Six Degrees of Separation – from Where the Wild Things Are to The Tiger in the Tiger Pit #6Degrees

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It works like this: each month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the others on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

We’re starting this month with Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, a much-loved children’s picture book in which Max is sent to bed with no supper but finds an adventure awaits him.

Which takes me to Julia Donaldson’s Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, a picture book all about books that my bookselling friend’s daughter loved so much it fell to bits.

It’s a small leap from there to Charlie Hill’s Books which lampoons everyone in the book trade, from publishers to booksellers, literary editors to authors, bloggers (how dare he!) to publicists and adds a swipe at performance artists for good measure.

I’ve always loved the title of the tenth volume of Anthony Powell’s ‘Dance to the Music of Time’ series, Books Do Furnish a Room, although I didn’t get much beyond the second instalment, I’m afraid

No books as I recall in Emma Donoghue’s bestselling Room in which a young woman and her five-year-old son manage to keep sane despite their incarceration in a tiny space.

Donoghue also wrote Frog Music leading me to Lorrie Moore’s collection Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? which I read long before I learned to enjoy short stories and so failed to appreciate it as much as I should have.

I read Janette Turner Hospital’s The Tiger in the Tiger Pit so long ago I can barely remember it but a quick google reminds me that it’s about a fraught family celebration.

This month’s Six Degrees of Separation has taken me from a children’s picture book classic to the familiar fictional territory of family reunions, secrets and lies. Part of the fun of this meme is comparing the very different routes other bloggers take from each month’s starting point. If you’re interested, you can follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #6Degrees, check out the links over at Kate’s blog or perhaps even join in.

23 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation – from Where the Wild Things Are to The Tiger in the Tiger Pit #6Degrees

  1. Liz

    Lovely chain, Susan – I particularly like the frog links. And do you have any tips on how you learned to love short stories? I haven’t yet mastered them at all….

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Thank you, Liz. That’s an interesting question. I stopped treating them like novels and inhaling the lot in one go but it was when the penny dropped that I’d be missing out on some superb writing from the likes of Ms Berlin that I finally became a convert. I’m not sure how helpful that is!

      Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Thank you! Quite right, too. The lovely thing about Charlie Cook was that P begged for it to be read to her and then started to read it to me. A bookseller’s daughter if ever there was one! I hope your nieces love it as much as she did.

      Reply
  2. stargazer

    An interesting and very diverse chain. I never managed to watch the film adaptation of Room although it was on my radar. Perhaps I should read the book instead…

    Reply
  3. heavenali

    Excellent chain. I have read Books Do Furnish a Room, Room and Books, and Where the Wild Things Are is one of my favourites to read to children.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Thanks, Ali. I love that title but struggled to even get through the first volume. I know Jacqui has been relishing the whole series. Wasn’t Books a hoot? Reminded me of Channel 4’s Black Books.

      Reply
  4. buriedinprint

    That’s a title that I just love as well (the Powell volume) although I’ve yet to even begin the series. I’ve had the feeling that I’d have to keep at it a little more steadily than I do with some of my reading projects (I think I’ve left a decade or so in my Galsworthy reading for instance *laughs*) but I still hope to give it a go. Have you listened to the Backlisted podcast about it by chance?

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      I haven’t but if you wanted some excellent reviews of the Powells I’d recommend visiting Jacqui Wine’s Journals if you don’t follow her already. She’s just finished the entire series and loved it.

      Reply

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