"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wild---Six degrees of separation

Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman host 6-Degrees of Separation. visit their blogs for more details.
 I was noodling around on the Internet today and found this blog meme called 6 Degrees of Separation. The idea is to link books back to the book of the month in any way possible and to share the fun with my own readers as well as the hosts of the meme. Sounds fun. Let's see how I do.

This month's book is Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. This was the Pierce County Reads book selection in 2014. I live in Pierce County and once a year all the library systems in the whole county get together and select a book for everyone in the county to read, promote it with a variety of programs, and host a big finale program with the author. My book club read and discussed Wild for one of our club meetings and had a lot of fun with the book.

This year's Pierce County Reads book was just announced a few days ago: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. Like Cheryl in Wild the boys had to overcome tremendous odds to attain their goal and had to push themselves physically beyond what they thought they could do to get there.

The 2013 Pierce County Reads book, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, was also partially set in Europe, this one telling the story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife and their years in Paris in the 1920s. Though I can find no evidence of it, it is possible that Hemingway was in Berlin because he was a journalist in Europe at various times in his career.

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford was the Pierce County Reads selection in 2012. Set in Seattle during WWII this book is about the deplorable treatment of Japanese-Americans during that time period. This degree of separation is a stretch but it is known that Hemingway was a war correspondent when Paris was freed from the Nazis in 1944 and the book takes place during the same time period.

Timothy Egan, a Washington author, wrote the 2011 Pierce County Reads book, The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America. Since Egan is from Washington and The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is set in Seattle there is a connection.

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Food Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl was the 2010 Pierce County Reads book. Among her many jobs Reichl was once the food critic for the New York Times. Timothy Egan, author of The Big Burn, also writes for the NYT.

Reichl's book Garlic and Sapphires is tremendously funny as is the last book in the 6-degrees game, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. It was the Pierce County Reads 2008 selection and the first book I read for this program. It was thrilling to attend the program where McCall Smith spoke. The main character in his book is Mma Romatswe, a private investigator in Botswana. She, like Ruth Reichl, tries to uncover the truth while she is doing her job. Reichl uncovers good food and Mma Romatswe uncovers missing persons.

Some of my connections were pretty ridiculous but I had fun attempting to find  a connection between all the Pierce County Reads books. Which brings us back to Wild. Cheryl Strayed started our her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail completely ill-equipped for what was ahead of her. She had to improvise along the way. Mma Romatswe also had to improvise and think on her feet as she attempted to uncover the problems set before her.

There. I did it. Full circle. How did I do? Can you think of some other connections to Wild by Cheryl Strayed? Join in the fun. Post your 6-Degrees of Separation on your blog and leave your link here so I know to visit your page.



  1. I haven't read any of these books, but I'm gonna have to add some of them to my tbr-list.

    1. I think it is because I read this with a "community" but I really liked all these books.

  2. I liked that you used the Pierce County Reads to connect them all together as well as other links. Very imaginative! I'll have to look into some of these.

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

  3. Wonderful the leaps our minds make when it comes to this meme. One of the few readers who does not enjoy The Ladies Detective Agency books, I do however have high hopes for The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet which is on my TBR pile.

  4. This DOES look like fun! And your county has had some great All County Reads selections. Ours does the same thing. I love going to the author talks each year - Jamie Ford was SO entertaining!

    I loved Wild and really want to see the movie. Also really enjoyed Boys on the Boat and The Big Burn.


    Book By Book

  5. I read the Paris Wife and thought it was really interesting. Great chain!


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