Six Degrees of Separation: From Normal People by Sally Rooney to a Pearl S. Buck masterpiece

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Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly book meme hosted by Books Are My Best and Favorite. A chain of 6 books is linked somehow–whether to all books or only to the one before it. A common book is given each month with which to start the chain.

This month’s book is Normal People by Sally Rooney. Here is the blurb from Amazon:

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life-changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

My Thoughts On This Book

For the record, I threw this one back–violently. “Can I cum in your mouth,” isn’t edifying literature worthy of “Novel of the Decade” hype and a t.v. show. I won’t be watching the show either. I can watch losers grope each other in line at Walmart.

 

My Chain

 

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Back in high school, books with what I today call “ick moments” were rare. After all, we’d just elected Southern Baptist, teetotaler Jimmy Carter to the presidency.  Wifey is the first book I ever got my hands on that made me want to quit reading due to ick moments.  She was married! Since I was in high school and the book was passed around till it fell open to those parts of the story, I finished it. Where would I have sat at lunch if I hadn’t? Wifey by Judy Blume.

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Another book insanely over-hyped with and chock-full of ick moments that made me barf into my throat was Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I made it only as far as the gushing over how wonderful heroin was. Yeah. This sucker hit the wall so hard it left a dent when I threw it.

 

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Another book of a  woman (and two men) on an adventure that also had a funny not-so-ick moment describing one man’s purple you-know-what, is Euphoria by Lily King. I already knew a lot about Margaret Meade and Gregory Bateman so the book wasn’t a revelation, but at least I enjoyed it way more than Wild.

 

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If the trio in Euphoria traveled metaphorically back in time doing their anthropological fieldwork, Claire Randall finds a cure for dreary post-war Britain through actual time travel and talk about ick moments, but unlike Normal People, it has an actual story. I do not recommend the audio for rush hour driving entertainment. I’m so sorry Mr. Orkin Man! I nearly hit an exterminator’s truck when one scene got going! Outlander by Diana Gabbon.

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Another wife who went thru a lot, but only in her own time, and enjoyed her own not-icky-ick-moments was Mr. Emerson’s Wife. She didn’t go in for time travel but her life was an adventure of a sort. I loved this book, and love this author!

 

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Pearl S. Buck is best remembered for her books set in China, but this one is set at home in Pennsylvania. Ruth some social adventuring in her life by marrying William, an upper-class painter and enduring his whims. She was one of those rare women who can give and not receive without being precious about it. This book has the most beautifully written scenes of intimacy ever. I read this book in 2013 and it instantly became one of my lifetime favorites. Portrait of a Marriage by Pearl S. Buck. Read my old review here.

 

So this month’s chain has gone from the ick moment of two people I couldn’t care less about to the beautiful intimacy of two people I will love for the rest of my life.

 

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Next month’s book is What I Loved: A Novel by Siri Hustvedt, a book and an author I’ve never heard a word about, but just bought for Kindle for  $1.99. Would you like to join in next month? Here are the rules for Six Degrees of Separation!

18 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: From Normal People by Sally Rooney to a Pearl S. Buck masterpiece

  1. I love where you took this!!!! I decided to pass because I had read so many mixed reviews and decided not to read it….then I had mixed feelings about promoting it if I knew I wouldn’t read it myself….so it was easier to skip! I’ve read many “ick” books and I can’t figure out the appeal. I hated Outlander mainly because it condones violence toward women. Some disagree and say that it’s just the “time”….but…..she was a modern woman who time traveled and shouldn’t have lost her sensibilities about such issues. At the point she agreed that she needed the beating, I threw the book across the room! Great post!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ick moments… That made me laugh! But yeah, I also don’t like to read books with ick moments (one author asked me to read her novel where a woman has sex with three different guys within the first 50 pages of the book. Um… thanks, but no thanks). I am watching the TV series for Normal People though… and well, yes there are a couple of ick moments so far. I’m hoping that when they get to College there will be fewer. Here’s my chain. https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2020/06/06/6degrees-of-separation-for-june-6-2020/

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  3. I love this chain – and so nice that you could end on a not ‘ick’ one! (My chain this month finished on a fab novel which did have a real ‘ick’ scene). I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lily King’s new novel, and would like to read Euphoria too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh wow, I remember reading Wifey in high school. I remember being shocked after all I had grown up on Judy Blume’s YA books and this one was not a YA book! Loved how you linked the books

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Many thoughts…!

    I totally understand why you didn’t like Normal People – it has divided readers. I haven’t read Wifey – I thought I’d read all of Blume’s books but this probably fell through the gaps of my teen-to-adult reading. I’ll have to read it!

    Agree about the heroin bits in Wild – they just didn’t true to me but I overlooked it for the fact that her other writing (Tiny Beautiful Things) is just superb and so, so insightful and heartfelt, that I figured she must have learnt something on that walking trail!

    Hope yo enjoy next month’s book if you have time to read it before July. I LOVED it (but read it many years ago so wonder how it would be as a reread).

    Liked by 1 person

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