It is the first Saturday of the month again, which means it’s Six Degrees of Separation meme time. For those of you who don’t know what that is, please check our host Kate’s blog – booksaremyfavouriteandbest. It all starts with Kate setting a starting book.
This month’s is a classic – the sort of book in fact which defines classic given its timelessness as a much loved book. It is, of course, given the post title, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. And of course I have read it, though so so long ago that I really don’t recollect the actual time I read it because it’s one of those books that enters one’s consciousness isn’t it?
For my first link, I’m going to do something that might shock those of you who know the book, because I’m linking to Charlotte Wood’s dystopian novel, The natural way of things (my review). There is a clear link, though, and it is this – in both novels, a woman (in the first case) or women (in the second) suddenly find themselves in incomprehensible worlds. Unfortunately, though, in Wood’s novel, they end up eating rabbits! Hmm …
Now, not everyone approves of eating rabbits (or any animals for that matter). For Wood’s characters it was a matter of them or the rabbits, and they chose themselves. However, to be balanced about this, because, you know, we are supposed to be balanced here in Australia, my next link is to David Brooks’ animal rights reflection-cum-memoir, The grass library (my review).
The main animals in Brooks’ book are rescue sheep – two at first, then another, and finally a fourth. Sheep that desperately needed rescuing, because they are being mysteriously attacked, appear in Evie Wyld’s Miles Franklin award winning book, All the birds, singing (my review).
Birds of all sorts feature in All the birds, singing, as they also do in Carrie Tiffany’s Stella prize winning novel, Mateship with birds (my review). The main birds she features are a family of kookaburras, but there are also owls, magpies, wrens, and more.
For Indigenous Australians, birds have many meanings and values, one of which is as messengers. We were introduced to this, practically, during our Arnhem Land trip last year, but birds-as-messengers feature in Tony Birch’s latest novel, The white girl (my review). “A morning doesn’t pass without one of them speaking to me”, says Odette. I love this.
And now, because all my links to this point have involved animals, I am going to stick with animals. However, for this last link, I’m going for a double shot and am linking on indigenous author too. The book is I saw we saw written and illustrated by the Yolngu students of Nhulunbuy Primary School (my review). The book features many animals that are part of these children’s lives – including birds, like eagles, chickens, seagulls and kingfishers, but other animals too, like whales, dogs and crocodiles.
So, for this month’s meme I’ve done two things I’ve not done before (as far as I remember anyhow): every link involves animals in some way, and we haven’t left Australia. It’s not the way I intended it to be when I started, but that’s the fun of this meme. You never know where you might take yourself!
Finally, before we leave the birds, let me put in a plug for the Australian Bird of the Year poll being run by The Guardian (and sent to me by M-R of MRSMRS blog.) If you love birds and want to take part in the fun, give it a go. The first round closes on 8 November. Regardless of whether you vote, do check out the poll for the often entertaining bird descriptions, such as this for the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo:
Gregarious, brash and not averse to a little mischief, is there another bird that better embodies the Aussie larrikin spirit? Shame about your timber decking, though.
And now, my usual questions: Have you read Alice’s adventures in Wonderland (or is this a silly question)? And, regardless, what would you link to?