#6Degrees of Separation: From Sorrow and Bliss to Diamonds Are Forever

background book stack books close up
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

It’s the first Saturday of the month which means it’s time for 6 Degrees of Separation!

Here’s how it works: a book is chosen as a starting point by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

Kate says: Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge. Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the comments section of each month’s post.   You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees.


Sorrow and BlissThis month’s starting book is Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, a book I haven’t read but which is in my TBR pile.

Meg Mason is a journalist, an occupation she shares with Katherine Faulkner, the author of Greenwich ParkGreenwich Park features a protagonist who is befriended by a woman who may have other motives besides friendship.

The same is true of Young Women by Jessica Moor in which Tamsin, a glamorous young actress, befriends Emily, a young lawyer who works for a women’s advocacy charity.

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan features Hannah, a young woman studying to become a lawyer, who becomes part of a project aimed at proving the innocence of those convicted of murder.

A notorious real life miscarriage of justice features in To Encourage the Others by David Yallop which concerns the case of Derek Bentley who was hanged for the killing of a police officer that was perpetrated by another young man, 16-year-old Christopher Craig. (Craig was too young to be given the death penalty.) Bentley was finally granted a posthumous pardon in July 1993.

Staying with miscarriages of justice, The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed tells the real life story of Mahmood Mattan who was hanged for the murder of a shopkeeper in 1952 on the basis of dubious evidence and despite professing his innocence.

The Fortune Men is set in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, the birthplace of the singer Shirley Bassey who is well known for singing the theme songs to several James Bond films, including Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming.

My chain has featured toxic friendships and miscarriages of justice but ends with a sparkle. Where did your chain take you?

#6Degrees of Separation: From True History of the Kelly Gang to Sugar in the Blood

background book stack books close up
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

It’s the first Saturday of the month which means it’s time for 6 Degrees of Separation!

Here’s how it works: a book is chosen as a starting point by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

Kate says: Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge. Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the comments section of each month’s post.   You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees.


This month’s starting book is True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, a book I haven’t read but which I know tells the story of notorious Australian bushranger, outlaw and gang leader, Ned Kelly.

The exploits of a gang are also the focus of The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers. Set in Yorkshire in the 1760s, it tells the story of the Cragg Vale Coiners. ‘Coining’ was the illegal practice of removing shavings of gold from the edges of genuine coins, milling the edges of those coins smooth again and then using the shavings to produce counterfeit coins.

Benjamin Myers’ first novel, Pig Iron, is the story of John-John, the son of bare-knuckle boxer. One of the stories in Daniel Mason’s collection A Registry Of My Passage Upon The Earth features a bare-knuckle fighter preparing to face his most fearsome opponent.

A Registry Of My Passage Upon The Earth was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2021. The winner was The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. Set in 1953, it concerns the impact of the passing of the Emancipation Bill which aimed to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American society.

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry is set one hundred years earlier and features two men – Thomas McNulty and John Cole – who fight in the Indian Wars against the Sioux and the Yurok but end up adopting a young Sioux girl.

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. also features a relationship between two men, in this case slaves Isaiah and Samuel who live on a Mississippi cotton plantation.

Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart is her memoir of delving into her family’s history and discovering her earliest ancestors were owners of a sugar plantation in Barbados that made use of slave labour.

My chain has taken me from Australia to Barbados. Where did your chain take you?