montgomery to a book by her! This is the book by her that I have read most recently (and I was honestly disappointed).

Out of the Blue: New Short Fiction from Iceland

6. Out of the Blue: New Short Fiction from Iceland edited by Helen Mitsios

Genre: Contemporary & Recent History Short Story Collection

Published: 2017

I Read It In: 2020

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Link to Previous Book: Both contain the word “blue” in the title. That’s it, that’s the only connection. I struggled with distinguishing what was cultural references I didn’t recognize and what was just genuinely strange within this collection. It was an interesting experience, at least.

6 Degrees of Separation seems to generate the most eclectic book lists of any linkup I participate in. Most of my books this time are on the older side; have you read any of them?

Visit booksaremyfavoriteandbest to see what books other bloggers have connected from the same starting point!

Until the next chapter,


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