Blog: Six Degrees of Separation

Since the time I read about Six Degrees of Separation in Whispering Gum’s blog, I have been turning the thought in my head, to see how I would link the books, and to know if I can jog my memory. I am trying this month and I hope I would try this exercise regularly. It’s fun.

From Kate’s blog (booksaremyfavouriteandbest), I understand that the journey for December has to be started from Stephen King’s IT.

The clown wasn’t scary, but the fictional town Derry was. How could children live in a dark, dark town like Derry! I stayed up reading till 5 AM a couple of nights to finish reading the book because my ticket for the movie was booked. Stephen King cheated me. I didn’t know the book was THAT long. That was TOO long. I am sure his editors were scared to read the book, so they failed to run their scissors on hundreds of pages. Speculations aside, the book helped me to make some decisions: I will not read King’s book for the next two years; they make me anxious. I will not read horror for a little while. I really need a breather. (Delia, I will read your story alone. Yaay!)

I read Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything just before the movie was released. I enjoyed Maddy’s journal entries and her mini -reviews. I love when the characters talk about books. In Everything, Everything, Maddy reviewed The Little Prince, Flowers For Algernon… Oh! To my dismay, she mentioned a few spoilers too. But that’s okay. I look forward to reading Flowers For Algernon. And who doesn’t love The Little Prince!

In Wild, Cheryl Strayed wrote about SO many books. Loads of them. But I chose to read Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter. I read it when Chennai was flooded in 2015 and I read it by the subtle light of candles. In retrospect, I realise that I could have read something fun because the city was already drowning, but for reasons which I can’t fathom, I read The Optimist’s Daughter. It’s just the kind of book that’s placed in a particular spot in my bookshelf, so that it can keep looking at me. It’s that dear.

“At their very feet had been the river. The boat came breasting out of the mist, and in they stepped. All new things in life were meant to come like that.”

The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty

Just when Chennai was facing the worst deluge, I read Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and The Professor too. The problem with the book was that it brought too many wonderful characters into my life and I didn’t know how to love all of them. As I write this post, it occurs to me that I had wanted to read The Housekeeper and The Professor to feel all the warmth and kindness, and to forget that we were stranded with no power and to make peace with the image of a boat tearing through the floodwater in my street.

I read Takashi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat even before I read The Housekeeper and The Professor. Maybe, The Guest Cat showed me the sort of Japan that I couldn’t see in Haruki Murakami’s books. Those were the only Japanese works I was reading then. So The Guest Cat cleansed my palate and widened the horizon. Chibi, the cat, is precious. The couple who are in love with Chibi are more precious. How painful it must be to fall in love with the cat who doesn’t belong to them! How hard it must be to mourn the cat who doesn’t belong to them, but who belongs to them in many ways! The Guest Cat tests our patience. Nothing really happens. But, that’s the thing. Nothing really happens but the loss and longing bubble in the pit of my heart.

“Having played to her heart’s content, Chibi would come inside and rest for a while. When she began to sleep on the sofa–like a talisman curled gently in the shape of a comma and dug up from a prehistoric archaeological site–a deep sense of happiness arrived, as if the house itself had dreamed this scene.”

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide

While I am at an animal-book, let me slip a note about Patrick McDonnell and Daniel Ladinsky’s Darling, I Love You: Poems from the Hearts of Our Glorious Mutts and All Our Animal Friends. Most poems in the book are shorter than the title. 🙂 It is the kind of book that I want to read at the end of an awful day and an amazing day. It’s the kind of book that I want to carry in my bag and keep beside my pillow. It is my best friend in a paper jacket. 🙂

She Phoned Saying

she phoned saying,
“i will
be over in a
minute,”
but the sweet snail
was just figuratively
speaking
of course

Have you read any of these books? Are you trying this activity too? Let me know. 🙂

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26 thoughts on “Blog: Six Degrees of Separation

  1. No SK book for 2 years! 😂 IT was a bit too much even for me so I understand how you feel. And thank you for still wanting to read my story, though I assure you it’s not as horrific and a lot shorter. 😄
    I haven’t tried six degrees of separation but I’ve seen it on quite a few blogs. I’ve had so little time for reading lately that today I set aside just for that. Plus, I’ve started a new horror novella and can’t wait to see what happens next. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star was amazing (this coming from someone who doesn’t really like YA), but I haven’t read Everything, Everything.
    The Guest Cat sounds wonderful. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As soon as I finish ‘His Dark Materials’, I will read ‘The Sun is Also A Star’, Delia. If YOU think it is amazing, I must read it.

      ‘The Guest Cat’ is so beautiful, Delia. I know you love cats. If you are okay to cry a bit, then the book is for you. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deepika, sadly it doesn’t burn more than exercise or I would have been thin by now. 😂 Or maybe I should read MORE horror! Now that’s a thought!
    I don’t know if I’m ready for a book about pets yet. I lost my dog in October and she was my last fur baby. Perhaps next year.

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  4. Oh, it’s lovely seeing you play this meme too Deepika. Good for you. I enjoyed your links. You made me laugh with your comment on Stephen King’s editors that you were “sure his editors were scared to read the book, so they failed to run their scissors on hundreds of pages”.

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I have been wanting to read Ogawa’s The housekeeper and the professor for a while now, and I certainly be interested to read the Eudora Welty as I like her.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Linking books is fun. I especially love when I read a bunch of books in a row that use the same themes – is the universe trending somehow? And I so love The Little Prince. I must have read it a gazillion times, and it never ages for me!

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  6. Linking books through the Six Degrees of Separation theme is always interesting. It is one of the few early Stephen King books that I have not read. He certainly has some very long books. I can understand not wanting to read him for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haven’t read any of your books but I enjoyed reading your chain! I didn’t do one this month… not yet, anyway. But they’re always fun to do and I love seeing what different directions everyone goes off in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I liked Maddy in Everything, Everything, but the mother was crazy in the book. Why did she do what she did? It was quite harsh — but perhaps the story was more a metaphor about Life — that one can’t live their life so afraid. Hmm. I can relate to it as metaphor.

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  9. Hahah. You might be right about his editors! I’m about to be in the same position as we have planned to watch the film this holiday season and I have barely begun reading and, as usual, have a few other books on the stack. Hmmm. I think we might be watching it later. But are you serious that you will make him pay by not reading any of his books for another year and 300-some-odd days?! *grins*

    I’ve read a few of the books you mentioned, but not The Housekeeper and the Professor, which I’ve considered a few times. Now, when I do read it, I will think about you reading it during the flood. My favourite in the ones you’ve mentioned is either The Little Prince or The Guest Cat, and I do see the degree of separation there: between Chibi and the rose. I’ve never recommended The Guest Cat, for reasons you will understand, but I agree that it is a beautiful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, B.I.P, for this lovely comment. I am still mad at Stephen King. 😀 Until somebody chains me up to a chair and shove his book under my nose, I am not going to read his books. 😉 But I liked the movie. The casting was great.

      I so hope you would enjoy ‘The Housekeeper and the Professor’. Maybe, when you read it, I would love to read it along with you. I can certainly do with a reread of that book. Oh! I totally see what you mean by Chibi and Rose. I love the way you drew that comparison. Love it, B.I.P.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will aim to remember that when I do fall into company with The Housekeeper and the Professor; I will try to let you know when the mood strikes!

        Liked by 1 person

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