Daisy Chain #10

May 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Daisy Chains, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Girl Who Fell frm the Sky -> The Room and the Chair: the AME church; a half-black/half-Scandinavian girl character

Last Night in Twisted River -> When You Reach Me:  characters named Nunzi

Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs -> Through Black Spruce: OPP (Ontario Provincial Police)

Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs -> Eating the Dinosaur: Liam Gallagher

No Touch Monkey -> Apologize, Apologize!: Brendan Behan

Sleeping Naked is Green -> The Country Where No One Ever Dies: washable sanitary napkins

The Day We Lost the H-Bomb -> Eating the Dinosaur: Robert McNamara

Eating the Dinosaur -> The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower: the film Vertigo

Daisy Chain #9

January 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Posted in Daisy Chains | 2 Comments

Ooh, it’s been a while – I have all sorts of these saved up.

Important Artifacts… -> The Good Soldier:  Correcting someone’s grammar

Tricked -> Chronic City:  John Cassavetes films; wealthy person rents an entire diner for a private date

Chronic City -> Sophie’s Choice:  the phrase “hanging fire,” concentration camp tattoos

Chronic City -> If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler:  an old writer chasing a young woman around a desk

If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler -> The Lost City of Z:  quote from Italo Calvino

Eating Animals -> Nemesis:  a sentence stating, “humans are the only animal that…”

Waiting for Columbus -> Land of the Lost Souls:  stuck eavesdropping on a couple copulating on the street

Asterios Polyp -> Land of the Lost Souls:  going blind in one eye after being beaten up

Middlesex:  On January 8th, I read that the protagonist’s birthday was January 8.  It was also my mom’s birthday.  I just thought that was weird, especially since I’d had the book for over two months and I could theoretically have started it any time.

Middlesex -> the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:  Within two days I read about and saw characters named Clementine.

Noah’s Compass -> SuperFreakonomics:  Characters named LaSheena, one of whom worked as a cook at a preschool and the other of whom worked as a street prostitute.

Can I also just say that reading SuperFreakonomics is upsetting me, because it turns out I make less per hour than a common hooker in Chicago?  Bah, I knew I should have gone to B school…

Daisy Chain #8

November 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Daisy Chains | Leave a comment

The strangest connections come up between books sometimes – and it’s even stranger when it’s two separate coincidences between the same two books.

God Lives in St. Petersburg -> Drink, Play, F@#k: children of diplomats

Juliet, Naked -> Local: 7/4 (I guess this is a type of music?  All I know is that it’s a time signature).

The Store -> Lamb in His Bosom: kids shouting “Christmas gift!” – appears to be a Southern regional tradition

Honey in the Horn -> Tintin vol. 1: tracking a footprint with missing nails/ a broken horseshoe

A Gate at the Stairs -> The Yearling: eating bear liver

Sag Harbor -> What the Dead Know: the game “7 minutes in heaven”; Road Warrior

New World Monkeys -> Her Fearful Symmetry: characters procrastinating on a thesis

Her Fearful Symmetry -> I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: tooth extraction

Her Fearful Symmetry -> Girl in a Blue Dress: Highgate Cemetery

Girl in a Blue Dress -> Something Wicked This Way Comes: amber stickpin in necktie

New World Monkeys -> Guns, Germs, and Steel: New World monkeys

Daisy Chain #7

September 24, 2009 at 9:38 am | Posted in Daisy Chains | 1 Comment

Weird connections abound between one book and another.

Garden Spells -> The Magicians: turret bedrooms

Garden Spells -> The Children’s Book: a magic apple tree

Bad Things Happen: a character with my new last name, Denham

The Wilderness -> Border Songs: Alzheimer’s test

Border Songs -> Vaux’s swifts, which we saw a few days earlier.  The book is also set at the Washington State/Canada border, where we were traveling.

The Wilderness -> The Seven Days of Peter Crumb: astrological signs

Northanger Abbey -> Early Autumn: a  character named Mr. Tilney

Ender’s Game -> The Kindly Ones: the word ‘megalomania’

Possession -> The Kindly Ones: a character (or dog) named “Hansi”

The Kindly Ones -> March: graphite in the air.  Probably one of my most surprising daisy chain connections.  When do you read about that two days in a row?

The Kindly Ones -> God Lives in St. Petersburg: shashlik, whatever that is – some kind of Russian grilled meat thing?  (checking) K, it’s a shish kebab.

Daisy Chain #6

August 25, 2009 at 8:21 am | Posted in Daisy Chains | 3 Comments

I was reading How I Became a Famous Novelist, and I read this line:  “So that’s pretty much any time after eleven in the morning.”  I looked at the clock, and it read 11:00.

The Strain -> RatsThe Strain acknowledges using information from Rats.

The Face on Your Plate -> You are Being Lied To:  The poetry of T. S. Eliot.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey -> How to Paint a Dead Man -> The Quickening Maze:  Characters who lose a twin sibling.  Okay, how is it possible that could come up in three random books in five days?

That Old Cape Magic -> Sharp Objects:  Families in which all the children have first names starting with J.  I noticed this because my family did the same thing.  There are 16 of us all together.

Sharp Objects -> Everything Matters!:  Carly Simon; a female character with a human bite scar in the area of her hip.  Now that is random.

On Fire -> Everything Matters!:  Choking child pounded on the back until the food flies out.

Daisy Chain #5

July 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Posted in Daisy Chains | 1 Comment

The Protector’s War -> The Bookshop:  Suffolk Punch horses – I’d never heard of them before.

The Bookshop -> Ghost:  Poetry of William Blake.

A Reliable Wife -> The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie:  Poison.

The Burning Plain -> Beloved:  Spiderwebs to treat wounds.

