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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Six Degrees of Separation - From Memoirs of a Geisha to Different Seasons

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 in this month's chain is one that I read many years ago with an online book group.  Seems like it was quite popular at the time - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.


I remember really liking this book and also learning a lot about a way of life that I knew nothing about.  A life in which women had few choices and many 'societal rules'.  



Connecting to women,  societal rules, few choices, I'm moving on to Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  Another book I discussed with a book group.  Setting her book in China, Lisa See tells a historical story of friendship and sorrow.  The foot binding descriptions were heartbreaking.



Also set in China is Qiu Xiaolong's Death of a Red Heroine.  This book is the first in an award-winning mystery series featuring Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police.  I read and discussed this one with our mystery book group a few years ago.  A lot of politics crowds the Inspector's investigation and it was quite an interesting story.



Another mystery set in China and a mystery book club selection was Eliot Pattison's The Skull Mantra.  Inspector Shan Tao Yun has been imprisoned in Tibet for having offended some high ranking officials in Beijing.  While there, he is called upon to investigate a murder.  This book won the 2000 Edgar Award for 'Best First Novel'.  It was well deserved.



Tana French won the 2008 Edgar Award for 'Best First Novel'.  Her debut book was In the Woods and it's the lead-off book for her Dublin Murder Squad series.  This is such a good book.  I've read it more than once and enjoyed it each and every time.  Telling the story of three children who get lost in the woods and then only one is found, it definitely deserved a 'Best First' award. 



Another debut thriller, The Chalk Man also tells of a group of kids who live in a small English village.  It's 1986 and all is well - and then it's not when they discover a body.  This book by C. J. Tudor is told in two time periods - 1986 and 2016.  The kids are grown, but the little chalk figures they used for secret messages have reappeared in their lives.  A very bad thing.



Our last link is to a novella in Stephen King's book, Different SeasonsThe Body is the story that the movie Stand By Me was based upon.  Again, we have a group of young friends and the search for a body.  This tale is being published for the first time as a stand-alone book this summer.  

I again had a great time creating a chain of books.  I never know where I might end up.  We've started with a book about Geishas and ended with a coming-of-age novella about 12-year-old boys looking for a body.  The connectors were 'Women, Societal Rules, Few Choices'; 'China'; 'Mystery Book Club Selections'; 'Edgar Award for Best First Novel'; 'Debut Thriller'; 'Group of Kids'; 'Search For a Body'.  And I've actually read most of these books.  Next month, May 5th, I'll be on a blog break, but I'll hope to be back for this event in June.   

38 comments:

  1. Great chain! I love your varied links. I've read some of the books too. One I haven't read is The Chalk Man but I'd like too - I haven't heard of C J Tudor before.

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    1. I think The Chalk Man is the debut book by C.J. Tudor.

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  2. What a fun post! It's interesting to see how you were able to find such connections.

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    1. For me, I just let my mind roam and books upon books come to me. Ha!

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  3. I'm glad to see someone else has read Eliot Patterson's The Skull Mantra. I've enjoyed each book I've read by him. Haven't read Death of a Red Heroine or Different Seasons, but both interest me.

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    1. I always meant to read more after The Skull Mantra, but I don't think I ever did. Same with Death of a Red Heroine. I ought to try the next in each of the series.

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  4. I love the 'women, societal rules, few choices' link! I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan a few years ago and the foot-binding scenes are unforgettable.

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    1. Yes, lately this theme has been popping up all over the place and it's good for us to remember that it is nothing new at all.

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  5. Great chain - I love when books take us round the world! And I've actually been looking for a book set in Shanghai for my own Around the World challenge, so thanks for including the Qiu Xiaolong book - I've heard of the series before, but had forgotten about it. It'll do nicely!

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    1. Well there you go. Glad to help. It was an interesting book.

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  6. I'm always after some great crime fiction for Mr Books to read, so adding the last half of your list to his wishlist for him :-)

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    1. You can definitely find crime fiction around here - ha!

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  7. Inspector Chan sounds interesting, and I love Tana French's books. Great chain, Kay!

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    1. Thanks! I'm ready for French to let us have another book!

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  8. A great variety list of books! I've been curious about Qiu Xiaolong's books since I've seen them around but never pick them up. Now you've piqued my interest once again.

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    1. This one was definitely interesting.

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  9. I haven't read any of the books in your chain (apart from Geisha!) but I must say I LOVE the cover of Kaleidoscope. As they say, a picture says a thousand words!

    Thanks for joining in.

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  10. The only one I've read is in The Woods which would make my favourite crime novels list if I ever made one. :-) The Chalk Man sounds very interesting... will look that up.

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    1. It's been popular lately. Though I haven't read it yet.

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  11. I would never have thought these two books were linked! I read Memoirs of a Geisha and really enjoyed it. My grandfather was part of the occupying forces in Japan after WWII and I enjoyed the glimpse into that. The only other book I've read is the Tana French but the rest are on my TBR!

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    1. Seems like a lot of people have read the Geisha book. Interesting about your grandfather. My father was in the Pacific too, but came home afterwards.

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  12. Very nice chain. Some I have read, some not. I have not tried Lisa See, although I do have some of her books. I have Different Seasons because I want to read Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. And two on your list I have read but not reviewed yet... Death of a Red Heroine and The Skull Mantra.

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    1. I'm not surprised that you've read some of these. Lisa See has written some mysteries too. Have you read those?

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  13. I like the horizontal leaps your mind takes - and I certainly want to read more by Eliot Pattison.

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    1. That's a good way to put it - horizontal leaps. And somehow my mind always comes back to crime novels - not surprisingly, I guess.

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  14. Great chain of books. I've read a couple of these and of course now I want to check out some of these others. In particular, Chalk Man!

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    1. I have a copy of Chalk Man, just need to read it at some point.

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  15. I love how the chains are so different in this meme. I really liked Death of a Red Heroine and have had Skull Mantra on my TBR for so long I had kind of forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me.

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    1. I know what you mean about each person's chain. It's a lot of fun to see where each goes. Hope you like Skull Mantra if you decide to try it.

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  16. Geishas to dead bodies? That connection has me chuckling. It works though. I love these things and their crazy connections!

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    1. I know. They are fun. And pretty everything I start with can end up connected to dead bodies. Ha!

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  17. I'm always impressed with how you do these!

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  18. In the Woods is such a great mystery! I would like to read it again and The Likeness. Those were my favorites of French's. Oh, and Faithful Place!

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    1. Yes, Faithful Place is one I'm determined to reread this year - and maybe the other two as well.

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  19. Great chain. Quite the scary theme going on here - those final three covers sent shivers down my spine! I agree with you about the foot binding in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Heartbreaking.

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    1. Sandra, I understand what you're saying my chain. Because I read a lot of mysteries/crime novels, my chains usually have some thrills and chills. LOL

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