Showing posts with label 6 degrees of separation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 6 degrees of separation. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation: 1984

Let's do a little Six Degrees today!

As a reminder: the Six Degrees of Separation meme was created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith.  Basically, they pick a new book each month, and you start with your thoughts on that book...then, through free association, you link it to 6 other books.

This month's book is 1984 by George Orwell.  AND GO!

A year or so after I graduated from college (2006), I started making my way through some of the classics that I was never assigned to read in high school.  1984 was one of them, and I loved it.  This may have been my first real taste of dystopia (before Hunger Games/Divergent/etc made dystopia cool).

Other than working on the classics, another little reading project of mine in 2006 was trying to read my way through the library's fiction section alphabetically.  Yeah, I know.  I gave it up well before I was halfway through the A's.  But one of the books I remember from that project was...

How I Paid For College by Marc Acito

Honest to God, the only reason this book continues to stick out for me is because of the title and the cover.  They are, admittedly, hard to forget.  That said, I just re-read the book description on Goodreads, and I have absolutely no recollection of that plot.  I also gave it a 2-star review, so apparently it was a little bit awful.  Don't you hate that though, when you read a book and then years later, you can't remember a single thing about it?

There are GOOD books with college themes too, though!  That happens to be one of my preferred settings for a novel.  An example would be...

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

I have mentioned this book on the blog before (here!), and it continues to make the list of my all-time favorite novels.  I connected with so many elements of the novel as Charlotte made her way through a rocky freshman year of college.

Since we're talking about all-time favorite novels, let's give a shout-out to one of mine that I've never mentioned on the blog before...

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Fun fact: my original college major was pathobiology, and I wrote several of my college admissions essays about this book.  I read it during my junior year of high school, found it completely fascinating, and then decided that I wanted to major in pathobiology, go to graduate school for public health, and eventually work at the CDC to find a cure for Ebola.

Yes, you read that right.  This is, indeed, a book about Ebola.  Timely, yes?  (Also, I think we can all agree that changing my major to family studies was an unfortunate decision for the entire world circa NOW.)  Even though my career goals did not stay the same, I still have a lot of curiosity and interest in biological sciences, and this book continues to be a favorite.  An interesting read for sure if you don't know much about this disease (beyond what you hear in the media).

Nonfiction!  Haven't talked about that a lot around here lately.  I actually just looked on Goodreads and saw that my last nonfiction read was...

Sous Chef by Michael Gibney

WHAT?  I read that back in MARCH!  It's a bit atrocious that I have read zero nonfiction since then.  Thank goodness that Nonfiction November is coming up.  This book was very entertaining though, and reminds me of why I need to get back into the groove with nonfic.

So let's see, what other nonfiction books are on my favorites list (other than The Hot Zone)...

My Life by Bill Clinton

Me sharing the former president's autobiography as a book on my favorites list does absolutely nothing other than reveal the fact that I am an unapologetic liberal and fan of Bill Clinton.

Wait, you're not supposed to discuss politics in mixed company!  Quick, think of a good memoir that's less political for us to talk about!

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Phew, that's better.

This is the strangest train of book thought I've ever had...although, I just realized that I started with 1984 and ended with Steve Jobs...and Apple had that famous commercial based on 1984 way back when.  CRAZY, RIGHT??  I'm a genius.  (Not really, just very sleep deprived, as Tater Tot has croup at the time of this writing.)

Have you read any of these books, friends?  What did you think?  And feel free to share your six degrees as well!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation: The Goldfinch

Hello lovelies!  Got something a little different for you today.

The positively fabulous Katie from Words for Worms recently alerted me to the new-ish 6 Degrees of Separation meme, started by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith.  Basically, they pick a new book each month, and you start with your thoughts on that book...then, through free association, you link it to 6 other books.  Yup, totally one of those awesome meme ideas that makes you think, "WHY didn't I get that superb idea first??"

This month's book is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  AND GO!

You may remember that I read this one pretty recently, and loved it (review here).  I read very few chunksters last year (The Goldfinch is hella long), and this book reminded me why it's nice to slow down and do a longer read sometimes.  Which brings to mind my current chunky read...

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I am about 60% done with this book, and positively adoring it.  It's pretty much the definition of an "epic novel".  Based on the cover and tidbits I've heard about the book/movie in the past, I assumed this was going to be one long romance about Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.  But it is way, WAY more than that. Scarlett is one of the most fabulous characters I've encountered in quite some time, and I'm learning way more about the Civil War than I ever did in history class (sorry, high school history teachers).

Hmm, when was the last time I even read anything concerning the Civil War?  I guess that would be...

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

(This counts as a Civil War book, yes?)  I went through my Goodreads list, and this is the closest I've gotten to anything Yankees v. Confederates since 2010.  Even though this book is totally NOT historically accurate, it IS hilarious and basically blames vampires for starting the Civil War.  Just don't bother seeing the movie version, which totally sucked in comparison.

You know what other book was completely butchered on the big screen?

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Just UGH.  How can you take a stellar book that is practically DEFINED by its ending, make a movie about it...and CHANGE THE ENDING??  I saw this movie several years ago, and it still makes me mad to think about it.  Humph.

I love it when a book has such a shocking, rock-solid ending.  One of my favorite twist-ending novels is definitely...

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.  The conclusion is unexpected, but in such a subtle way, it will leave you thinking about it for weeks.  (And thankfully, Scorcese got it all right on screen.)

The cover for this book (pictured above) is awesomely creepy, much like the story itself.  But of course, when the movie came out, they started releasing the book with a movie-version cover.  I HATE it when that happens, and I will always buy the pre-movie book cover when I have the chance.  Honestly, I think the only book I own that has a movie-version cover is...

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

And that's because it was a cheap buy in the airport on my way to a conference in Dallas back in 2008.  Luckily I like Natalie Portman, or I might find it unbearable.

This book is likely responsible for starting my interest in historical fiction...I hadn't read much in that genre beforehand.  However, one of my all-time favorite historical fiction novels is actually one that I read for a class in high school, and that would be

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

I am totally due for a re-read of it.

So there's my 6 degrees!  Hope you enjoyed following my train of thought on this one!  Any other participants out there for this month?  I've read a few good ones already, especially at The Steadfast Reader and GirlXOXO.
 
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