Sunday, December 5, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation

 The #6degrees meme is hosted at Books are my Favourite and Best

This month the chain begins with Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
. Goodreads describes this book as "the classic novel of despair, forbidden emotions, and sexual undercurrents set against the austere New England countryside." That is definitely not a book for me. I did read Wharton's House of Mirth. That book was not for me either as it was bleak and depressing. I have one more Edith Wharton novel on my to-be-read list: The Age of Innocence which is set in New York in the Gilded Age which is a period I find really interesting. 

A novel that I did really enjoy set in New York in this period is The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. It is the story of a young lawyer in 1880s NYC who is defending George Westinghouse in a suit brought by Thomas Edison over the question of who invented the light bulb and thus owns the right to power the country. This work of historical fiction made me want to learn more about the actual case, so I have Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World by Jill Jonnes on my TBR list. 

Another book on my TBR list about a nineteenth-century business battle is The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel. I find the history of businesses fascinating, especially big iconic businesses. One of the best behind-the-scenes-of-an-icon books I have read is Katharine Graham's memoir Personal History. Graham was the owner of the Washington Post during Watergate and in this book she explains how she became the woman who was strong and brave enough to take on the White House (my interpretation, not hers).


  1. Goodness, I have just looked up the Kellogs book and it sounds fascinating! I had no idea about any of this history. Religions of one sort or another seem so often to be involved in food production (I think both the Cadbury and Rowntree families were Quakers.) I will see if my library has the book.

    I'm also interested in Personal History - a couple of years ago one of the independent cinemas in Edinburgh ran a short season about Watergate, and my daughter and I went to see Frost/Nixon. I'd seen All the President's Men, and read the book, years ago. After all these years I still found the history gripping, but was also a bit depressed to think that most people would think such political behaviour was just 'normal' compared with what goes on today.

    This is my chain:

  2. Lovely chain. If you like books about businesses, especially iconic ones, you should try to find "The Emperors of Chocolate" by Joël Glenn Brenner. It is about the war between Hershey's and Mars!

    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion! It sounds really interesting.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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