Six Degrees of Separation – from Lincoln in the Bardo to Dangerous Liaisons

It’s time for #6degrees. Join in and see where your book chain takes you.

This month we begin with the book that topped the critics list in 2017 – Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I haven’t read it (yet) but I know that a Greek chorus is an important part of the narrative.

A Greek chorus was also used in The Mothers by Brit Bennett.

To be honest, I picked The Mothers for the cover alone. Another book that I have selected using this highly dicey method is Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi.

I was excited to get approved for an ARC of Call Me Zebra but then crushed to discover that it was in a format that doesn’t work for my Kindle. That happened once before (and I was equally disappointed), with Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia.

I still haven’t read Bellweather Rhapsody but I do know that it’s about a school band competition. I was in the school band (flute) and every year we attended the South Street eisteddfod in Ballarat. Obviously the highlight was the fierce competition between concert bands, not the visit to Maccas on the way home.  Anyway, I do recall cursing the arrival of the bus in Ballarat one year (85 or 86?) because it meant I had to put down the engrossing Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks and pick up my flute…

Apparently 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher is the ‘Go Ask Alice of this generation’. Have told my teenagers they have to read it before they can watch it.

Most of the time, my rule is ‘read before watch’ but every so often I break that rule – as I did with Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (and I’m not sorry because I loved the movie version).

From superficial choices and reading format issues (the struggle is real, people!) to significant books for generations and French literature, my chain took some odd turns this month. Where will other chains lead? Join in and link up!

Next month (March 3, 2018), we’ll begin with a controversial book that had everyone talking in the nineties – The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf.

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47 responses

  1. Pingback: 6 Degrees of Separation: From Lincoln in the Bardo to … | Treefall Writing

  2. Thank you for mentioning Go Ask Alice, as it sent me down memory lane. I remember reading it my grandmother’s house when I was a teenager, and now that I think about it, I’m not quite sure why she would have had it on her bookshelf. I am yet to read 13 Reasons, but would be interested to know whether it romantacises suicide as much as the television show appears to.

    • Go Ask Alice was certainly one of those books that got passed around among my school friends.

      I haven’t read or watched 13 Reasons yet but I’m aware of the controversy. Without having seen it, I have a strong and automatic reaction to the concept of ‘romanticising suicide’ – firstly, I think if you are in that place, a movie/book/song doesn’t ‘make’ you do it. Secondly, there is a fear among parents and adults that it will give kids ‘ideas’ – I see it as an opportunity to have a very frank discussion about suicide and depression and books like 13 Reasons create a good opening. Anyway, stay tuned, I’ll be reading and watching it soon!

    • No, 13 Reasons Why is a cautionary tale—of the ways we ignore people who are hurting and the things we can do to intervene before it is too late. I used to tell kids who were checking it out from the library that they had to promise me to read all the way to the end otherwise I didn’t want them to start it. It was very popular for years. A rarity these days.

  3. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: From Lincoln in the Bardo | Reactions to Reading

  4. Pingback: From Lincoln to Scarlet | Kathryn Gossow

    • I’m sure if I read Go Ask Alice now, I’d pick it to pieces but it was the ‘cautionary tale’ of its time (which makes me wonder if parents deliberately ‘black-listed’ it so that all the kids would read it… and be very scared… and pledge never to take drugs…?!).

  5. I love your chain! My younger sister loved Go Ask Alice. She wasn’t much of a reader, but that one was really a favorite. I don’t think I ever read it. I realized that I do have Bellweather Rhapsody on my Kindle. Ought to read it.

  6. Pingback: From Lincoln in the Bardo #6degrees – findingtimetowrite

    • Argh! I think Blogger ate the comment I left on your post! Anyway, wanted to say that I saw the stage play of Curious Incident last week – it was AMAZING and so cleverly done.

  7. Your connections are much more inventive and personal than mine, but I loved doing this meme. I thought it would be too much work (and it was a bit) but well worth it. And as Bernadette notes, there is so much variety between the chains.

  8. Pingback: SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (1) – The Cozy Pages

  9. Pingback: Six Degrees of Separation: From Lincoln in the Bardo to Tequila Mockingbird | Lizzy's Literary Life

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