Ghost -> Tethered -> Fun Home:  Mortuaries.  Plus I read How Not to Die, about being a medical examiner.  My bookshelf is scarier than Jeffrey Dahmer’s!

Tethered -> Beloved:  Locks of hair tied up and found on the ground.

The Urban Hermit -> Disappearance Diary:  Guys with jobs who eat really pitiful food.

Daisy Chain #4

June 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Daisy Chains | Leave a comment

So my brother called to say he was considering Costa Rica as the destination for his next vacation.  After we finished our call, I picked up B is for Beer, and lo and behold, one of the characters moves to Costa Rica!

B is for Beer -> The Hunger Games:  Both books feature an area called “The Seam.”

A Cold Case -> Nobody Move:  Both books, one true crime, the other fiction, feature a character who pretends to cough or blow his nose into a handkerchief to disguise his face when leaving a building.

So Long, See You Tomorrow -> The Ghosty Men:  Both books, one fiction, the other non-fiction, are based on newspaper stories from the early 20th century.

I also found So Long, See You Tomorrow very topical, because the beginning of the book talks about the protagonist’s attitude toward his stepmother when he was a child.  It’s funny how the right book will appear at the right time.

It truly does trip me out how often I can read two books on consecutive days, and they will have something really random in common.

Daisy Chain #3

June 10, 2009 at 10:25 am | Posted in Daisy Chains | 3 Comments

The more you notice connections between books, the more you also start to notice connections between your reading and the outside world.

Yesterday, I finished One of Ours, whose protagonist is named Claude.  Later, we went to buy a new bed, and our salesman’s name was also Claude.  It’s not that common a name!  Give me a break, here.

Last weekend, I met someone who had the name “Venia” tattooed down her bicep.  Last night, we were introduced to a minor character named Venia in The Hunger Games.  I suppose it’s possible this girl was a fan of the book, but if so, you’d think she would have chosen “Katniss.”

Okay, I think everything below contains spoilers.

One of Ours -> The Not So Big House Book:  There is a brief scene in One of Ours in which Claude is building a house, and Enid thinks the best area should be reserved for guests.  The Not So Big House Book specifically discusses designing the house around the comfort of the inhabitants so they can enjoy it as much as possible.  If I hadn’t just been reading about architecture and design I would have glossed right over this part of the story in the novel.

One of Ours -> The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Should You Leave?:   Here is another area where one’s non-fiction reading can impact the understanding of a novel.  It looks like contempt is having a big impact on somebody’s marriage!  There’s also a problem with conflicting relational ethics.

The Outlander -> Pygmy: Protagonists taken in by families who don’t realize they are harboring a cold-blooded killer!

The Man Who Forgot How to Read -> The Outlander:   Fiction and real life overlap again, as the protagonists of books I read on consecutive days both have to figure out what they’re reading by sounding out and interpreting one word at a time.

How the Dead Dream -> Early Bird: the adopted pet standing in for the absent loved one.

Early Bird -> All the Living:  Lonely women who take up jobs playing/teaching piano.

The Beach:  We were reading aloud in the truck about a character called Daffy Duck, who is sort of a ghost, just at the moment we drove past a road-killed duck.  When do you ever see a duck on the shoulder of the road, I ask you?

Daisy Chain 2

May 22, 2009 at 10:47 am | Posted in Daisy Chains | 2 Comments

Now that I’m thinking about daisy chains, I’m taking note of more of them in my reading.

The Crow Road -> Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas:  The first time I ever saw the beverage Irn-Bru mentioned was two weeks ago.  I assumed from the context that it was a whiskey or something.  I found out a week later, from the second book, that it’s actually a Scots brand of soda.  I guess I could have just Googled it.

The Willoughbys -> The Abstinence Teacher:  Both have major characters named Ruth.

The Pornography of Power -> Slouching Towards Bethlehem -> Acedia & MeThe P of P had a cover blurb by Joan Didion, who wrote STB, which was extensively quoted in A&M.  Incidentally, STB has been on my reading list for absolutely years, but I finally read it after having visited Alcatraz and Waikiki for the first time (this spring), both the subjects of essays in the book.  What are the chances?

Sloth -> Acedia & Me:  I read Sloth by Wendy Wasserman during the Read-a-Thon last month.  It was quoted extensively in A&M.

It would be really cool to draw out a sort of web linking all the connections between the different books I’ve read, but it would probably start to get pretty illegible after a while.

This Week’s Daisy Chain

May 8, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Daisy Chains | 1 Comment

A few days ago I posted about what I called an “idea chain.”  Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog pointed out that she had done a post on the same topic last summer, and she used the name Daisy Chain, which I like better.  It’s sort of summery, you know.

The goal is to take note of anything that seems like a funny coincidence, though I suppose it would also be funny to link things deliberately.  My reading is pretty random because I just read whatever shows up on the hold shelf at the library that week.

I’m going to experiment with different ways of recording my daisy chain every week, and now that I’m thinking about it I’m going to try to keep notes while I read.  It would be fun if a lot of people did this. 

I Don’t Believe in Atheists -> The Crow Road – atheism

The Man in the Picture -> The Crow Road – missing persons

More Information Than You Require -> American Nerd – personal disclosures of authors with similar experiences as nerdy kids

As I’m doing this, I’m realizing that a) I know I haven’t captured everything and b) there are certain commonalities between books that aren’t interesting enough to record.  For instance, two of the books I read both had scenes set in rooms with antique furniture.  *Yawn*  The “pay dirt” I’m looking for is more related to shared vocabulary – I swear there was a really strange Scots dialect word I read in two different books this week, but I can’t remember now what it was – or things like minor characters with the same unusual job.  Or name.  Or something.  The coincidences are going to be in the eye of the beholder, anyway.

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