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 Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. I adored Cleary’s writing as a child, and I particularly loved this series. I was reminded how well and sensitively Clearly handled childhood challenges when I read this article about shame. I have recently finished another book that examines childhood shame – The Discomfort of Evening by . It’s an extremely unsettling book, and one that I continue to think about.
Discomfort links to The Butchers by Ruth Gilligan in lots of ways (themes of shame, grief, coming of age), but I’ll focus on bovine disease (!). In Discomfort, the farm cows have foot and mouth and must be slaughtered. In The Butchers, they have ‘mad cow’ disease and are also slaughtered.
The Butchers refers to a Gaelic folk story, and the tension of carrying ‘old beliefs’ in a modern world. Similar is The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.
Based on title alone, my next link is to R.J. Palacio’s Wonder. This hugely successful novel prompted the author to write a bunch of other novels from the perspective of different characters introduced in Wonder. Amor Towles did the same with Rules of Civility and Eve in Hollywood.
Actress Olivia de Havilland features in Eve in Hollywood. In real life, de Havilland has written a memoir, Every Frenchman Has One. One what? I don’t know but I’m curious.
I didn’t expect to begin with a childhood classic and end in ‘old Hollywood’. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.
Next month (June 5, 2021), we’ll start with the winner of the 2021 Stella Prize, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld.