Six Degrees of Separation – from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to


It’s time for #6Degrees, and it’s soooo easy to play – join us!

This month’s chain begins with Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (thanks to Maria Helena for this suggestion). I haven’t read this book and when looking for clues to start my chain, I came across Paul’s review on Goodreads. Paul is possibly my favourite Goodreads reviewer – although our opinions don’t always match, he never fails to make me laugh. And I really laughed when I read his one-star take on The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes –

“It’s one thing to realise that as a person with a fiction addiction you must tread a lonely path because in Real Life as you may know not that many people are as hopelessly addicted as we here on Goodreads. But then it’s another thing to have to admit that within that already small (but intense, intense) community of readers you are now part of a minority since the majority appear to be besotted with YA/adult romance/fantasy etc. So, mainstream literature is now a minority sport like lacrosse or curling, and should be rebranded. But then, even stranger, to find oneself as the minority of the minority of the minority…. Which happens when the majority of the minority are all raving about a novel that turns out to be The Sense of an Ending.”

Lacrosse is my link to The Naughtiest Girl Again by Enid Blyton. My family have long played lacrosse (not a popular sport in Australia) and when I was little I loved these books, not only for their lacrosse references but for the intense judiciary system established by the students of Whyteleafe, as well as the fact that it’s set in a boarding school.

I particularly love stories set at boarding schools, which is why I read The Virgins by Pamela Erens.

The staging of a play (Macbeth) is an important part of the plot in The Virgins – there are parallels between what’s happening on stage and off – as it is in Rebecca Harrington’s Penelope (instead of Macbeth, it’s an ‘existential’ theatre production of Caligula).

There’s an hilarious quote in Penelope that I keep coming back to –

“‘That sounds great,’ said Ted. ‘Penelope, do you still have that TV?’
‘Yes,’ said Penelope. Was he inviting her? She would make it clear that she was not attending. ‘You can use it. I think there is a parade in Boston that I wanted to go to.’

Parades make me think about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which automatically links me to Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (And Why We Don’t Learn Them From Movies Any More) by Hadley Freeman. If you’re a fan of eighties movies, it’s essential reading.

And to my final link – H. B. Gilmour’s novel, Pretty in Pink, based on the screenplay by John Hughes (king of the eighties movie-makers). Novels adapted from screenplays are generally deplorable but I’m including this because my treasured copy still sits on my shelf. I loved Pretty in Pink.

From a Swedish thriller and upper-class Brits to New England colleges and the very best of the eighties. I wonder where other chains will lead?

Next month (February 4, 2017), the chain will begin with Lauren Groff’s bestseller, Fates and Furies. (I haven’t read it yet but aiming to before February)


















32 responses

    • I don’t recall much detail about the majority of Blyton except the Naughtiest Girl series, for the reasons I mentioned. Although Blyton had other boarding school stories (I think Amelia Jane series was also boarding school), none had the student-run jury which I found endlessly fascinating (why, I don’t know!).

      • LOL It’s bizarre the way we loved these boarding school stories. My mother used to threaten us with boarding school when we were naughty, and it was very effective because we were not at all convinced that a boarding school could be any kind of fun like in the Blyton books!

  1. I adore this chain! The 80s movie references – bliss. I’ve read the Hadley Freeman, after you alerted me to it and she is now officially my guru. To finish on the Pretty in Pink book of the movie is just wonderful 🙂

  2. I adored Life Moves Pretty Fast! Especially the chapter about masculinity in Ghostbusters. Such an entertaining book.
    I joined in with 6 Degrees this month and it was very fun. Here’s my post:
    I really loved Fates and Furies so I’m very pleased with its selection for next month. I’m already thinking of links…

    • I think my favourite chapter in LMPF was the one about Dirty Dancing and women in movie making.

      Thanks for joining in and I’ll look forward to your Fates & Furies chain.

  3. Here is mine…

    I love your Linking to boarding school stories too. I really didn’t like Enid Blyton Secret Seven or Famous Five, or even the Magic Faraway Tree, but I adored her school stories.

    Fates and furies eh? Haven’t read it either but my daughter has. I might confer with her as she’s a good reader. Might let her make the first link..

    • Funny you mention that you didn’t like Secret Seven or Famous Five – nor did I. I distinctly recall getting given some of those series for birthdays and, although I didn’t like them I lived in fear that the adults who gave them to me would quiz me on the plot next time I saw them. So I would read the first chapter, the middle chapter and the last so that I could get the plot down! 😀

  4. Pingback: The Six Degrees of Separation Meme: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Annabookbel

  5. This is an excellent exercise for the brain. One word always jumps out at me from the book title you offer, and the process continues as it takes me to other books and authors. Great fun.

  6. Pingback: Six Degrees in Shorts | Karenlee Thompson

  7. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation – From Larrson to… – FictionFan's Book Reviews

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