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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Six Degrees of Separation - From The Beauty Myth to Backlash

I'm here with Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. She chooses a book as a starting point and then links to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

The starting book of this month's chain is by Naomi Wolf, a book that was very controversial in the '90's - The Beauty Myth:



I have not read this book, though I was aware of it when it was published, 1990.  It's about how society tries to tell women how they 'should' look - like fashion models and celebrities.  It's about how women attempt to conform to those standards, to their own peril, both physically and mentally.  I may read this one at some point.



Connecting to the word 'Myth', we'll move on to Neil Gaiman's most recent book, Norse Mythology.  I have not read this one either, but I have long been a fan of these stories.  As you can see, Thor's Hammer is on the cover.  There is Odin and Thor and Loki and all the other characters that live in Asgard.  I understand that the author narrates the book in audio.



One of the Norse goddesses is 'Freya', so that's our connection here to Christina Sunley's book, The Tricking of Freya.   I did read this book soon after it was published in 2009.  It's about a young woman named Freya who grows up in the US, but visits her relatives in a small town in Canada each year, the village of Gimli.  It was settled by Icelandic immigrants and her Aunt Birdie tells her tales of the Norse gods, while also keeping a family secret.  Freya eventually travels to Iceland to learn more.



'Iceland' is the connection between books and we move on to Ragnar Jonasson's mystery, Snowblind.  Set in a small fishing village in northern Iceland, rookie policeman Ari Thor has a murder to solve.  He's new to the area and knows no one.  The locals are not talking, nor do they trust Ari.  And with almost 24-hours of darkness, it snows and snows and snows.  I've not read this book yet, but I am going to a mystery conference in April where the author will appear.  Can't wait!



The next book in our chain is Swiss Vendetta by Tracee de Hahn.  It's connected by 'Snow', though it could also be connected by 'author being at April mystery conference'.  Swiss Police Inspector Agnes Luthi has just transferred from Financial Crimes to Violent Crimes.  She's called out in a major blizzard to investigate her first homicide.  A woman has been murdered at a historic chateau and Agnes must try to solve the crime without much assistance from anyone.  A locked-room mystery that I am very much looking forward to reading.



And we move on to a book first published in 1847 - Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  The connection is the name 'Agnes'.  Like the main character in the story, Anne Bronte was a governess for several years.  The book is considered somewhat autobiographical and it details some of the oppression these women suffered as their choices of vocation were very limited.  This is the Bronte sister that I have not read as yet.



We will complete this chain's circle and come back to women and society.  The connecting factor is 'Women, Jobs, Choices'.  I did read Backlash by Susan Faludi when it was written in 1991.  It's about the backlash against women for victories won in the workplace.  It's about the glass ceiling, the man 'shortage' and infertility of women who were told that it occurred because they postponed childbearing too long.  It was an intriguing book, which won the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction.

Well, this has been an interesting chain - certainly for me as I connected one book to another.  We've gone from a 'Beauty Myth' to 'Mythology' to 'Freya' to 'Iceland' to 'Snow' to 'Agnes' to 'Women, Jobs, Choices'.  From non-fiction to fiction to crime novels to classics.  I'll look forward to next month's Six Degrees (April 7th), when our starting place is Arthur Golden's bestseller, Memoirs of a Geisha (a book I've read - yay!). 

44 comments:

  1. I particularly like the sound of Swiss Vendetta - love that cover. Well done for closing the loop on your links too!

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    1. I sort worked it out so that would happen and it was sort of serendipity. Ha! Yes, Swiss Vendetta does seem like a good one and the author has a second book out now.

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  2. You’ve done a great job of closing the loop in this six degrees.

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    1. Yes, I did. Ha! Sort of accidentally.

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  3. I love the variety of your links - especially the mythical ones. I quite enjoyed Agnes Grey.

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    1. Good to know, Margaret. Perhaps one day I'll try it.

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  4. Myth, snow... Our chains have some themes in common, Kay, even if the titles differ. Clever that you've linked back to create a circle! I enjoyed Agnes Grey but not as much as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne is my favourite Bronte.

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    1. That's interesting Sandra. Guess I need to try her books. It's been a long time since I read a Bronte book.

