I have been rather quiet on the blogging front recently. But if there is one thing to put some oomph back in to those creative writing juices, it is the monthly Six Degrees meme, hosted by Kate over at BooksAreMyFavouriteAndBest. For extra Six Degrees enjoyment, check out my playlist to link with this month’s titles over on my Leaping Tracks blog.
This month we start with The Dry by Jane Harper, which is about the seemingly random murder of a family during an Australian drought. I don’t read much crime fiction these days. But there are tons of positive reviews for this one, including by highly respected crime writers and fellow bloggers. Perhaps I should give it a go some time.
Meanwhile, turning to the first link in my chain, I see that The Dry won The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year in 2017. So thinking about other prize-winning books that year, I am going for the winner of the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, partly as a reminder to myself to read it because I see from my Amazon account that I bought this in August 2017. I love Barry’s writing and can’t believe I have skipped over this one.
Part of this story centres around the American Civil War which is of course very fertile ground for novel-picking. I’m going for Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain which I remember as a beautiful read.
The reference to mountains allows me to link to another book on my shelf which I really must get around to reading: Robert McFarlane’s Mountains of the Mind. I don’t suppose I will ever go mountaineering myself. But I love to read about the experiences of people immersed in nature and McFarlane’s book sounds fascinating.
It also reminds me how much I enjoyed reading Touching The Void by Joe Simpson. This came out over ten years ago but I can still vividly remember the captivating reading experience. This is a tale of mountaineering gone wrong. But at its core is an examination of the nature of friendship, which puts me in mind of the unlikely friendship between Theo and Boris in Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I loved listening to this book in audio format and have not yet decided whether I want to see the film adaptation due for release this year.
For my final link this month, I’m taking as my inspiration the wonderful ‘trickling water’ sounds which goldfinches make in the trees outside our apartment. This leads me to The Gift of Rain by Tan Twain Eng. I came to this quietly wonderful book a few years ago after reading his multi-prize-winning book The Garden of Evening Mists.
And once again, the journey through the links on my chain this month has taken an amazing path. How might events in Kiewarra, Australia been different if they had benefitted from the gift of rain? I love this entirely accidental yet perfect link back to the start.
Next month, we will be starting with the winner of the 2019 Wellcome Prize, Murmur by Will Eaves – see you then! 🙂