Wednesday 6 August 2014

Six Degrees of Separation

Aussie authors Annabel Smith & Emma Chapman have started a new meme that explores the idea of 6 degrees of separation with our own reading experiences.

They select a book each month then wait to see where people end up!

This month the book is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

You can see Annabel's & Emma's responses on the links above.

Last month I managed to get my 6 degrees to end with Paris in July...this month I hope to end at Austen in goes!

Gone Girl is a story about an unhealthy, unhappy marriage. It is full of twists, changed allegiances and two very unlikeable main characters. It's not necessary to like or even care for a book's protagonists to still enjoy the journey that the book takes you on. This is one of those books.

Another such book is The Dinner by Herman Koch.
It's a political morality tale that slowly evolves into a dark & unpleasant story about two very repulsive, reprehensible brothers and their families.
Koch is Dutch & the book is set in the Netherlands. Which leads me to the only other translated author that I know from that region of the world...

Danish writer, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) and her evocative, somewhat difficult story of her time in Africa - Out of Africa. For me, the book was made more accessible thanks to the movie featuring Meryl Streep.

Meryl Streep also stars in one of my other, more recent, favourite movies - Julie and Julia.
As Julia Child she excels herself. She brings a bigger than life character to life with sympathy and great heart. The movie was based on two books - Julia's memoir - My Life in France & Julie Powell's book based on her blog. Julia's book is wonderful, but sadly, Julie's was a chore for me to get through. One of the rare times when a movie was far better than (one of ) the book(s).

The other movie that I consider to be just as good as the book and actually adds something to the wonderful reading experience (rather than taking away from it as so many books to movies do) is To Kill A Mockingbird.
Gregory Peck will always be Atticus Finch. And TKAM will always be the benchmark for a story superbly told from the child's point of view.

Recently I read another wonderful story written from a young girl's point of view from debut Australian author, Brooke Davis called Lost and Found.
The story is sad, profound and ultimately life-affirming.  The three main characters are drawn together by three separate deaths and their different & distinct experiences of grief & grieving.

Another story that showcases the distinct ways of grieving & expressing one's feelings is Sense and Sensibility. The entire story ripples out from the repercussions of Mr Dashwood's death and how the widow and three daughters and their half brother react to grief, grieving and hardship.

I did it!
My 6 degrees moved from an extremely dysfunctional couple through Holland, Africa & Paris to Edwardian England and a very proper, genteel family starring in this years Austen in August!


  1. Great blog meme, thank you for guiding me there. I like your thread this month. I will join next month, have quite a few books to read this month, including Emma!
    Lisbeth @ The Content Reader

    1. It's a month long meme - you can jump on board anytime Lisbeth.

  2. Congratulations on your successful world journey!

    I really like this meme, it is both amusing and intellectually stimulating.

    To Kill a Mockingbird was really a rare case where a film lived up to a great book.

  3. Great job with your chain! I see a couple of 'classics' there that I probably should have read by now!

  4. Fantastic post! I really related to your love of the Julie & Julia film, and your comment re: the movie being better than (one of) the book(s). That's how I felt about The Fault in Our Stars -- the book was good but not life-changing for me (I didn't close the book saying, "oh my God so amazing, I want a boyfriend like Gus, and OMG all the FEELS!!!!" like probably every one of my teenage female counterparts, LOL)...and I was surprised when I left the movie theater thinking that the film had just blown the book out of the water! I haven't read either My Life in France or Julie Powell's book, but I'll be sure to check out the former and avoid the latter -- I'll take your word for it!

  5. That's an impressive list to managed to put together! I've been seeing Lost and Found around the internet a lot lately, so I should probably just go ahead and add it to my TBR list already!

    My list:


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.