6 Degrees of Separation: Less Than Zero

The 6 Degrees of Separation meme is a monthly meme hosted at booksaremyfavoriteandbest, that explores the ways in which a chosen book can be linked to six other books.

The November 2017 book is: Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis 

My selections this month feature anthropologists, women scientists, and a beloved country Veterinarian.



Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym

I’m starting my chain with a similarly titled novel by the charming English “Middlebrow” writer Barbara Pym. Less Than Angels is a witty look at the world of academia in 1950’s London. Pym focuses on a group of young anthropologists and their romantic entanglements.



Euphoria by Lily King 

Another (more serious) novel that features anthropologists, is Euphoria by Lily King. This is a captivating and beautifully written story of three anthropologists working in New Guinea in the 1930’s. The female protagonist Nell Stone is loosely based on the brilliant and famed anthropologist Margaret Mead.



Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier 

Tracy Chevalier also based her historical fiction novel on a real-life woman scientist. Remarkable Creatures is a fictional account of the life of Mary Anning, a fossil collector and paleontologist. Her discoveries along the English coast at Lyme Regis (i.e. the Jurassic Coast) helped shape nineteenth-century scientific understanding of prehistory.



The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry 

Mary Anning is often referenced in Sarah Perry’s phenomenal novel The Essex Serpent. She is an inspirational figure and something of an idol in the eyes of protagonist Cora Seaborne. As a wealthy Victorian era widow, Cora decides to leave the bustle of London for the Essex countryside in the hopes of making her own scientific discoveries.



The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert 

Elizabeth Gilbert also writes about a wealthy nineteenth-century woman with an interest in science in The Signature of All Things. Her heroine Alma’s interest in botany leads readers on an epic journey from Philadelphia to Tahiti, Amsterdam, and Peru.



All Things Bright and Beautiful: The Classic Memoirs of a Yorkshire Country Vet by James Herriot 

Beloved English country vet James Herriot’s second memoir in the All Creatures Great and Small series, also has a title featuring the phrase “All Things.” All Things Bright and Beautiful recounts his life as a newlywed Veterinarian in Yorkshire and the animals and people he encounters.



Where did your #6degrees take you this month? 


15 thoughts on “6 Degrees of Separation: Less Than Zero

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  1. Great selections! I haven’t read any Pym (a major gap in my reading, I suspect) but I dearly loved Remarkable Creatures and The Signature of All Things (which was surprising as I loathed Eat Pray Love!).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read the first and final books in your chain, though I’ve read other work by Gilbert and Chevalier. The anthropology and women scientist books all sound really good! I’m trying to remember the title (or author!) of a good book I read a few years ago about a trip around the world to deliver the smallpox vaccine. It would fit in with your chain, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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