Six Degrees of Separation: Atonement to…

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest where you take one given title, and link through six other titles of your choice and see where you end up.

*** this post contains affiliate links. The links to Amazon are affiliate links which means that if you click the link and make a purchase, then I earn a small commission.***

I’ve missed the past few months, but am back this month! Let’s see where we go and let’s start off with this month’s selection:

Atonement by Ian McEwan


Official Synopsis from Goodreads: Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives—together with her precocious literary gifts—brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.

Links to:    Amazon     |     Goodreads

Blurgh. I tried to read this book a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), and just couldn’t get into it. I did see the movie and liked that and keep thinking that maybe I should give this title another chance. Popular literary reads that I didn’t connect with brings me to my next selection:

 Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


Links to:     Amazon    |     Goodreads

Here’s another one that I just couldn’t get. And they made a sequel/companion novel to this! I really don’t think that repeating timelines are for me (a la the movie Groundhog’s Day), which brings me to:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


Links to:   Amazon    |     Goodreads    |     My Review

Now this title I was able to read all the way through, but oh my word it irritated me to no end. I disliked the repeating timeline, and also couldn’t stand the way the teens acted (they were just so mean to each other!). Another YA book where the behavior bugged me was in:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner


Links to:   Amazon     |     Goodreads     |     My Review

The teens in this one weren’t so much mean to each other, but they were just teenage boys acting like teenage boys, and I really have no desire to read about that. (Sorry.) As the major theme of Goodbye Days is about grief, one book that I read recently also tackled this topic:

Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante


Links to:   Amazon     |     Goodreads    |     My Review

This was a psychological suspense novel that I really loved, and really felt that it handled the aspect of grief well. Another recent novel that I read about grief was:

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky


Links to:   Amazon     |     Goodreads     |     My Review

 This was a book I struggled to get through as it was much slower than I anticipated it would be. The main character has left and gone to a new state to start over, and I’m reminded of another book that has a person going off and trying to begin again:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


Links to:     Amazon     |     Goodreads

 I actually liked this book when I read it! I know a lot of people dislike this book, but I did enjoy it and liked the writing. I did find the movie absolutely beautiful, but totally boring. And I find it funny that I ended my chain with a book I liked that was made into a movie I hated, while starting out with a book I couldn’t stand that was made into a movie I enjoyed.

Have you read any of these titles? Are you someone who despised the book Eat, Pray, Love? Are you a reader who loved Atonement or Life After Life?

14 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Atonement to…

    1. Uggh – I can’t imagine having to study Atonement! Have you read any of McEwan’s other works? I haven’t had the desire to pick any of his other books up after Atonement was such a bust. Maybe I’ll get inspired to pick it up again someday.
      I think I might like the movie version of Before I Fall better than the book. I haven’t seen it yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The only one I’ve read is Atonement, and I loved both the book and the movie. I’ve avoided Life After Life because the repeating storyline doesn’t appeal to me either, even though so many people have loved it. And I’m not keen on books about grief, so I think my TBR is safe this time – thank you! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good! That’s the bad thing about this Six Degrees meme. So many of the books people link to sound great! Glad I could help keep your TBR low this month 🙂 Glad to hear that you loved Atonement – it’s one that I really think I should give a second chance to. Maybe someday!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, many thoughts! Firstly, Atonement does take a bit to get into – but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Coincidentally, guess what I have next on my TBR stack? Life After Life. It’s one of those books that I’ve felt I ought to have read…
    COULD. NOT. STAND. Eat Pray Love… in fact, it was a rare DNF for me (this has happened less than ten times in my reading life). Such a self indulgent book and I hated it from the outset. I did watch the movie… meh, nothing much t see there either. So of course it was a great surprise when I read more of Gilbert – Signature of All Things – and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I need to try Atonement again. It’s one of those titles that I wanted to like but just couldn’t get in to.
      I’ve heard so many good things about Life After Life, but that repeating timeline was just not for me! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it more!
      I think what I thought was interesting about Eat Pray Love was that she did what most people would never, ever do (or admit to doing). I enjoy Gilbert’s writing, but haven’t ever read anything else by her. Signature of All Things sounds like a great read!


    1. Thanks! This is a really fun meme to join in on – there are so many different routes each selection takes, and I’m always so amazed that all of us who participate in this meme end up selecting such different books to talk about! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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