Six Degrees of Separation – Send me a Postcard!

Posted August 7, 2021 by elzaread in 6 Degrees of separation / 28 Comments

Greetings you guys! First of all, so sorry that we’ve missed Six Degrees last month. It slipped us by and July passed in the blink of an eye. But we are back and very excited to join our favorite monthly meme again!

I’m sure by now you all know the rules of this monthly fun meme hosted by Books are my Favorite and BestOn the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Books can be linked in obvious ways, for example: same authors, same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or you might choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read in the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend or books that remind you of a particular time in your life. The choices are endless here! 

Our starting point for this month is a book we once again didn’t read, but we did see the movie a couple of years ago. Can you believe the movie for Postcards from the Edge came out in 1990? That’s over 30 years ago! I think my Mommy is getting old.

 

When we first meet the extraordinary young actress Suzanne Vale, she’s feeling like “something on the bottom of someone’s shoe, and not even someone interesting.” Suzanne is in the harrowing and hilarious throes of drug rehabilitation, trying to understand what happened to her life and how she managed to land in a “drug hospital.” Just as Fisher’s first film role-the precocious teenager in Shampoo-echoed her own Beverly Hills upbringing, her first book is set within the world she knows better than anyone else: Hollywood. More of a fiction montage than a novel in the conventional sense, this stunning literary debut chronicles Suzanne’s vivid, excruciatingly funny experiences-from the clinic to her coming to terms with life in the outside world. Conversations with her psychiatrist-“What worries me is, what if this guy is really the one for me and I haven’t had enough therapy to be comfortable with having found him?”; a high-concept, eighties-style affair-“The only way to become intimate for me is repeated exposure. My route to intimacy is routine. I establish a pattern with somebody and then I notice when they’re not there?” Sparked by Suzanne’s-and Carrie Fisher’s-deliciously wry sense of the absurd, Postcards from the Edge is more than a book about stardom and drugs. It is a revealing look at the dangers-and delights-of all our addictions, from money and success to sex and insecurity.

For our linkups we’ve decided to do the instinct challenge this month. You know, the first book that pops into your mind when someone throws you a title. 

1st Degree: The word “postcard” was the one who triggered our 1st degree. Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop. This was a surprisingly enjoyable book. 
 
Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to a name Ellie does not know, with no return address, each signed with an initial: A.
With their bright skies, blue seas and alluring images of Greece, these cartes postales brighten her life. After six months, to her disappointment, they cease. But the montage she has created on the wall of her flat has cast a spell. She must see this country for herself.
On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A’s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture but also of a desire to live life to the full once more.
 
 
2nd Degree: Greece! Mayhem in Greece by Dennis Wheatley My Mommy read this charming book years ago, but she still remembers all the fun she had reading it. Aren’t books just amazing.
 
This is an adventure of love and espionage set in Greece. The hero is a charming but mentally retarded young man who has never been to school. Interwoven with his adventure is the story of his relationship with Stephanie, the first girl with whom the chronically shy young man has ever had more than a passing acquaintance. An exciting book with a remarkable denouement.
 
3rd Degree: Traveling through Greece and solving a few mysteries. The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
 
Hans Thomas and his father set out on a car trip through Europe, from Norway to Greece—the birthplace of philosophy—in search of Hans Thomas’s mother, who left them many years earlier. On the way, Hans Thomas receives a mysterious miniature book—the fantastic memoir of a sailor shipwrecked in 1842 on a strange island where a deck of cards come to life.
Structured as a deck of cards—each chapter is one in the deck—”The Solitaire Mystery” weaves together fantasy and reality, fairy tales and family history. Full of questions about the meaning of life, it will spur its listeners to reexamine their own.
 
4th Degree: Solitaire is the only card game my Mommy can play. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t any others out there. Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum. This was the last book my Mommy reviewed on her previous blog, I’ll get her to update it a bit later today.
 
