Saturday 7 January 2017

Six Degrees of Separation January 2017

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Kate @Books Are My Favourite and Best.

This month the starting book is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.
Are you game?

I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo back in 2009 (this was one of my very first blog reviews - succinct and to the point!) 

I read the sequels as they were translated into English. It was a long, frustrating wait between books. I found them highly addictive, adrenaline fuelled books. They were not my usual fare, but sometimes book club reads take you out of your comfort zone and introduce you to books that surprise you.

Another book that surprised me recently was His Bloody Project by Graham Macrae Burnett.

Pretending to be true crime, this Booker shortlisted surprise package was enthralling from start to finish. 

Which leads to me an historical fiction that really was based on a true crime.
The Lizzie Borden case has fascinated writers (& readers) for years.
Angela Carter wrote The Fall Creek Axe Murders in 1979 and her interpretation still rings true now.

The fascination surrounding Lizzie Borden and what really happened continues with Sarah Schmidt's soon to be published See What I Have Done (Hachette Australia, April 2017).

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden - thirty two years old and still living at home - immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie's unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie's uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.

I have high hopes for this book after reading another debut Australian writer's re-imaginings of a well-known tragic event - the sinking of the Titanic.

David Dyer's The Midnight Watch took us on board The Californian, the ship the failed to come to the rescue when it saw the distress flares from the Titanic.

Every Man For Himself was also set on board the Titanic.

This was my very first Beryl Bainbridge.
One of her better known quotes recommends that you should read her books at least three times each. I love a good reread and one of the authors that continues to delilght and surprise even after many more than three rereads is Jane Austen.

Mansfield Park in particular highlighted this fact for me.
It was my least favourite Austen and I had avoided rereading it.
Since my twenties I had reread all her other books several times, but not Mansfield Park.
It took Austen in August a couple of years ago to get me to try it again...
and I was blown away!
I had failed to see all the intricate, beautiful, clever devices used by Austen in creating this book.

One of the reasons I love #6degrees so much is that I can go from a pop culture worldwide hit series full of blood and gore and dastardly deeds to an oft maligned classic that deserves to be read and reread for generations to come.

Where did your #6degrees end up?


  1. I really like 6degrees - mine ended up with Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. I haven't read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - it seems a bit out of my comfort zone and I've been put off by that and all the hype about it. I have Every Man For Himself on my TBR shelves - I've enjoyed the other books by Beryl Bainbridge that I've read,so I have high hopes for it. Mansfield Park is not my favourite Jane Austen book - but I've only read it once, maybe I should re-read it some time.

  2. Great chain! Thank goodness I've read Mansfield Park because otherwise you've made me want to read every one of these. His Bloody Project is already in my TBR, but I HAVE to read See What I Have Done - sounds brilliant! I always thought Lizzie Borden was found guilty, so I've learned something too...

  3. Anonymous9/1/17

    This is honestly one of the best damn memes around the blogosphere. I would read any of these. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has been on my TBR forever. Maybe I should just work down the list. I have read several of Austen's, but have not read Mansfield Park.

  4. Anonymous9/1/17

    FASCINATING chain Brona!

    To be honest, the cover of See What I Have Done sends a shiver of revulsion through me (I have a bird phobia but that aside, it's creepy!). HOwever, you've sold me. It sounds excellent (and the reference to Burial Rites will have me heading over to Netgalley as soon as I've finished this comment - hopefully I can score an ARC!).

    I haven't read any Bainbridge yet - a gap in my reading history, I think!

  5. I don't think I could stand the wait between the books in The Girl With the Tattoo series! Your chain went in such an unexpected way - loved seeing the books you chose.

    Tanya Patrice


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.