Six degrees of separation, FROM The tipping point TO …

June! Wah! It’s winter here downunder and I’m miserable. Give me summer anytime. Just as well there are books to distract my mind … and one great distraction is playing with the Six Degrees of Separation meme. It’s currently hosted by Kate (booksaremyfavouriteandbest). Please click the link on her blog-name for her explanation of how it works. The book she’s chosen for this month is a non-fiction work, Malcolm Gladwell’s The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. I haven’t read it, but I have read all the linked books.

Malcolm Gladwell, The tipping pointI know Malcolm Gladwell has made a big splash with several of his books, including Blink, The tipping point, and Outliers but I’ve read none of them. You all probably know who Gladwell is, but just in case you don’t, he’s a British-born Canadian journalist …

Margaret Atwood, The PenelopiadAnd so it is his Canadian-ness that I’m going to use for my first link – to Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (my review). This book is Atwood’s retelling of The Odyssey – or of part of it anyhow – from Penelope’s point of view, thereby giving the story a female or feminist perspective.

Danielle Wood, Mothers Grimm, book coverA very different approach to retelling – but also from the female perspective – is Danielle Wood’s collection of stories, Mothers Grimm (my review). In these stories, Wood doesn’t so much as retell stories – in this case fairytales by the Brothers Grimm – as springboard from them to explore aspects of modern motherhood. Like Atwood’s book, there’s humour in its bite, and I love bringing it to people’s attention.

Anna Krien, Into the woods

My next link is a bit cheeky. Danielle Wood is a Tasmanian author, while Anna Krien is not – but, her non-fiction book Into the woods (my review), is about forestry and the logging industry in Tasmania – and it has “wood” in the title. How could I resist that link?

Bill McKibben, Oil and Honey

Now, like a good blogger I carefully categorise and tag my posts, and one of the tags I’ve given Krien’s book is “environmental literature”. Another book I’ve so tagged is Bill McKibben’s Oil and honey (my review) about, as the subtitle tells, his education as an activist – in the climate change area. It’s a fascinating book about a man who would much rather be writing in his office than out on the hustings.

Barack Obama, Dreams from my fatherBill McKibben’s book reminded me – at least somewhat – of another American book about its writer’s development of (or growth into) his political identity, as conveyed by its subtitle, “a story of race and inheritance”. The book is, of course, Barack Obama’s Dreams from my father (my review).

Izzeldin Abuelaish, I shall not hateI read Dreams from my father with my reading group. Another politically motivated book that my group read, also by an admirable man, was Izzeldin Abuelaish’s I shall not hate (my review). This book is by a Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters and a niece in an Israeli bombing of Gaza. His response was not revenge, not “the path of darkness” but the “path of light”. I would love the think I would choose the same in a similar position (but I hope I never get tested!)

We have – again – spent most of our time in Australia and North America, but we did manage to make a brief foray to the Middle East. The gender balance, though, this time is 50:50 (excluding the starting book which I didn’t choose!) Also, unusually for me, the majority of the books this month are non-fiction. This is probably not surprising given the starting book, except that my first two links from it were fiction!

And now, my usual question: Have you read The tipping point? And regardless, what would you link to? 

24 thoughts on “Six degrees of separation, FROM The tipping point TO …

  1. I have read and enjoyed The Tipping Point, found it fascinating. Hmm, where to next from a book that talks about the point where an idea, or a movement takes hold? I’m thinking of cults or political extremists here, and those who are able to sell their way of thinking to others who run with the idea… George Orwell’s Animal Farm springs to mind.
    I’ve added Mothers Grimm to my list, too.

  2. Hi Sue, I love the way people think. I enjoyed The Tipping Point, so I went to Outliers by Gladwell (even my brother liked that one). I followed with Odyssey by Homer, naturally onto The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Keeping up with man’s struggle to succeed; Moby Dick by Herman Melville, then Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, and finishing with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. (By the way I do my selection before I look at yours).

  3. So funny that you picked The Penlopiad because I almost linked to that from The Lovely Bones (the link being dead narrators). It’s a book I need to re-read (so long ago that I read it, revisiting would be like reading for the first time).

    I’ve got Dreams of My Father in the TBR stack – must get to it.

    • Oh, I hadn’t heard of that Michelle – but then again I rarely do podcasts – just because of time and an attempt not to be connected all the time. I reckon if I commuted I would get into podcasting but as it is I just don’t know how to fit it into my day.

      • Agree – it’s only during the commute that I find time for them. I have a friend who listens to them around the house (instead of the radio, I suppose) but I seriously can’t imagine doing that. I do like to have SOME time for just thinking my own thoughts!

        • Exactly Michelle. I can’t face the idea of being connected to information all the time – even though I know I’m missing out on some great stuff. When I go for a walk, no earplugs for me – just my thoughts.

  4. I have no talent for #6 degrees of separation…but found your connects interesting.
    Thanks so much for this list of Australian Literary Awards and Monday Musings. I don’t always comment on those posts…but I do learn a lot about Australian literature!! I’ve just finished another Thea Astley classic….review will follow soon!
    I stop by your blog often as it is one of my go-to-Australian references. I also visit Brona’s Books, ANZ Litovers.

    • Thanks N@ncy. I look forward to seeing your Thea Astley review as I love her – and am a bit cranky at how underrated she is here.

      I’m glad you like my Monday Musings. I know a lot of people don’t comment but I’m aware that there are followers who seem to read it!

      #6 degrees is pretty easy once you get practised at it because there are so many ways of linking books. You can be as conservative or as wild as you like. There are no rules!! You could even say that this book starts with the word The or I and so does this book! We’d all have a laugh and accept that as a fair link!

        • I always love getting comments on Monday Musings N@ncy, but either way I love knowing that people appreciate it. I enjoy writing it because I learn so much … how much I remember to form real knowledge is another thing!

  5. Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors – I wish I’d thought of linking to one of her books! I loved The Penlopiad, but I think my favourite of hers is Alias Grace. I haven’t read any of your other books, including The Tipping Point.

    • Thanks Margaret. I love Alias Grace too, and The blind assassin. The handmaid’s tale is in a class of its own, I think, and I love it too. Hawks that for feet in multiple camps?

  6. I always seem to end up with Atwood in #6degrees. Could it be all roads lead to Atwood? Thanks for the reminder about Mother’s Grimm. I forgot I meant to buy and read that one.

    • Haha, Kathryn – I would probably include more Atwood if I’d read more since blogging! I like to focus on books I’ve posted on – though every now and then I delve into the deeper past.

      Oh, and I’m glad I’ve reminded you of Danielle Wood’s book!

  7. I like your connections, the Wood/Woods one made me laugh. I have not read Gladwell and while I know he is popular I am not likely to read him.

  8. Nicely done! And I echo the challenge to include Atwood in each set of connections – which might mean, by the sounds of it, that you simply have to read and reread more of her stuff. *looks innocent* Count me on the list of folks who have added Mothers Grimm to their TBR: it sounds fantastic. Thank you!

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