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  5. Huge fun post, Kay. I've made a note of The Tricking of Freya as I like the sound of it. Snowblind is excellent, I hope you get to see the author in April. Oh and I must look up SWiss Vendetta as it would do nicely for my European reading challeing.

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    1. Thanks for reminding me that you had already read Snowblind. And, yes, Swiss Vendetta might be a good one if you're looking for European locations. Her 2nd book just came out and it's to do with clockmaking I think.

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  6. The only one I've read is Snowblind, which I thought was excellent so I hope you enjoy it when you get to it...

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    1. Another good report for Snowblind. I can see that I should get to that one sooner rather than later.

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  7. Excellent six degrees! And referral to Gimli Manitoba! Wow, it used to have an Air Force base, we visited family there when I was a kid. And the reference to snow is right on in Manitoba!

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    1. How wonderful that you shared the info about Gimli and Manitoba. I did read the book, but it's been a while. I would guess snow would be common - LOL!

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    2. The more I read about this book, the more it interests me. Maybe next year's suggestion for Muse & Views Bookclub!

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    3. Maybe so. Interestingly enough, I don't think the author has had a second book published. This one was written in maybe 2009 or so.

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  8. I love this loop! I enjoy this feature so much, and I find the connections interesting. I have read Agnes Grey and it is oh-so depressing, as you might expect from a Bronte novel.

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    1. Yes, I think from what I'm hearing Agnes Grey might be a good or a not-so-good experience. I'm not really rushing to read it.

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  9. I like how you worked that chain right into a circle! I read Agnes Grey about a thousand years ago - all I can remember about it was that it was quite depressing!

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    1. Hmmm...that seems to be the consensus for Agnes Grey. Doesn't really encourage me to read it. LOL

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  10. Love how you managed to close the circle with some major geographical diversions along the way!

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    1. Yes, around the world and back to the same topic. LOL

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  11. Oooh, oooh, Swiss Vendetta sounds like it's about a lot of my favourite things all in one place: writing conference, Switzerland, Alps, chateau, crime fiction and one of my dearest friends is called Luthi!

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    1. That one did have it all for you! :-)

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    1. It's like a puzzle, which I love.

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  13. It must be challenging to choose the books for 6 degrees, but it is always interesting to see the process!

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    1. I just never know where my mind will take me when thinking about the next book. Though usually it's somewhere in the crime novel realm. LOL

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  14. What an interesting chain - and I like the way you brought it round into a circle! I love Anne Bronte, although I prefer The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to Agnes Grey. I haven't read any of your other books but Swiss Vendetta sounds good.

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    1. Someone else said that - about Wildfell Hall. I was kind of surprised that I was able to make a circle, but the right book just popped into my head.

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  15. These are always fun posts to read! I haven't actually read any of the above although I do have Snowblind on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think maybe Snowblind in the summer, right?

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  16. These are such fun posts, Kay! I love all the ways you connected each book and wrapped it up in the end. This might be a fun "game" to try with my mom and hubby over dinner. :)

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    1. I bet that would be fun at dinner. You should try it!

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  17. If I can get my act together, I would like to try this meme. :-) I love the connections you make.

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    1. It can be pretty quick to do, Wendy. Just kind of let your mind go from one thing to another and jot down what you come up with. The fun part is that there are no 'rules' about moving from one topic to another.

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  18. some smart links here! thanks for visiting my chain. if your readers are interested, it's here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2018/03/03/six-degrees-of-separation-from-beauty-to-truth/

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    1. Thanks, Emma! I just kind of let my mind go from one thing to another and there were the connections. LOL

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  19. I do like how you got full circle to Backlash. I was kind of hoping for something like that in my Six Degrees but it did not happen. I thought Six Degrees would take too long (with not enough time to keep up with work and blogging) and it does but it is worth it.

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    1. I was just lucky in the full circle. Happened to think of books that did that. It a fun exercise.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! My chains will always include a bit of mystery/crime novels, but other things as well. Ha!

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  21. Such a fun post - I love how you connect these books and how they take you from myth to mystery, etc.

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    1. Well, everything seems to take me to mystery. LOL

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