Six Degrees of Separation – from Shuggie Bain to The Arsonist

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up.

This month we begin with Douglas Stuart’s Booker Prize winner, Shuggie Bain. I read this book at the beginning of the year and eek! I still haven’t written a review. Which links Shuggie to Kokomo by Victoria Hannan – I read it in January as well, and and I still haven’t reviewed it.

Kokomo references the 1988 hit of the same name by the Beach Boys, which links me to Wouldn’t It Be Nice by Charles L. Granata, a book that explores the making of the Beach Boys’ most influential album, Pet Sounds.

I gave my brother Wouldn’t It Be Nice for Christmas a few years ago. Last year for Christmas I gave him Theft By Finding by David Sedaris.

Theft By Finding is composed of extracts from Sedaris’s diaries, so the obvious link is to extracts from Helen Garner’s diaries – Yellow Notebook.

I heard Garner speak about Yellow Notebook at the 2019 Broadside Festival, where she was interviewed by Sarah Krasnostein. Coincidentally, I heard Krasnostein speak this week about her new book, The Believer. Krasnostein was interviewed by Chloe Hooper, so my final link is to Hooper’s most recent book, The Arsonist.

I originally intended to go the ‘troubled childhood’ route with Shuggie Bain – needless to say, I didn’t expect Fun! Fun! Fun! and author talks. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.

In honour of the wonderful Beverly Cleary, we’ll begin next month’s chain (May 1, 2021) with Beezus and Ramona.

31 responses

    • I bought it a few weeks ago but haven’t allowed myself to open it because I’ve had university work to do. I now have a few weeks break, so about to start it.

  1. Great links Kate and I’ve even read or definitely heard of most of them.

    Love that you’ve chosen Beverly Cleary for the next link. Nice one. Her Fifteen is the one I most remember.

    Anyhow, here is my link.

    BTW For some reason I can never log into your blog via the WordPress icon, when I’m on my tablet. I can on Lisa’s and most other blogs, but not yours and a couple of others. I wonder if there’s something different about the settings? I have no idea how people using mine on tablets go.

  2. Your chain was so fun to read, Kate – and full of books I want to read but haven’t got around to yet.

    Other than Shuggie Bain, my 6 Degrees is all YA related, mainly because I was asked to speak to a group of year 8s this week about reading and making links to other texts, specifically because the teacher had seen my previous 6 Degrees of Separation. I also managed to introduce them to your Sample Saturday ideas as well – with full credit to you of course! 🙂

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  6. Fun! Fun! Fun! indeed. Well done on not going down the doomy route, Kate.

    I’ve heard of the Sedaris but none of the others. I sometimes feel like the only person in the world who doesn’t enjoy Sedaris’s brand of arch wit. I read Santaland Diaries and decided I didn’t want to spend any more time in his company. Many people have tried to convince me that I’m missing out, but I feel I can live with my decision. And David’s doing alright for himself, too.

    I based mine around theatrical and tv adaptations and then realised I’d accidentally found other similarities between the books in my chain.

  7. It amazes me how Sedaris always has such a rich fodder right at home for all his funny shenanigans. My diary entries could never be considered “fun”, haha, but Sedaris truly is a genius.

    And I had to wrack my head a bit about Beach Boys, but then I remembered their hilarious song Monkey’s Uncle! It was such a hoot.


  8. Ha, you managed to avoid the sad childhood links rather splendidly! I haven’t read Shuggie Bain yet and am not quite sure I have the stomach for it at this moment in time…

  9. I haven’t heard of all of yours, Kate, but I think the grimness of Shuggie Bain sent me in a happy kidlit direction instead:

    Beverly Cleary as a starting point next month will be fun. I worked for her publisher at one point and got to meet her. A very modest and pleasant person: I can easily imagine a child feeling so welcomed in her librarian days.

    By the way, I’ve been having problems commenting on WordPress too, lately. Not here but on Davida’s blog and at least one other. Usually, it lets me use my Twitter account but no longer. Annoying!

    Happy Easter! When I was little and had a new dress, spring coat, and hat for Easter, I would have been upset that the temperature is freezing this weekend and I would have been stuck in my winter gloom. Now I am just glad I have warm clothes!

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