Saturday 6 October 2018

#6degrees October

#6degrees is a monthly meme hosted by Kate @Books Are My Favourite and Best.

Oftentimes I haven't read the starting book for this meme, but I can assure you that I only play the next 6 books with ones I have actually read. 
If I've read the book during this blogging life, then I include my review, otherwise, you just have to take my word for it!

This month the starting book is The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.
Are you game?

Old image alert - Kate @Books Are My Favourite & Best now hosts #6Degrees but this is a good refresh of the rules.

The Outsiders is one of those coming-of-age stories that I never got around to reading during my own coming-of-age stage or at any other stage of my life.
So I will have to stick with this one well-known fact about The Outsiders to get me to the next link on my chain.

A more recent version of a bildungsroman (I love any chance to use that fabulous German word) is
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
It follows a group of high school friends through the eyes of a naive, younger narrator.

Hopefully they won't grow up to be like the friends in The Secret History by Donna Tartt!

A number of my bookshop colleagues had been raving about this book for years - they couldn't believe that I hadn't read it.
On a holiday to the Mornington Peninsula a number of years ago, I spotted a copy in a second hand bookshop.
It was a fun, lazing by the side of the pool kind of read, but ultimately left me scratching my head, wondering what all the fuss was about.

Another secondhand bookshop find that has proved to be more of a genuine and long-lasting thrill was Australian Classics by Jane Gleeson-White (especially because it is now out of print).

I thought I'd done a pretty good job, over the years, of reading many of the fabulous Australian classics - until I read this book.
I now have a list of Aussie must-reads to get through.

Another recent read that left me with a long list of books to read was Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air.

This was Kalanithi's search for meaning, understanding and connection in the face of death.
How we approach the end of life with dignity and individual choice is the main discussion in Atul Gawande's Being Mortal.

This was an incredibly moving and thought provoking book and reminded me why I love non-fiction so much.
It can open up a world of thought and ideas that you could otherwise dismiss, miss or ignore.

Since I've been on a medical jag with this months #6degrees I will finish with another medical memoir that I could have easily dismissed as not being of any concern of mine.

Avalanche was one woman's discussion about the IVF journey she and her partner went on.
It was quite a harrowing read, and for me, a searing indictment on the IVF industry taking advantage of cashed-up vulnerable people.

October has been a circle of life #6degrees for me, starting with coming-of-age stories through to end of life before cycling back to the very start of our life story.

Where did your links take you this month?


  1. I love it when a book leads me to a list of more books I want to read! Being Mortal is high on my TBR list. I begged for a copy of that book last Christmas and I still haven't read it. I hope I can get to it soon. I do love how you put your list together--you are right, it is like the circle of life. :-) Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. You will need a box of tissues for Being Mortal but it discusses important ideas and I highly recommend everyone.

    2. I think this is the book that most jumps out of me from this list, too, although I'm also drawn to When Breath becomes Air. I like your circle of life theme that emerged - it's so interesting that this happens when we don't set deliberately set out to do that.

  2. I never would have expected this month's chain to include Kalanithi and Gawande but that's the beauty of this meme!

    1. It surprised me too Susan :-)

  3. Nicely done Brona - I really think you should get extra points for creating a circle of life and squeezing in bildungsroman!
    When Breath Becomes Air is on my 'Read soon' TBR list - I don't know why I've left it so long given I haven't read a single bad review. I also found Avalanche a harrowing read - certainly wasn't encouraging for those considering IVF (which I guess was the point).

    1. Thank you Kate - just trying to keep up with Sue and her special talent of working in Jane Austen every month :-)

  4. As I said elsewhere I tried commenting this morning, but I can't recollect what on earth I said. But I did say that while I haven't read many medical memoirs, I have read a couple that I loved, one being Khadra's Making the cut.

    I enjoyed your Six Degrees.

    1. I've just spent the evening engaging with blogger forum/help to try and find out why so many people have trouble leaving comments on blogger (including myself at times!) when lo and behold, one of your comments finally comes through!

      It's frustrating that the spammers can leave comments, but my friends struggle every single time.

      Did you do anything different this time around Sue?

    2. It's so hard to remember, Brona, but I THINK that I did the one that went through on my laptop while the others were on my iPad. They are all using Safari. I need to note more - I shall try to in future - but my suspicion is that it's when I use mobile devices that the problem happens more often. (I'm doing this one on the laptop too - let's see if it goes through.)

      I'm sorry for you - those forums/helps can take you round in circles but every now and then a gem will pop up! It's time, though, that you don't want to spend isn't it?

    3. Yes, but I seem to have had some success with this particular guy. I suspect that with my last phone update safari went back to yahoo. Now it's back on google I've been able to post replies on my blog again :-)

      I also cleared all my caches, cookies etc as it's been a while since I did so - a timely prompt to spring clean my devices!

      Thanks for persisting Sue I appreciate it.

  5. The Paul Kalanithi book was so moving and yet somehow uplifting. Avalanche sounds interesting, if a bit harrowing.

  6. Clever - and interesting - links! The only one of your books I've read is The Secret History, so plenty to add to my list of books to look to for.

    Margaret @ BooksPlease

  7. I haven't read The Secret History, but I read Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch this year and was also underwhelmed. It's for a certain type of person, that's for sure!

    1. The start of The Goldfinch was amazing but quickly fell away - too many coincidences and again, too many characters I couldn't really care about.

  8. Great chain and connections. I loved "The Secret History". It might depend on just reading it at the right time. I wanted to read her latest book, but have so far not got around to it. She is not an easy read and it is very THICK! One day though...!


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