Six Degrees of Separation – March 2018: The Beauty Myth to A Spool of Blue Thread

I spotted this meme on the outstanding blogs of Susan at A Life in Books and Marina at Finding Time to Write. If you haven’t visited their blogs I’d recommend you do for insightful reviews, bookish observations and original poetry. The meme was created by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

From what I can gather each month starts from a different book and the aim is to move from the initial book to the sixth book with one link from the previous title. The books don’t have to be linked to each other, just the one before.

The starter book this month is The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. It’s not one I’m familiar with though the back of the book indicates that The Beauty Myth examines the challenges women have to comply with the myth of beauty, the persuit of what others, including the beauty industry, dicate women should aim towards.

Another book hailed as a feminist bible is How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. Again one that is as yet unread by me, Moran comments on a variety of issues facing women, from whether men hate us to why people are constantly asked when they are having children. How to be a Woman was also picked for Emma Watson’s Femanist book club, Our Shared Shelf.

Another pick for Our Shared Shelf was Naomi Alderman’s The Power. The 2017 Women’s Prize for Fiction winner, The Power depicts a world where women have discovered the power to cause pain, with just the flick of a finger. And as women discover they have the power, men are discovering they are losing theirs.

Another winner of the same prize, way back in 1996 was A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore. In it siblings love deepens into something more forbidden. Dunmore’s novels are held in high regard and her final novel was Birdcage Walk, published in 2017.

Maintaining the theme of choosing books I’ve not read, we move to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Considered a modern classic, this is one of seven autobiographical novels from Angelou, this time concentrating on her childhood memories of her grandmother, of discovering the power of her white neighbours and of the horrific attack by her mother’s lover.

There are, quite rightly, many famous novels tackling and discussing race and racism, from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Underground Railroad. The need is there for such literature, to show what once was and to show how far, or indeed, how little, society has progressed. One of the most famous novels to examine race is The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Descibed by critics as stunning, affirming and a novel that works on all levels, the Colour Purple won the Pulitzer prize in 1983.

Another Pulitzer alumni and the author of the final book in this six degrees of separation is Anne Tyler who won in 1989 with Breathing Lessons. I’ve picked her 2015 generational novel, A Spool of Blue Thread to finish on purely on the basis it’s sat on my book shelf waiting to be read.

So from The Beauty Myth to A Spool of Blue Thread in six not very easy steps. The fact that these are all written by women authors is completely by design and I’ve maintained the theme of having not read any of these novels. You’ll be surprised to hear that I have actually read next month’s starter book. It’s Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. A particularly polished set of links, Janet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks Susan 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanne says:

    Excellent! I’ve read a few of these. The Caitlan Moran book is laugh out loud funny and A Spool of Blue Thread is a book I really enjoyed. Read The Color Purple years ago and remember finding it a very powerful read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Oh, you’ve done better than me, I’ve managed to find six books I’ve not read 🙂


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