Saturday, October 25, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation: 1984

It’s time for another Six Degrees of Separation! Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme, hosted by Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman, which normally runs on the first Saturday of the month. But October has been a really busy month for me, so my blogging is way behind! Better late than never, though, right?

The main idea of this meme is to form a chain of books by linking something they have in common, kind of like forming a word ladder with common letters, and everyone begins their chains with the same book. Other than that, there are no set rules. You get to make your own!

This month, we are starting with 1984 by George Orwell. I haven’t read this one, but I have been planning to…..for a long, LONG time! I did start it once not too long ago, but I had a lot of review books to read, and the book was on reserve, so I didn’t get a chance to finish. I did read enough though to see how ‘Big Brother’ used technology to spy on every aspect of a citizen’s life.

I read Matched by Ally Condie shortly after it came out. One thing that immediately stood out for me was how the government monitored its citizens with video and other technology. There were no secrets from the government. Even though I hadn’t yet read 1984, I recognized the connection!

Reached is the final book in the Matched series, obviously written by the same author, Ally Condie. I loved Matched enough to read the entire series and enjoyed the first two books. Unfortunately, Reached fell flat for me and left me feeling cheated after investing so much time into reading the series.

From Reached I am moving to Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent series. As with the Matched series, I really enjoyed the first two books of the Divergent series, but Allegiant was a major disappointment to me. And not just because of the ending, which I really didn’t mind, but the whole premise annoyed me!

One thing I really liked about the Divergent  series is the setting, post-apocalyptic Chicago. If you are familiar with Chicago, it was easy to recognize the landmarks described in the book. Another book set in Chicago, and dark in its own way, is The Devil In The White City by Eric Larson. But unlike the Divergent  series , this one is set in the past, about 120 years ago during the Columbian Exhibition, or the Chicago Worlds Fair. This is a non-fiction book that reads like fiction, and I really enjoyed learning the history of the Fair construction and architectural developments.

Another non-fiction book I enjoyed, set just a few years later, is The Lost Tribe of Coney Island by Claire Prentice. While a Worlds Fair is not the central event of the book, there is a Worlds Fair connection. Members of the Igorrote tribe of the Philippines appeared as human exhibits at the St. Louis Worlds Fair, and at various amusement parks, including the Coney Island parks.

One event mentioned in The Lost Tribe of Coney Island is the electrocution of Topsy the elephant. Topsy was an elephant with a bad reputation who had killed both handlers and spectators (probably not without cause!) When her owners were no longer willing to keep her and could not find anyone else to take her, they opted to euthanize her by electrocution! This event is also mentioned in Jodi Picoult’s latest novel, Leaving Time.

So there it chain. From 1984 by George Orwell to Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult; Big Brother to ‘big beast’!

Your turn! Want to play along? Just post your chain on your blog and then post a link on either Annabel’s or Emma’s monthly post. Or if you aren’t a blogger, just post your chain in the comments section.  And if you post your link here, I’ll be sure to take a look!
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1 comment:

  1. Great list! I really want to read Matched but I'm getting a bit worried since you didn't like the last book. (Although, I liked Allegiant so maybe that's a sign that I will like Reached more than you did too?)