Six Degrees of Separation: July 2021

HOW IT WORKS:
Six Degrees of Separation is a meme that began with Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman and has been hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best since 2016. Each month a new book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Links can be formed in any way you want, including authors, themes, keywords, and pretty much anything.

Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the Linky section (or comments) of each month’s post. If you don’t have a blog, you can share your chain in the comments section. You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees

STARTING BOOK: Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss is again a book I have not read but it sounds interesting and quite witty. I especially loved the comma placed between “eats” and “shoots” and the pandas. A missing or misplaced comma can do a lot to a sentence!


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1. While the book brought to mind a couple of different ways to go, I thought I would go with a particular author who co-authored a writing book but might be better known for a book featuring a pig, a spider, and the spider’s web. If you guessed E.B. White, you’d be correct! E.B. White not only co-authored The Elements of Style but wrote Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte wrote some witty things about Wilbur the pig.

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2. Another book with a spider that plays a pivotal role is Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. This was a favorite growing up and while it’s been a while since I’ve read the book and watched the movie, I remember Miss Spider was always one of my favorite characters. She tells James about how spiders are often hated despite all the good they do.

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3. While a bit of magic and a peach transports James, Miss Spider, and others to New York, in another novel a wardrobe transports four children to a very different place in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Where do they end up? In Narnia, a land that is under the spell of the White Witch. Aslan was always the most memorable character in the book for me. Also, look! The Oxford comma is missing here. What would Truss say about this title that should maybe have a comma between “Witch” and “and”?

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4. The Jungle Book also features a talking feline, although Shere Khan could not be mistaken as on the same side as Aslan. A Bengal tiger, Shere Khan is the main antagonist and is out to kill Mowgli, a human boy adopted by wolves. While I’ve never read the book, I’ve seen multiple movies based Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel including the Disney movies and the more recent one from Netflix. Along with Shere Khan there is also a memorable bear named Baloo.

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5. Baloo and Shere Khan are different from their brethren in Winnie-the-Pooh. I guess we could say they’re less stuffy. Heh. Pooh Bear is a teddy bear. Tigger the bouncy toy tiger doesn’t show up until the sequel. While I didn’t read the book, I did grow up with the cartoon and loved it. I always wanted to like Rabbit, but he was so grumpy.

6. Unlike the grumpy Rabbit, the white rabbit plays a smaller role in Alice in Wonderland and inadvertently leads Alice down a hole because, according to the Disney version,”he’s late, he’s late, he’s late for a very important date.” I was fascinated with Alice in Wonderland when I was in elementary school and read the book from beginning to end.

ENDING BOOK: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I don’t know about you all but June passed by so fast I nearly forgot to prepare for this meme! For this month’s #6Degrees, I focused on books with not just any animals or insects on the covers but those that talked. This was another trip down memory lane as well with books and shows that made constant appearances when I was growing up. What books are part of your chain this month? I’d love to know!

Next month: Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher

Six Degrees of Separation: June 2021

HOW IT WORKS:
Six Degrees of Separation is a meme that began with Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman and has been hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best since 2016. Each month a new book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Links can be formed in any way you want, including authors, themes, keywords, and pretty much anything.

Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the Linky section (or comments) of each month’s post. If you don’t have a blog, you can share your chain in the comments section. You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees

STARTING BOOK: The Bass Rock – Evie Wyld

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld is a book I have not read but the treatment of women and their fight to survive is a theme present in the novel.


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1. The theme is present in one of my favorite trilogies. Subversive by Colleen Cowley is the first book in the Clandestine Magic trilogy. Cowley’s trilogy blends a few genres (historical fiction, romance, fantasy) to create an alternate U.S history where women never acquired rights and only men have magical abilities. While the entire trilogy is amazing, Subversive is my favorite. Beatrix is part of the women’s rights movement and is hired to be an assistant for the town’s new magician. (Review)

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2. Similarly in The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk, a regency inspired romantic fantasy, women have limited rights. They are restricted from practicing magic but Beatrice Clayborn practices in secret, hoping she will be able to save herself from a marriage collar and having her magic blocked off. Beatrix and Beatrice are both similar in their desires to practice magic in male-dominated societies where they’re told it is impossible for them to do so. (Review)

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3. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee is a work of historical fiction set in Atlanta in the early 20th Century about a young Chinese woman Jo who hides her identity writing an advice column under the pseudonym Miss Sweetie. Like Beatrix and Beatrice, her rights are limited for simply being a woman, but also being Chinese means she’s treated doubly worse. Through the column, Miss Sweetie voices her support for race and gender equality and people, especially other women, pay attention.

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4. Another young woman is forced to hide her identity in The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang. Cora Lee is the impossible girl born with two hearts. As a medical anomaly who is sought after, she pretends to be her twin brother Jacob and works as a resurrectionist, illegally exhuming bodies for science or whoever will pay for it, to make a living as well as to stay on top of the rumors of a girl with two hearts and those willing to acquire her body. Kang writes a compelling story and I found myself fully engrossed in the novel, especially the conclusion. It was so good.

