#6Degrees of Separation: From Fleishman to…

February 1, 2020

 #6Degrees of Separation: From Fleishman to…

#6Degrees of Separation book covers

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

#6Degrees of Separation: from Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner to We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I’ve seen this meme around for a while and a recent post by Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog inspired me to give it a try this year!

Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain. The rules are:

  • Link the books together in any way you like.
  • Provide a link in your post to the meme at Books are My Favourite and Best.
  • Share these rules in your post.
  • Paste the link to your post in the comments on Kate’s post and/or the Linky Tool on that post.
  • Invite your blog readers to join in and paste their links in the comments and/or the Linky Tool.
  • Share your post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hash tag.
  • Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.

Play Along?

This month’s prompt is to start with Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner….

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (cover)

Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a book I’ve heard about but I decided not to read it (although I’ve read quite a few positive reviews from some of my favorite bloggers).

Amazon Summary: “Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return. He had been working so hard to find equilibrium in his single life. The winds of his optimism, long dormant, had finally begun to pick up. Now this.

As Toby tries to figure out where Rachel went, all while juggling his patients at the hospital, his never-ending parental duties, and his new app-assisted sexual popularity, his tidy narrative of the spurned husband with the too-ambitious wife is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (cover)First Degree. From the summary, it sounds like Mr. Fleishman (and his wife) might benefit from some counseling or therapy which leads me to think of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

My Brief Summary: “Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships…

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and national advice columnist, shares a behind-the-scenes look into her work as a therapist. She also shares what it was like when she sought out therapy for herself.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)Second Degree: The therapy themes in Maybe You Should Talk to Someone reminds me of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine because she sees a therapist and that section of the story is the most heart wrenching and compelling.This story is on my lifetime favorites list.

My Summary: “If you enjoy stories about quirky characters like Frederick Backman’s Ove or Britt-Marie, you will likely enjoy Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Throughout this amazing, poignant, and unique read, we learn her story. Eleanor isn’t fine, and I was completely captivated by her bravery and the themes of loneliness, honesty, survival, unconditional love, healing, acceptance, and restoration. I wanted to crawl into the story and give her a hug. Highly recommended as a story that builds empathy for others.”

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly (cover)Third Degree: One of the strong themes in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is friendship. This reminds me of the strong themes of friendship between Eliza and Sofya in Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly.

My Summary: “Fans of Lilac Girls will be interested in the prequel, Lost Roses, as it shares the story of Caroline Ferriday’s mother, Eliza. The story is told from three perspectives: Eliza Ferriday, a New York socialite; Sofya, a  Russian aristocrat and cousin to the Romanovs; and Varinka, a Russian peasant and fortune teller’s daughter. The story begins in 1914 when Sofya comes to the U.S. to visit her best friend, Eliza. Later when Eliza accompanies Sofya back to St. Petersburg, they find Russia on the brink of revolution. Unsettled by the conflict, Eliza escapes back to the U.S. Because her heart is with the Russian women, she creates a charity to help support women and children as they flee Russia. After some time when she hasn’t heard from Sofya, she becomes deeply concerned. Meanwhile in Russia, Sofya has hired a peasant girl, Varinka, to help with the household tasks but this decision brings additional danger. In a dramatic and tense conclusion, Eliza travels to Paris in search of Sofya while Sofya risks everything in Paris to find Varinka.”

Regugee by Alan Gratz (cover)Fourth Degree: Lost Roses is told from three points of view. This reminds me of Refugee by Alan Gratz, also told from three points of view, three locations, and three time periods.

My Summary: A story of the refugee experience from three unique perspectives:

  • 12/13-year-old Josef and family are Jewish and attempt to escape Nazi Germany in 1938 aboard a ship bound for a country (Cuba) that will accept them.
  • 12-year-old Isabel and family are Cuban and flee riots and unrest in Cuba in 1994 on a homemade raft pointed toward safety in Miami, Florida.
  • 12-year-old Mahmoud and family are Syrian and seek to escape war-torn Aleppo in 2015 and relocate to Germany.

Even though these families are separated by continents and decades, their stories share certain similarities. Each journey is fraught with harrowing adventures, frustration, courage, resiliency, heartache, injustice, persecution, dangers, children assuming adult roles and responsibility, loss of childhood innocence and joy, and loss of family members. However, the families have hope that drives them forward.”

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (cover)Fifth Degree: The poignant theme of the search for refuge in Refugee reminds me of a similar theme in The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri.

My Summary: “A compelling story of love, loss, hope, and compassion… Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife Afra, an artist, live happily with their son in beautiful Aleppo. They enjoy a quiet and peaceful life and value the friendship of close friends and extended family. Suddenly, their lives are turned upside down by war and, out of desperation, they make a decision to flee Syria. What Afra has experienced and seen causes her to go blind, complicating their journey through Turkey and Greece to get to Britain. On this risky and uncertain journey, they must learn to survive in unpredictable situations, to deal with their loss, to trust each other, to depend on the kindness and compassion of strangers, and to keep their hope alive.”

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (cover)Sixth Degree: In The Beekeeper of Aleppo, there is a strong theme of family (celebrations, traditions, support, etc). This reminds me of the strong family theme in We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter in which the family is scattered and reunite in a splendid celebration years later.

My Summary:In the spring of 1939, the extended Kurc family is living a modest and happy life in Radom, Poland. In the midst of joyful family celebrations, however, there is increased talk of the mistreatment of Jews. Soon the entire close-knit Kurc family faces separation, makes attempts to flee, and desperately focuses on safety and survival. Family members share a will to survive and seeing one another again is their greatest goal. Through cleverness, determination, faith, hope, and hardship they endure.”


I hope you enjoyed this #6Degrees of Separation chain from Fleishman is in Trouble to We Were the Lucky Ones. For me, the most striking thread that connects the stories in this chain is the remarkable and memorable characters. I haven’t read Fleishman, but he appears memorable, too! I have read each of the other six in the chain and can highly recommend each one! (reviews are linked)

If you have a #6Degrees of Separation post, please leave a link in the comments!

My next #6Degrees post is scheduled for March 7, 2020.


Do you have ideas for creating your own chain?


Winter 2019 TBR (update)

January Reading Wrap Up

My Love/Hate Relationship With DNF

Trigger Warnings: Yes or No?

How I Use Goodreads

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


  1. Lilac Girls pissed me off at the inaccuracies so I DNF it. Not sure I want to read the prequel, either. As for Refugee, you do know that Cuba never accepted the Jews that arrived there. I hope that’s in the book. But that “We are the Lucky Ones” sounds interesting!

  2. Really enjoyed your chain this month. I really loved Eleanor Oliphant and have been meaning to read Martha Hall Kelly for the longest time.

  3. What a fun post!! Clever to connect them– and a few new books to me to take note of. (and others I’ve read on your recommendation!). Love your blog Carol!

    • Thanks Rhonda! Always great to hear from you! Two Recent releases that I think you’d like are Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and The Girl With the Louding Voice. 👍

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