Six Degrees of Separation:
from How to Do Nothing to The Portrait of Molly Dean

The first Saturday of the month is time to play Six Degrees of Separation. This meme is hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best. The aim is to link six books to each other from the starting point, which today is How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell.

Here is the book's description from Goodreads:

This thrilling critique of the forces vying for our attention re-defines what we think of as productivity, shows us a new way to connect with our environment and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about our selves and our world.

When the technologies we use every day

collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as… doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.

I don't read books of this sort, although I do like the cover. Finding my first link will not be easy, but Goodreads, however, has come to the rescue with one of its many book lists: What We've Read So Far in 2020, which includes How to Do Nothing. Trawling through this list I found six books that I've read.

My chain today has taken me from Silicone Valley to 1880s New York, to a riverside community in Victorian England, to 1830s Scotland, to Regency Bath, wartime England and France, and finally to Melbourne in the 1930s. Where did your chain take you?

Next month's starting point is Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is another novel I'm unlikely to read, so I better get my thinking cap on now.


  1. Yes, Rodham already has me stumped. Usually I have my whole chain ready within hours of finding out the starting point for the next month. Right now, I'm stuck trying to get the first link.

  2. That’s a clever way to create a chain! Thanks for sharing

  3. Very clever way to do a chain! I really need to read Where the Light Enters.

  4. Yes, the first link had me stumped for a while - and I can foresee next month's will also be problematic.