So I thought today I might join in with the monthly 6 Degrees of Separation Meme, hosted by Booksaremyfavouriteandbest. I have enjoyed reading it on various blogs, but this is my first time joining in. The host chooses a starting book, and then you link it in a chain of 6 other books. You can use whatever links you choose, so it's an interesting insight into how other people's minds work 🙂
The challenge for A Whole Other Story is to stick to older books...
Februrary's starting book is Nobody Is Talking About This. I'm afraid I know nothing about this one, but it immediately made me think about secrets. This of course led me to The Secret History by Donna Tartt. You may think The Secret History may not seem THAT vintage, but it was published in 1992. So it's already 30 years old (scary!) I loved this book, and was immediately drawn into the story of murder, mystery and intrigue at an American university. All of Donna Tartt’s books are highly readable and really engaging.
The Secret History features a character called Bunny, which led me to The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter. I always sort of preferred Benjamin to Peter Rabbit, I don’t know why. Perhaps it was his floppy tam-o-shanter hat…
... and given that it was Burns Night not long ago, I chose his famous poem Tam-o-Shanter for my next stop. I did try to read it, but frankly got chewed up in the first couple of verses. Burns is not exactly easy reading! So I cheated and read a summary. Apparently it’s all about a witch called Nannie Dee. She wears a very small nightdress, which in broad Scots is called a Cutty (short) Sark (dress). So apparently, the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper is in fact named after a short nightdress. This can be seen modeled on the ship's figurehead of Nannie the witch. Who knew?!
Anyway, The Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire in 2007. So the next book on the list is Burning the Boats – a compilation of short stories by Angela Carter. I haven’t read this one, but I have read some of her work in the past. It is very strange.
Burning things makes me think of Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; a book I read many years ago. I don't remember much about it, and possibly I was too young to really appreciate it. Maybe it is one I should think about revisiting.
I haven’t seen the (original) movie of Farenheit 451, but it features Julie Christie, who also appears in The Go-Between. L.P. Hartley's book is a terrifically atmospheric and absorbing read about clandestine relationships in 1900 - highly recommended.
Interestingly, The Go-Between is all about secrets and lies, so it seems like a perfect way to loop back to the title of the first book.
If you enjoyed this month's 6 Degrees of Separation, tune in next month! Or go read some other blogger's entries...
Very nicely done. I think I read the Go-Between many, many years ago!
Thanks! I think The Go-Between was one of my favourite reads of last year 🙂
This is a very original chain and the most fun chains are the ones we just “think of”. Amazing how many books are stored in our heads!
Hope you enjoyed taking part in Six Degrees and have a wonderful February!
Thanks! Yes, I had fun with it – and it’s so interesting to see where everyone else went with it as well 🙂
Very well done. Benjamin Bunny aside, I haven’t seen any of these before which is always fun.
Thanks! I can heartily recommend the first and the last 🙂
I really enjoyed The Secret History and like you, I can’t believe it’s that old! Also, I really liked Farenheit 451, which I read as an adult. It might be worth revisiting.
I know right? Makes me feel old too, ha ha! Have you read her other books?
An interestingly constructed chain. And amazingly, I’ve read (and enjoyed) most of them. Only Burning Your Boats to go!
Clearly you have good taste in books! I’m not sure about Angela Carter, all a bit weird for me. Maybe I”ll give her one more shot though…
I did not know that about the Cutty Sark!!! My mind is well and truly boggled! And I really like your last two in the chain – and had never thought of the Julie Christie link.
I know right? I will never think of it in the same way again! I love randomly discovering interesting facts like that… Don’t think I’ve seen either of films of the last two. Maybe I will check them out.
This is such a good chain.
i had to study The Go Between at school (it was one of the very few set books I actually liked) so I can still remember quotes from it, learnt off by heart for the exam. My friend and I went to see the film when we were under age for the certificate it then had – we thought we were immensely daring. I still remember standing at the ticket booth, wondering if we were about to get the Spanish Inquisition – needless to say, the bored woman at the desk could not have cared less. It’s a wonderful film.
I grew up quite near Greenwich, and visited The Cutty Sark many times, yet I had no idea about the figurehead – how fascinating.
I tried to read The Secret History when it first came out, and got so irritated by it that i gave up. But as you say, that was 30 years ago so maybe I should give it another go.
I did not have the Beatrix Potter books as a child, though I did read them to my own children. I very much enjoyed the film Miss Potter, and I remember that my youngest daughter – who was quite young at the time – was so taken with Beatrix that she came straight home, did her own long hair up in looped braids, and started to paint animal pictures with a fine brush. Much later on she did an art degree – I wonder if Beatrix was the genesis of that?!
Thank you! I’m so glad that studying The Go Between at school didn’t put you off it, I’m sure a lot of good books were spoiled for me in that way. I loved it – will definitely check out the film 🙂 I haven’t seen Miss Potter either, because when it came out I was irrationally annoyed that they gave the role to an American! I’m sure she does a fine job though. I’m glad that Beatrix is still inspiring artists all these years later! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment 🙂 x
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