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5. The theme of hiding one’s identity continues with Sherry Thomas’s My Beautiful Enemy. Alternating between the past and present, ex-lovers Catherine Blade and Captain Leighton Atwood find themselves entangled in each other’s lives in England in 1891 just as they were in 1883 in Chinese Turkestan. Leighton first encountered Catherine as Ying-ying and dressed as a young man. When they unexpectedly meet again in England, an enemy also resurfaces trying to retrieve the Chinese artifact Catherine’s been sent by her uncle to steal. Hidden underneath her ladylike demure is actually a woman skilled in martial arts and isn’t as helpless as she seems as compared to the other women surrounding her and Leighton.

6. While also set in a period where women have limited rights and the expectation is that single women be married, Amelia Smith has the opportunity to do more with her life. Like Catherine Blade, Amelia is more than she seems. In Courtney Milan’s The Devil Comes Courting Amelia Smith is intentionally sought out by Captain Grayson Hunter to help with telegraphic transmissions, except he doesn’t realize that the genius he’s looking for is a woman. When he does, it’s not enough to deter him from trying to employ her.

ENDING BOOK: The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan

I’ve been looking forward to this since the beginning of last month. I was more intentional this time around, sticking close to historical fiction and strong female characters pushing against societal constraints in their own ways whether it be practicing magic or working rather getting married.

Next month: Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss

Six Degrees of Separation: May 2021

**I have to do a shout to Mikaela at MikaelaReads first. This is my first Six Degrees post and I wouldn’t have a first post had I not seen this meme on Mikaela’s blog in April. I enjoyed the meme so much I decided to do it too. **

HOW IT WORKS:
Six Degrees of Separation is a meme that began with Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman and has been hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best since 2016. Each month a new book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Links can be formed in multiple ways. For instance, books can be linked through author, themes, settings, or even publishing year. Links can also be more personal such as books you reread often or books that remind you of a time in your life. The possibilities are limitless!

Join in by posting your own six degrees chain on your blog and adding the link in the Linky section (or comments) of each month’s post. If you don’t have a blog, you can share your chain in the comments section. You can also check out links to posts on Twitter using the hashtag #6Degrees

STARTING BOOK: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Clearly

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary is the first in a series of middle grade books about sisters. Unfortunately, I don’t recall ever reading this particular book or series by Cleary, but her name is a part of my childhood because she wrote Dear Mr. Henshaw.

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Dear Mr. Henshaw, on the other hand, was a book I had to read for class. It’s about a boy who writes to his favorite author Boyd Henshaw every school year. They become friends through these letters, and Mr. Henshaw is a source of encouragement. Guess who also wrote to one of her favorite authors?

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Me! I wrote a letter to Patricia C. Wrede, author of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, when I was in elementary school and she wrote me back! I don’t know where the letter is anymore, and I can’t remember the content of the letter, except that it was encouraging. I probably told her something about wanting to write when I grew up. I treasured it so much and even shared it with my teacher. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is a set of four books. The first three books are about Cimorene, a girl who decides to go live with a dragon, and in the last book her son is the main protagonist. Dealing With Dragons is the one I’ll use to make the connection because this is the earliest book I remember reading (and loving) with dragons; thus, igniting my love for fantasy novels, kickass protagonists, and dragons. Now, speaking of dragons…

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There’s this Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While I never read the book by Stieg Larsson, I watched the movies and was blown away by the awesomeness of Lisbeth Salander. She’s a punk prodigy and is enlisted by journalist Mikael Blomkvist to help figure out what happened to a woman who disappeared over 40 years ago. Salander has the dragon tattoo and is a kickass protagonist. Who else is a kickass protagonist that is very good at what she does and is enlisted for help?

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Zafira bint Iskander of We Hunt the Flame is known as the Hunter and is gifted with her bow and arrow. She disguises herself as a man so that she can bring back food for her village. She enters a forest and is always able to return whom while others are unable to make it back alive, or if they do, they’re not the same when they return, which is why she is sought out to go on a journey to bring magic back Arawiya. It was published in 2019, but I didn’t get a chance to read it until recently. This was one of my favorite reads at the beginning of 2021.

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Also published in 2019 is Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. Holmes’s debut book is about a woman whose husband died in a car accident. A year after his death, she rarely leaves her home so people think she’s still devastated over his loss. Her best friend’s childhood best friend Dean needs a place to stay while he tries to figure out why he can’t throw a baseball straight anymore. He moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house and they become friends. This was one of the few books that set me on the path toward not only overcoming a long reading drought but consuming romance novels one after the other.

One of my latest reads with just the right amount of romance in it is Tricia Levenseller’s YA fantasy Blade of Secrets. Two sisters are on the run with a mercenary and a scholar to hide a weapon commissioned by a warlord who wants to reunite 6 countries under a single rule, the warlord’s rule. I hadn’t expected the romance and was fueled by the intriguing plot because the weapon was created by one of the sisters, Ziva, a blacksmith who imbues her weapons with magic. I’ll be posting a review for it soon (spoiler alert: I liked it…a lot.)

ENDING BOOK: Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

That was an unexpected ride through books I loved when I was young and books I now enjoy as an adult (more like a big kid). Also, I didn’t expect to end back up at a book about sisters.