Six degrees of separation, FROM Normal people TO …

My time is tight right now and my mind distracted, but I did want to continue Six Degrees, which as you know is a meme currently run by Kate, and you can read all the rules on her blog – booksaremyfavouriteandbest.

Her June selection is Sally Rooney’s Normal people, which I have not, once again, read. I am going to keep it brief.

So, here goes:

Normal people

Call me

to take

Two steps forward.


Everywhere I look,

I see

Signs preceding the end of the world.

Maybe tomorrow?


Yours truly,

The still deceived.

(Links on titles are to my posts.)

How nice it would be if our recent experience of cooperation (here in Australia, anyhow) did encourage us to take two steps forward into a new way of being and doing and relating.

And now my usual questions. Have you read Normal people? And, regardless, what would you link to? 

17 thoughts on “Six degrees of separation, FROM Normal people TO …

  1. Hi Sue, Brilliant again. I have read Normal People. I enjoyed the read, but also found it frustrating at times. My six links are: The Group by Mary McCarthy; City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert; The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger; The Secret History by Donna Tartt; A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara; Breath by Tim Winton and Monkey Grip by Helen Garner.

  2. “Normal” is a curious word. Working with databases as I do, I reflexively put tables in “third normal form” (3NF) or even “Boyce-Codd third normal form” (BCNF). Indeed, I can use the verbs “normalize” and “denormalize” without blushing. But the sense having to do with instruction–America is full of state universities that were once normal colleges–is perhaps more useful. So:

    Degree one: Teacher in America, a book of essays published seventy-five or more years ago by Jacques Barzun, not hard to find, and well worth reading. Degree two: Stoner by John Williams, about a Midwestern American professor, out of print for some years after 1980 or so but over the last dozen years more or less ubiquitous. Degree three: The Hoosier Schoolmaster by Edward Eggleston, a story of teaching on what was then almost the frontier. (For those not in the US, “Hoosier” means an inhabitant of the state of Indiana.) It lacks in literary qualities, but shows the spelling bee in its early days, also a schoolmaster winning the respect of his community by climbing up after a treed racoon.. Degree four: Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh, since why should Americans hog the spotlight? Degree five: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, since why should men etc.? Degree six: Sparky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling, since as Barzun somewhere remarks, probably in Teacher in America, the story Regulus includes one of the few depictions of classroom teaching in widely read fiction.

    • Loving education and stories about it and teachers, I thoroughly enjoyed your links George (as I always do).

      When you started with “normal is a curious word”, I thought you were heading off down a completely different, and perhaps more philosophical or semantic path, but Mr Gums put me right. As a librarian I worked with databases too – but not at that deeper level. More at the level of “this is what we want to achieve, now, can you build it”!

  3. Very creative and clever!

    I listened to Normal People last week. I quite enjoyed it but I am quite curious about why it was so well received at the time it was published. I guess it was perceived as literature about young adults rather than a young adult book.

    My post will be up tomorrow.

    • I haven’t read it Marg, but I have two suggestions based on what you’ve said here! One is that some books need to be read rather than heard. Maybe if you read it, you might see why? The other is, given its accolades, it probably is as you say and is “about” rather than “for”. I will try to check out your post tomorrow.

  4. What an original way to do your 6 Degrees, Sue! Interestingly, we share a book: I, too, included Signs Preceding the End of the World in my 6 Degrees.

Leave a Reply to George Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s