And suddenly it’s the last Six Degrees of the year. Before we know it, everyone will be writing their top lists of the year, but I, as usual, will do mine in January, when the year is REALLY over. I like me “best books” of the year to be of the actual calendar year. I’m weird that way! But, that’s not what this post is about! Here we are talking the Six Degrees of Separation meme which is currently hosted by Kate (booksaremyfavouriteandbest). Click on the link on her blog-name to see her explanation of how it works.
Kate has chosen an older but appropriate goodie for the last starting book of the year, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas carol, which I have read, but way, way, way before blogging. It is a true classic, isn’t it, by which I mean it keeps on keeping on – particularly at Christmas time. Funny, that!
Now, there are so many ways we could link from this book – on Christmas, on Dickens, on Scrooge-like characters – but I’m going with another book with a song word in the title. Indeed, the book I’m choosing has the actual word “song” in the title, Alex Miller’s Lovesong (my review). It’s the only Miller I’ve reviewed on this blog so I’m very happy to give this lovely writer a guernsey here.
Miller’s book is, as you’ve probably guessed, more than a simple love story. It’s an exploration of love, and how it plays out over time, and in different age-groups. A delightful book that I fell in love with a couple of years ago and that also explores love – even more broadly – is an anthology of short stories devoted to the subject, Cate Kennedy’s Australian love stories (my review). I still feel the thrill I had reading that book.
The first story in Kennedy’s anthology is by indigenous writer, Bruce Pascoe, and the story was about love in an older couple. However, it’s not that subject that I’m linking on this time, but simply on Bruce Pascoe and his non-fiction work Dark emu, dark seeds: Agriculture or accident? (my review). It was another memorable book for me – and it makes a contribution to the truth-telling going on in Australia at the moment.
I’m determined to mix this post up quite a bit – and not get stuck on specific themes and ideas – so my next link is, like my first one, on a word in the title, “dark”. The book is Dymphna Cusack’s A window in the dark (my review), which is her memoir of her years as a middle-class teacher who wanted – and achieved it too – to bring education and the associated opportunities to less privileged students.
And now, guess what I’ve done? I’ve worked it so I can link to my most recent review – Rebecca Skloot’s The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks (my review). Can you work out the link? It’s that Skloot, too, was a middle class person whose work brought her in contact with poor and/or underprivileged people, the Lacks family. Indeed, at one stage during the book, Henrietta’s middle-aged daughter Deborah Lacks started planning to continue her education, because she didn’t finish high school …
Then, just like that, we’ve reached the last book in the chain, and I’m sticking with writer and subject matter, but from a different angle. My last writer is Bianca Nogrady who, like Skloot, is a science writer. The book is The end: The human experience of death (my review) and, like Skloot’s book, it deals with both the science and the ethics of its subject showing that scientists too can (though whether they always will, is another question) think beyond the test-tube.
Quite a different sort of chain this month, with a wider variety of forms. Four of my books are non-fiction and one a collection of short stories, meaning that only one is actually a novel. Only two of my six authors are male but, since one book is an anthology, I could argue that this month’s chain includes more male authors than usual!
I do apologise, however, that for this Christmas edition of Six Degrees I ended up with a book about Death not Birth. That wasn’t very clever of me, really, but c’est la vie! You just have to go where the chain leads you!
And now I will end by thanking all you loyal Six Degrees readers for reading my meme posts this year. It’s been great fun doing this meme, and even more having you all along for the ride. I hope to see you all again next year … Meanwhile, if I don’t “see” you before then, I wish you a very happy Holiday season.
Now, over to you: Have you read A Christmas carol? And, regardless, what would you link to?