Six Degrees of Separation – from The Casual Vacancy to Wonder


It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

We begin with J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Haven’t read it. In fact, haven’t read a single word by Rowling. Zero interest. It horrifies people. “What about Harry Potter?!” they sputter. “Nope. So shoot me,”  I say.

They’re equally horrified that I’ve never read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It’s amazing how often this book comes up in conversation. I am interested in Egan, just haven’t got round to it.

An acquaintance once lent me Goon Squad, along with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Collected Short Stories. I read the Fitzgerald (because Fitzgerald) but Egan gathered dust and after a while I felt I had to return both books or I’d be stretching the friendship.

Fitzgerald naturally leads me to Therese Fowler’s excellent work of historical fiction, Z. And if you liked Z, you’ll probably also like The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

Ernest Hemingway (the man at the centre of The Paris Wife) had a few wives. As did John Wonder, the man at the centre of Malcolm Knox’s The Wonder Lover. The difference between Hemingway and Wonder was that Hemingway had just one wife at a time…

And my final link, piss-weak and obvious, is to R. J. Palacio’s brilliant story, Wonder.


9 responses

  1. It must take you a while to come up with all these connections. Great fun to read it though. I also have not read Goon Squad and only one of Rowling’s books (the first HPotter but only because it was on a university syllabus)

    • Oddly, the connections between the books come easily. I never over think them but usually as soon as I know the starting point, the next books pops straight into my mind. Try it!

  2. Super links! I disdained Harry Potter for ages, then was on holiday with nothing to read so I had a crack at The Goblet of Fire and then was hooked. Still, I can accept people not reading Rowling. A Visit from the Goon Squad however – NO EXCUSE!

    • I KNEW you’d say that about Goon Squad!

      I don’t hate Harry Potter… it just doesn’t interest me at all (and I can’t even muster some interest). One of my boys loved it. Out of my four kids, he’s the one that likes to read books about dragons, mysteries, wizards and fantasy worlds – all things I have zero interest in! It’s really difficult to suggest other books for him to read because it’s not my area at all 🙁

      • Has he read Kate Forsyth’s The Impossible Quest series? They have fantasy elements I believe.

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