Saturday, 1 January 2022

Six Degrees of Separation ~ From Rules of Civility to Long Walk to Freedom

Rules of Civility
Towles, Amor "Rules of Civility"- 2011

#6Degrees of Separation:

from Rules of Civility to Long Walk to Freedom

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love the idea. See more about this challenge, its history, further books and how I found this here.

This month's prompt starts with Rules of Civility (Goodreads) by Amor Towles.
Funnily enough, this book was written exactly a hundred years after last month's prompt, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

Kate chose this book because it starts on New Year's Eve. I just had to go next with another book by Amor Towles. I read it last month and absolutely loved it:

Towles, Amor "A Gentleman in Moscow" - 2016
Whilst the author isn't Russian, I do love stories about Russia just as much as Russian authors. This is a
completely different take on Stalinism, Russia and communism in general. A novel that is not just a great story which vivid characters and an unusual plot, but it also is a mystery and history, a love story and a political report, a story of friendship and kindness, a fairy tale and a psychological essay. I'm curious as to how many other bloggers will start with this story in their chain.

Coetzee, J.M. "The Master of Petersburg" - 1994
Another book by a non-Russian about Russia, a wonderful portrayal about
Dostoevsky, a great book about Russi. Awork of fiction even though a lot of the events are taken from real life.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Brothers Karamazov" (RUS: Братья Карамазовы) - 1879-80
I couldn't mention one of my favourite Russian authors without listing one of his books,
packed full with philosophical and religious questions, questions about human existence. The three brothers Karamazov all represent a different side, all have different answers.

Unigwe, Chika "On Black Sisters’ Street" - 2007
From brothers to sisters to another continent. This story is about
African girls living in Antwerp, Belgium. A beautiful city. But the girls get exploited. We often hear stories about these girls who are kept like slaves but never with many details. A challenging, breathtaking story.

Gordimer, Nadine "Burger's Daughter" - 1979
Let's stay in Africa and look at another woman from there.
The story is loosely based on the life of Bram Fischer and his family, especially his daughter. Bram Fischer was a South African lawyer, known for his anti-apartheid activism. He became most popular as Nelson Mandela's defence lawyer.

Mandela, Nelson "Long Walk to Freedom" - 1994
Which leads me to my last book, Nelson Mandela's autobiography.
I have always admired him for how he coped with his life, for his struggle with oppression, for his fight for freedom.

I hope this has not become too sad a chain for some. I always prefer to read this kind of literature to the easy, happy-go-lucky ones. But we all have our different tastes and I hope to contribute a little to the diversity of blogging.

Look for further monthly separation posts here.


  1. Cool connections! Amazing how you noticed the 100 year difference!

    1. Thanks, Emma. Well, I always note the year of my reads and somehow, it caught my attention. I just had to begin with Amor Towles' other book that I read and loved and it just led me to the next ones by itself.

  2. I've never read any Dostoevsky, but I have one of his books on my shelf, I think. Really eclectic chain here!

    1. Thanks, Davida. As I just said to Emma ^^, the books led themselves.

      As to Dostoevsky, I have read several of his books, more are on my wishlist. I just love Russian authors.

  3. It is interesting how you got from the US to Russia to Africa. I keep thinking about reading The Brothers Karamazov but it is so long. Maybe someday.

    1. You're right, Tracy, the funny thing is, the second book about St. Petersburg is already by a South African author, so I might have gone to Africa from there.

      But I think my chain shows that we are all brothers and sisters, no matter where we're from.

    2. What interesting links.

      I have read A Gentleman in Moscow, which I enjoyed hugely. Such an unusual story, and so well written.

      I generally prefer upbeat books, but I did like Ethan Frome (not much 'upbeat' about that one!) so I should probably try to get out of my comfort zone.

    3. Well, Rosemary, I don't think any of the books in this chain could be described as "upbeat". Probably because I prefer my books not to be too upbeat and always a little challenging. But I'm glad you liked "A Gentleman in Moscow" and even "Ethan Frome".

      I do believe we should all read what we enjoy, sometimes maybe venture into another genre (which I do frequently with my book club) but it still should be a pleasure.