It’s the first Saturday of October, so that makes it time for another Six Degrees of Separation post. Everyone starts with the same book and adds six more titles, each of which links to the previous one in some way. You can read more about this meme over at host Kate’s blog, BooksAreMyFavouriteAndBest.
It turns out that I have not posted anything since my last Six Degrees post, which is both a sign of these turbulent times, and an indication of my devotion to this particular meme, which I love. One of the reasons why I enjoy these posts so much is because it reminds me of much-loved titles, as well as rekindling thoughts of planned reads. October’s chain is made up entirely of titles which fall in to the latter category.
This month we start with The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.
When this book is mentioned, the words that appear in my mind are The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. In fact when I was typing the previous paragraph, I realised that I had quite naturally typed this title and had to go back and amend it to the correct one. I’m not sure where this connection comes from – I guess the most obvious is the alliteration. Anyway, this is my first link, for better or for worse!
And here’s another odd connection: I think of The Taming of the Shrew as being the inspiration for the film The Philadelphia Story. I gather that this is misguided because of the different positions in which the main female characters find themselves at the end of each story. Nevertheless, it give me an opportunity to pick as my second link Me: Stories of My Life by Katherine Hepburn. I have always been intrigued by Hepburn (who memorably stars in The Philadelphia Story as well as many other incredible films) and have had this book on my to read list for years.
My third link is to the autobiography of another Kate whose acting I very much admire. As a firm Trekkie, my favourite series has always been Voyager, mainly because of the brilliant Captain Janeway, played by Kate Mulgrew. Her book Born With Teeth: A Memoir is another title which I have long intended to read. (Side note: I noticed when looking her up that Mulgrew is in the TV series Orange Is The New Black which I have never watched but will now have to!).
On to my fourth link, which is another memoir with ‘born’ in the title. Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood has had amazing reviews and looks to be a very powerful and enlightening read.
Sticking with Africa for my fifth link, and also continuing the memoir theme, I am picking Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (the pen name of Isak Dinesen). Who can forget the amazing film with those haunting opening words narrated by Meryl Streep – “I had a farm in Africa…”. This is another book which I have long meant to read.
And so to my final link in this month’s chain. Dinesen was Danish and the only other title by a Danish author which comes to mind is Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow by Peter Høeg – yet another title which I own but haven’t read. I always enjoy reading wintry books as we approach the end of the year, so this is the perfect time to remind myself of this one!
Given that The Turn of the Screw opens at a Christmas Eve gathering, I don’t think it is too contrived to claim that I have managed to make a seasonal link from my last title back to the beginning. It is always satisfying when the chain unexpectedly closes itself in some way.
Next month (November 7, 2020) is a wild card – we’ll be starting with a book which has ended a previous chain. So even more choosing fun to be had. See you then! 🙂