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Six Degrees of Separation from Picnic at Hanging Rock to Hamlet

It’s time for another 6 Degrees of Separation, hosted by Kate @ Booksaremyfavoriteandbest. On the first Saturday of every month, readers and bloggers connect the selected book for the month to six other books, forming a chain. The books don’t all have to be related; each book only has to be related to the books next to it in the chain. You can also follow this meme on Twitter with the hashtag #6Degrees.

Picnic at Hanging Rock to Hamlet

The Australian classic, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, starts off this month’s 6 Degrees. It’s about three girls who disappeared. I want to read it now. When I asked one of my professors about the Australian literary canon, one of the books she suggested I read is The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough.

Based on the Wikipedia entry, The Thorn Birds questions the paternity of one of the characters. That brings me to A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin, which also questions the paternity of Cersei Lannister’s children.

Something I love about A Game of Thrones is that there are so many different, well-developed religions. The Inheritance Cycle also has several different religions, though several are tied to species/race. Because of this similarity, the next link is Inheritance Cycle Omnibus: Eragon and Eldest, by Christopher Paolini. (It might be cheating to include this 2-in-1 book as a single book, but it is physically one book.) This omnibus adequately hit a few different religions: the Dwarf religion, the Elf religion, Helgrind, and Arcaena.

In the omnibus, Eragon accidentally curses the baby Elva to be a shield instead of to be shielded. The act of placing a curse on a child reminds me of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Louis constantly thinks about the consequences of Lestat giving Claudia, the child, the curse of being a vampire. It takes Claudia some time to realize that the curse is worse on her because she will forever be a child. She will never grow up.

Since much of Interview with the Vampire is set in New Orleans, the next book in the chain is The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, which is also mostly set in New Orleans. The Awakening was required reading in my AP English Lit class, as was Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

This month my chain consisted of Australian classics, fantasy books, and classics of American and English literature. What does your chain, starting with Picnic at Hanging Rock, look like?


20 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation from Picnic at Hanging Rock to Hamlet

  1. The only book I’ve read in your chain is actually Picnic at Hanging Rock, although it’s been many years since I did so. The Thorn Birds is one of those books that I feel I should read because it’s so well known, but I’ve never quite got around to it.

    1. The Thorn Birds and Picnic at Hanging Rock are both on my list now for Australian lit. I want to read more Australian literature.

    1. I’m always amazed when I see most of the chains include the same book in one way or another. GoT requires so much time to read that I’m not willing to devote to, so I’m more obsessed with the show too. I can’t wait for the 16th.

      I’m going to go check out your chain now.

  2. Great post. That’s so interesting that your professor would suggest Thorn Birds! I’ve not read it myself, although it was a best seller. I wasn’t allowed to watch the mini-series (I think my mum thought it was too rude/sexy for me – which is probably true since I was about 10). For anyone wanted to read more Aussie books, the Australian Women’s Writers Challenge blog is so brilliant.

    1. I’m curious about the mini-series, but I’m not sure where I would find it. I’ll go check out that blog, since I want to read more Aussie books. Thank you for the recommendation!

  3. Picnic at Hanging Rock is also an atmospheric movie that mostly holds up despite it’s age. Please don’t judge Australian literature purely on The Thorn Birds – it is so much bigger and better than that 🙂

  4. It’s funny that one of your professors mentioned The Thorn Birds – I guess it’s one of those books that became well-known for all sorts of reasons but I do recall that we thought it was quite racy at the time (maybe that was because of the television series they made?!)!

    I think if you wanted to discover more Australian literature, the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Prize are good places to start.

    Thanks for joining in.

  5. My chain began with one of Colleen McCullough’s books too – Morgan’s Run. The Thorn Birds was the first one of hers that I read after I watched the TV series years ago. As Kate says it was thought quite racy at the time – maybe it wouldn’t be now. I love Game of Thrones – TV show and book! And Hamlet is one of my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays,
    Here’s my chain –

  6. What fun links you found. I read the Thorn Birds when I was probably 10, and yes, it was scandalous (and therefore fun). I read The Awakening in a women’s lit class in college, and Hamlet in high school English. Memorable works, both of them.

    1. I didn’t know The Thorn Birds was scandalous until I started reading the comments on this post. That does make me want to read it more because it’s fun to read scandalous things.

  7. That does make me want to read it more because it’s fun to read scandalous things. My chain began with one of Colleen McCullough’s books too – Morgan’s Run. The Thorn Birds was the first one of hers that I read after I watched the TV series years ago.

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