Six Degrees: From “No One Is Talking About This” to “tiny beautiful things”

It’s been quite a few months since I last participated in the Six Degrees challenge. Although I love making the connections, some life obstacles got in the way of my participation. I’m glad to be back.

This month we start with a book I have not read called “No One Is Talking About This” by Patricia Lockwood.
From Goodreads:
“As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms “the portal,” where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts.
Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.”

“How to Break Up with your Phone” by Catherine Price
I thought of this nonfiction book—and its focus on the “endless scroll”—after I read the synopsis of Lockwood’s book. I am not sure I am so addicted to my phone that I need to read it.

“The Power of Fun” by Catherine Price
Written by the same author as the previous book, I wanted to read this nonfiction book, because I am enjoying reading the next book on this list so much.
From Goodreads:
“In this follow-up to her hit book, How to Break Up with Your Phone, Price makes the case that True Fun–which she defines as the magical confluence of playfulness, connection, and flow–will give us the fulfillment we so desperately seek.”

“Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness” by Ingrid Fetell Lee
I am right in the middle of the chapter on play in this book. From the get go, the nonfiction book grabbed me with a story about how simply putting a layer of vibrant orange paint on a historic old building in Tirana, Albania, started the journey to completely revitalizing a city! Several times I have paused in the book to do some further research on people like landscape designer Piet Oudolf, or places like the Integratron in California and the Reversible Destiny Lofts in Tokyo.

“Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes
A memoir in which Rhimes decides to say yes to a whole bunch of things that she said no to in the past, transforming and revitalizing her life. My favourite chapters are the one on motherhood and the one on marriage. Consider this quote: “You know what’s a bigger taboo than being fat? Not wanting to get married.” Agree, disagree?

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
In this memoir, Obama writes about her time from childhood to after her husband’s presidency. I found Obama to be totally relatable. She grew up with lots of doubts and challenges, yet she continually questioned her assumptions and improved her approach to tackling life obstacles.

“tiny beautiful things” by Cheryl Strayed
Not memoir, but Sugar aka Cheryl Strayed uses a lot of her own personal stories (a bundle on a friend’s head, kittens trapped in a wall) to answer questions in this collection of letters addressed to “Dear Sugar” of the Rumpus. Sugar never sugarcoats her answers, but if she is criticizing in one sentence, she is encouraging in the next. I found myself learning a lot about how other people live, but I also found myself not feeling so alone when my own life was reflected in other letters.

All the books on this list except the first one are nonfiction, perhaps reflecting my reading style more than anything. But do the first and last books connect? It’s hard to compare, because I haven’t read the first book, but I can tell you that Strayed often writes about things that no one is talking about.

So those who participated this month: where did your journey take you? And those who didn’t participate, where would your journey take you? It’s so much fun to contemplate!

Next month we’ll start with “The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene. I hope to see you again.

Shoe’s Seeds & Stories
@Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler

8 thoughts on “Six Degrees: From “No One Is Talking About This” to “tiny beautiful things”

  1. Mareli Thalwitzer

    I love the happiness vibe that is radiating from your post today! I have read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, was a really good read. I have not read any of the other ones and know I need to read more Non Fiction!

    Have a wonderful February!

    Elza Reads

    Reply
  2. margaret21

    From your choices, ‘Joyful’ is the one that most appeals. And Michelle Obama’s autobiography, which I picked up in a charity shop recently, and haven’t yet read. Nice chain!

    Reply
  3. rosemarykaye

    What a different and clever approach to this month’s chain.

    I’ve not read any of these books – I do like the sound of Joyful. I’d be up for painting this house orange, but my husband would be horrified.

    Re the question about not wanting to get married, I’m not sure if it’s still such a taboo – is it? I have one happily married child, one who has a long term partner and may or may not get married eventually, and one who is very happy on her own and has no intention of marrying or having children. I don’t think that third one is being judged by her peers, but she moves in very arty circles – maybe that’s the difference.

    In my own generation, however, an unmarried woman was still considered a bit of a failure (NB this predictably did not apply to unmarried men!) Barbara Pym refers to this in one of her novels, when there is a chapter about a school reunion of ‘old girls’ – she observes that it doesn’t really matter what a woman has achieved, or how dim and dreadful the husbands of the married ones might be – what counts is ‘the ring on the third finger’. That was written in, I think, the early 1950s – when one of her heroines was considered to be firmly on the shelf at the age of 32. At least the acceptable age at which a woman ‘should’ marry is no longer confined to 18-25!

    Reply
    1. Linda Schueler Post author

      I have a teen daughter and her generation’s view on marriage and families is totally different than my generation’s. It’s fascinating but also mind spinning to see how much is evolving and changing these days.

      Reply

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