Six Degrees of Separation: From No One is Talking About This to A Moment of Silence

It’s the first Saturday of the month which means it’s time for another Six Degrees of Separation, hosted by Kate of Books are my Favourite and Best. The idea is that Kate chooses a book to use as a starting point and then we have to link it to six other books of our choice to form a chain. A book doesn’t have to be connected to all of the others on the list – only to the one next to it in the chain.

This month we’re starting with No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. Here’s what it’s about:

As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms “the portal,” where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats–from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness–begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal’s void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. “Are we in hell?” the people of the portal ask themselves. “Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?”

~

I haven’t read No One is Talking About This and probably never will, but as soon as I saw the title I knew that my first link this month was going to be to a book about someone who doesn’t talk: The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor (1). This historical mystery set during the French Revolution features a boy who witnesses a murder and, having been told by the culprit never to say a word, takes this warning literally and refuses to speak to anyone at all.

Gervase Frant, the hero of Georgette Heyer’s The Quiet Gentleman (2), is not a silent man but he is a quiet one (and his cousin Theo is even quieter). This is not really a typical Heyer novel – it’s classed as one of her Regency romances, but it has a strong mystery element and the romance is quite a subtle one. It’s also one that I particularly enjoyed – although I wished we had seen more of the heroine!

Another book with ‘quiet’ in the title is Death on a Quiet Day by Michael Innes (3). This book from 1956 is one of Innes’ series of Inspector Appleby novels. I’ve found the books in this series quite varied; Death on a Quiet Day is more thriller than mystery, with the protagonist being chased through the Dartmoor countryside after discovering a dead body.

The opposite of quiet is loud, so the next book in my chain is Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson (4). This very moving novel tells the story of a young girl in the 1950s who has difficulty communicating verbally and her experiences after being sent to live at the Briar Mental Institute. Although I found this an uncomfortable book to read at times due to the subject, there were still some moments of warmth and humour and it’s a book that I’m very glad I decided to read.

‘Saying it loud’ can cause echoes, so the next book in my chain is Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin (5). This is the first in a series of crime novels set on the Swedish island of Öland; there are four books (although I’ve only read three of them) and each one takes place during a different season of the year. I loved the atmosphere and the elderly Gerlof, one of the recurring characters, and I should really find time to read the last of the four books.

Another book which is the first in a crime series (and has a sound-related title) is A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean (6), an entertaining murder mystery set in an English country house in the early 19th century. I loved the heroine, Miss Dido Kent, and had fully intended to continue with the series but never did.

~

And that’s my chain for February! My links have included silent boys and quiet gentlemen, quiet days, loud voices, echoes and crime novels. In March we’ll be starting with the modern classic, The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.

29 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: From No One is Talking About This to A Moment of Silence

  1. margaret21 says:

    All of these are unknown to me, and Georgette Heyer was recently mentioned to me by another reader I trust as being worth a go. The Andrew Taylor sounds particularly interesting. A cleverly put together and interesting chain,

  2. hopewellslibraryoflife says:

    Excellent work–love seeing a Georgette Heyer in here (an author I’ve heard all about, but never read). The Johan Theorin series appeals to me more because of the season, but it was a bonus for me. Thanks for that.

  3. Mareli Thalwitzer says:

    I love what you did with this month’s chain and all your books seem really interesting! Although I haven’t read any of them…. I used to love Georgette Heyer when I was younger. Always fun reads.

    Have a wonderful February!

    Elza Reads

  4. Yvonne says:

    The Quiet Gentleman is one of my Heyer favourites. I hope Andrew Taylor will write another Edward Savill novel. The Silent Boy contained many threads that could be pursued. Fingers crossed!

    • Helen says:

      I really enjoyed the two Edward Savill novels and was disappointed when he started writing the Marwood and Lovett series instead – although I’ve come to love those books too. I hope he’ll go back to Edward Savill eventually.

  5. FictionFan says:

    Ha, love the theme, though I kept having to turn the volume on my laptop up and down… 😉 Funnily enough I’ve read the fourth in the Oland Quartet, and Echoes from the Dead, but not books 2 and 3! Book 4, The Voices Beyond, was great – I liked it even more than Echoes.

  6. conmartin13 says:

    I’ve read several books by Andrew Taylor but not this one, which sounds good. I am sure I would like A Moment of Silence – will check my library.

    The Quiet Gentleman is not one of my very favorite Heyers but I appreciate it more as an adult. And a tier 2 Heyer is still much better than many books!

    • Helen says:

      I’ve enjoyed all of Andrew Taylor’s historical mysteries – The Silent Boy is a sequel to The Scent of Death, but the two books don’t really have to be read in order. I loved The Quiet Gentleman, but I agree that even a weaker Heyer novel is still a good read!

  7. cirtnecce says:

    I agree with everything you said about the Quiet Gentleman and one of my favorite Heyer novels as well. I really am curious about a Moment of Silence; adding to the TBR.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad The Quiet Gentleman is one of your favourites too! I love the setting and the mystery – it has a different feel from some of her other Regency novels.

  8. rosemarykaye says:

    I like your chain very much – I haven’t read any of the books but there are several I am about to look up in the library catalogue.

    I’m another one who has heard a lot about Georgette Heyer but never read her. I have ‘Why Shoot the Butler?’ on my shelf, is it a good one?

    Echoes From the Dead, Death on a Quiet Day and A Moment of Silence all look great – I would like to read some Swedish fiction, so Echoes From the Dead particularly appeals.

    You made such a good chain from that difficult starter title – it completely stumped me I’m afraid.

    • Helen says:

      I actually found this quite an easy chain to put together, once I thought of using ‘talking’ as my first link, but I do often struggle to get started when I don’t know much about the first book. Next month’s starter title has me stumped so far!

      I love Georgette Heyer but Why Shoot the Butler? is one I’ve haven’t read yet. I haven’t read many of her mysteries – I’ve mainly been reading her historical novels and Regency romances – but I enjoyed the few that I’ve read so I’m sure that will be another good one.

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