Queen of Spades revamps the classic Pushkin fable of the same name, transplanted to a mysterious Seattle-area casino populated by a pit boss with six months to live, a dealer obsessing over the mysterious methods of an elderly customer known as the Countess, and a recovering gambler who finds herself trapped in a cultish twelve-step program. With a breathtaking climax that rivals the best Hong Kong gambling movies, Michael Shou-Yung Shum’s debut novel delivers the thrilling highs and lows that come when we cede control of our futures to the roll of the dice and the turn of a card.
 
5th Degree: My Mommy knows even less about Casinos than she knows about cards. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. This is the first James Bond, right?
 
British Secret Service agent James Bond, a.k.a. 007, is sent to play in a high-stakes baccarat game in an effort to take down Le Chiffre, a financier for the villainous SMERSH. Things get more complex when Bond is partnered with Vesper Lynd, a beautiful and smart MI6 employee with a dark secret.
 
6th Degree: From one spy and top secret agency, to the next. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
 
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the “queen of spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

Yes, I am aware that this month’s link-ups are a bit of a stretch. But my Mommy’s mind is a bit of a stretch as well. I really don’t want to know what answers she will come up with in a Rorschach test. 

Where did your Six Degrees chain lead you to this month? Next month we start with Second Place by Rachel Cusk. Once again, a book we haven’t read yet….
 
Have a wonderful August!
 
Lots of Love,
 

 

 

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28 responses to “Six Degrees of Separation – Send me a Postcard!

  1. I read a lot of Jostein Gaarder's books years ago – The Solitaire Mystery is so unusual! I haven't read any of the other books in your chain, but I did read Kate Quinn's The Rose Code earlier this year and loved it, so I'm looking forward to The Alice Network.

    • Hi Helen! I also used to love Gaarder's books and stumbling upon this one again, just reminding me. Will read one of his books in the near future again.
      All Kate Quinn's books are so good! I hope you enjoy The Alice Network.

    • For sure Davida! The only problem is just that every now and then my intuition fails me a bit and I have to rely on some more research. But that's fun too!

    • Hi there Emma! I loved Jostein Gaarder's books when I was way younger, I think it's time to read one or two again. The Victoria Hislop book turned out to be more than what I expected and I love that in a book.

    • Hi Greg! I've been to Greece about 20 odd years ago, but would love to go again!

      I haven't read any of the James Bond books, but at least I know a few titles and a few leading men. That has to count for something.

  2. Greece! Some day I want to go travelling to Greece and explore all their historical wonders. Till then, have to rely on the books I guess. Thanks for adding to my Greece-reading list! I wonder if you've tried Mary Stewart's books? I think she too had a few mysteries set in Greece.

    • Hi there Lex! I've been to Greece 20 odd years ago and I LOVED it. Would love to go there again for sure. Thankfully we have books that can still transport us to our favorite destinations.

      Yes! I've read a few of Mary Stewart's books. She is an author that I love!! But for now, all my physical books are in storage so I can only rely on my Kindle and the Book Club. Thankfully, both are trusted sources!

  3. I've seen Victoria Hislop recommended so many times, but never got around to reading her – this has certainly encouraged me to make the effort.

    Lex mentioned Mary Stewart, and I also thought of her, she has such a strong sense of place. I've not yet read any of her books set in Greece, but the ones set in France are so well done.

    I think the only Greece-located books I've read are Gerald Durrell's My Family & Other Animals and Louis de Bernieres's Captain Corelli's Mandolin, so it would be good to read something more modern.

    The Alice Network also sounds very good.

    I hope you get your books back soon. Whenever mine have been in storage, getting them back has been just like Christmas – so lovely to see my old favourites again, but also so exciting to find all the ones I'd forgotten I had!

    • Hi Rosemary! Some of my very first mystery novels that I've ever read, was written by Mary Stewart. I still love her work. Aaaah Captain Corelli's Mandolin… I cried for seven days and seven nights straight and I am not over exaggerating!

      My books are not too far, but they are all packed up and sealed up. So I will have to wait for the renovations. But it's okay! Like you say – I am very excited to unpack them eventually again.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!