"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation: Hamnet to...

Six Degrees of Separation (from a past project): 

We begin with

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
The subtitle of this book is "A Novel of the Plague". 

Year of Wonders: a Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks
This one is easy. They have identical subtitles. It is also set in England in the 1500s and centers around an actual community in England that quarantined itself during the plague. A few people survived.


The Great Believers by Rebecca Makki
This book is about the AIDS epidemic from it's inception in the 1980s. Interestingly there is a relationship between those who survived the plague from the village outlined in The Year of Wonders and people who were "immune" to AIDS centuries later. 


Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel
The story of the survivors twenty years after a cataclysmic pandemic. We read this book in both of my book clubs. I liked it better the second time around.


The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Another book re-read for my second book club. I liked this one the second time around better also. Set in England. It is quite humorous. 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
by Rachel Joyce
Full of British-y humor. Harold finds answers and peace as he walks.


Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson
Written by a very humorous author, this book answers a BIG question: Did William Shakespeare really write all those plays?

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
And we circle back to this wonderful story imagining what life was like for Shakespeare and his family.

I know. I am about eight or nine months late on this 6-degrees post. I keep forgetting to check on it every month and usually opt out if I haven't read the first book. I loved Hamnet and liked thinking about it and the connections to other books. I did find this time that I kept attempting to guide the connections but the books were having none of it. They crowded in and demanded that I add them next. If some of my connections seem odd, it isn't my fault. The books chose themselves!  Ha!

If you want to give this task a try, the October book is really a short story: "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Check this website for information about the meme:


  1. Cool way to connect books, but too bad so many are plague related. :( Loved "Station 11," "The Great Believers" and "Year of Wonders." I also enjoyed "Hamnet."

    1. I know. I wanted the connections to be about Shakespeare but the books about pandemics made me choose them instead. Interestingly, in subsequent editions of Hamnet the subtitle about the plague is no longer on the cover.

  2. I'm just about ready to start reading Hamnet for my book group and enjoyed this post. I've read Year of Wonders, Station Eleven, Harold Fry and The Uncommon Reader (loved that one!) and look forward to listening to The Great Believers, which I've had on audio since it first came out. I love all the connections you found between these books.

    I also wanted to thank you for the informative post about your family's experience with Covid. I've bookmarked it to share with a family member who has not been vaccinated and does quite a bit of travel for work. I'm glad you and your husband tested negative and could end your quarantine. This situation is so frustrating...

    1. I LOVED Hamnet. It may be my favorite book of 2021. It just has something about it, like living inside a dream. I'll send you my review so you can prepare for your book club.


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.