Six Degrees of Separation – from picnicking to murdering

It’s time for #6degrees! Adapting the idea the idea that everyone in the world is separated from everyone else by just six links, Kate W (one of my favourite bloggers) hosts a #6degrees meme for bookish types.

Every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and then it’s up to us readers to link it to six other books to form a kind of chain. It’s all a bit random, as the links between books can be as estoteric as you like – it’s fun to see where things take you.

At the starting block this month is Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. In the first year of high school, my best friend was obsessed with this book. She would become emotionally unstable, in a way that only a thirteen year old can, if anyone hinted the book wasn’t based on real events.

Meanwhile, I was obsessed with the TV series of Anne of Green Gables which hit our screens at around this time. Being of a particularly impressionable age, I adored everything about Anne Shirley – Diana, Mathew and Marilla, Mrs Rachel Lynde, and especially, most especially Gilbert. I too became emotionally unhinged if my brother threatened to tape over my VHS recordings of the series (which he frequently threatened to do, but never actually did). This tele-series was my gateway into the books, which I devoured at the time and have loved ever since.

In a similar way, the BBC production of Tipping The Velvet led me to read the book by Sarah Waters, whom I now proudly claim to be my favourite living author.  In my opinion, every one of her books is the work of a genius.  She is an absolute master of historical fiction.

In the case of Fingersmith, my most recent Waters read (my review is here), she recreated Dickensian London brilliantly. I don’t know, but I suspect, that she must spend a lot of time doing research.

Having heard Hannah Kent talk about her brilliant book, The Good People, I know she spent a lot of time researching Irish folklore and fairy lore to so convincingly recreate nineteenth century Ireland. I found this book utterly absorbing.

Linked by geography and misdeed, in the last few days I’ve read two reviews of The Glorious Heresies (including one from BookerTalk) by Lisa McInerney.  The book is set in ‘postcrash’ Ireland and from the blurb sounds fabulous: ‘When grandmother Maureen Phelan is surprised in her home by a stranger, she clubs the intruder with a Holy Stone’….’. I’m really looking forward to seeking out this book.

This #6degrees has taken me from regional Victoria to Prince Edward Ireland, to Victorian London and to Ireland, past and present.  And all thanks to some pretty awesome women writers.


This is a site about books and about tea, and how we should read more books and drink more tea. Sometimes, it's hard to know what books to read and what tea to drink. This is where I can help out.


  1. Thanks for the mention – hope you enjoy Glorious Heresies as much as I did. it’s one of my favourite reads of the year so far

  2. You’ll be reading another review of Glorious Heresies soon (that’s presumptuous of me, actually) – I just finished it and it truly blew me away. It’s my second 5 star read of 2017 (the first was Commonwealth by Ann Patchett).

    Your references to 13yos becoming unstable made me laugh – it’s so true. I kind of miss the days when I had the time and mental space to become so utterly absorbed by something.

    I still haven’t read any Sarah Waters (I know, I know!) but have The Paying Guests in my TBR stack.

    • I had a feeling that you might have mentioned TGH before, so yes, will eagerly await your review. (And I STILL need to read Commonwealth).
      I think my favourite Sarah Waters is The Little Stranger – she does the gothic novel so well, and it was one of my first ever blog reviews (it nearly killed me trying to write that one – kept thinking, how can I, a mere mortal, attempt to critique this genius? I’m much more cavalier these days).

  3. I really like your links! loved The Good People! But I haven’t read any of the other books in your chain, although I have read Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger, which I enjoyed – maybe I should read more of her books!

    • I can honestly say you won’t regret reading more Waters. And if you do, you can denounce me publicly!!

  4. Such an interesting chain, full of books I now want to add to my TBR pile as a result! I’ve heard mixed reviews about the new television series of Anne of Green Gables, which has put me off searching it out – have you seen it and if so, what did you think?

    • I hhaven’t seen it, probably much for the same reasons as you. It feels almost too sacred to go there. I know that it is supposed to be much more ‘dark’ than the original. But I know it won’t compare and I’ll probably just get annoyed….. (I know my limits!)

  5. I love that you went to Anne of Green Gables – noice!!

  6. Great chain! I haven’t read The Good People yet, but I very much enjoyed Burial Rights.

    • The funny thing is that I had thought that I’d read Burial Rites, and not liked it. But now that I’ve read The Good People I don’t know how that can be true! It was just so good!

  7. I love this! I only discovered recently that Picnic at Hanging Rock is a novel. I’ve only seen the film, which mesmerised me the first time I saw it.
    The Glorious Heresies is a brilliant book. I didn’t instantly like it, but once it got into its rhythm I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read the follow up yet.

    • The book is a lovely slim read. She apparently wrote it in super quick time too (can’t remember exactly what it was but something nonsensical like 2 weeks!). I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to GH.

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