Six Degrees of Separation: The Bell Jar

I talked about how awesome I think this meme is last month, but a quick refresher – the bloggers Emma and Annabel started the ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ feature, where they name a book and then go on to list six books, connecting the list book by book however the creator wants. Fun!

Last month, the book was Burial Rites (check out my list here), this month the title is…

the bell jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Goodreads / Amazon

To be honest? Not really a favorite of mine – but I do appreciate a lot of things about it. It’s the story of a woman going through a mental breakdown, written by Sylvia Plath, who eventually commits suicide.

six degrees bell jar one

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf Goodreads / Amazon

Sylvia Plath’s suicide is what brings me to this novel by another author who takes her own life. I absolutely love this book, you guys. It’s the only Woolf I’ve read so far, but it won’t be the last! My favorite things about it include the way the characters in the neighborhood interact, and the way the story constantly switches between past and present.

Before and Ever Since by Sharla Lovelace Goodreads / Amazon

Speaking of a story about neighbors and a constant flash between past and present – here are two people who grow up next door to each other, have a lengthy separation, and then come back together as adults. The story also involves the woman literally reliving her past – she flashes back to scenes from her own childhood and to that of her family even before she was born. Pretty great contemporary read!

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis Goodreads / My Review / Amazon

Oh time travel, how I love you! This is the story of a serious Medieval history student who travels back in time to actually live in the era she is studying. Pesky things like the plague in both the past and present make this surprisingly thrilling! Definitely a great read for fans of history.

six degrees bell jar two

Black Ships by Jo Graham Goodreads / Amazon

Speaking of fantastical historical things…how about a retelling of The Aeneid from a female oracle’s perspective? I love absolutely everything about this book! Troy, Mount Vesuvius, Egypt…romance, war, the Underworld. It’s all here, and it’s all brilliant. (Also, the ebook is $2.99! Go forth and purchase.)

Longbourn by Jo Baker Goodreads / Amazon

Another great retelling – sorta. This is billed as Pride & Prejudice from the POV of the servants, but really it’s all servants all the time. Mr. Darcy has maybe a paragraph of page time – and I didn’t miss him in the slightest! Sarah, the narrator, doesn’t need the Bennets’ help at all to have a fascinating story. You do get to see the family in a completely different way though – this book has a lot of great things to offer.

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James Goodreads / My Review / Amazon

I’m having fun with the whole retelling thing – let’s keep it going. This is fairly obviously a take on Beauty & the Beast, historical romance style. Also – Piers, the beast? Totally based on Dr. House from the TV show. You absolutely must pick this up if you’re a fan of the genre!

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