Six Degrees of Separation: The Luminaries

June 20, 2014 Six Degrees of Separation 16

Greetings, Bookworms!

I was on the fence about participating in the Six Degrees of Separation meme (hosted by Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman) this month because the starting point is a book I haven’t read, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Boosted by the fact that April created her post not having read the book either, I figured I could go ahead and play along. I do so love this meme!



1. I don’t know a whole lot about The Luminaries other than it’s a book that’s won a lot of awards. I’m not good with award winning books, I tend to find them a bit stodgy. Highbrow literary fiction and I don’t always get along, which brings me to my first book in the chain, 1Q84  by Hakuri Murakami. I took this book out from the library thinking it was something else and I simply couldn’t make it through (it’s a big ass book!) I’ve been put off on reading his work since then.

2. Which brings me to book number two, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. When I ended up with that Murakami, I only did so because I am a HORRIBLE PERSON. We had recently read Never Let Me Go in book club and I LOVED it, but I couldn’t remember the author’s name, only that it was Japanese. Hence, the Murakami I wasn’t prepared for.

3. Since we’re talking about Japanese names, why don’t we just stick with the Japan theme and head to book number three, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. You know I can’t get enough hooker books! I don’t know what it is, but the varied and fascinating tales of prostitution always draw me in.


4. Ladies of the night, you say? Let’s talk about Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue. Holy cats, this book BLEW ME AWAY. The underworld of 18th Century London? How exactly does one find themselves in such a profession? Then there’s the class system. “The Quality.” I can’t even.

5. If anybody would slip through the proverbial cracks in society, it would be a prostitute working the Seven Dials in the 18th Century, which leads me to book number five, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman’s dark and twisty imagination created an elaborate underground London that exists in the famed subway tunnels under the city. Magical!

6. Speaking of dark and twisty and magical, how’s about we finish this out with Erin Morgenstern’s gorgeous novel, The Night CircusWhat a glorious tale of magic and whimsy and love!

#6Degrees Rules

 Any of you Bookworms read The LuminariesShould I give it a go?

16 Responses to “Six Degrees of Separation: The Luminaries”

  1. Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves

    What a fun meme! I’ve heard mixed reviews of The Luminaries and, I too, am not good with award winners (i.e. The Round House and The Orphan Master’s Son are two I found blah and hard to get through – who picks these things anyway…we should have our own blogger awards for entertaining books!!). However, I did love 1Q84…it was a weird book, but I got sucked in. It’s the only thing of his that I’ve read…I need to try some more.
    Great post!

  2. Marisa

    Very, very clever! I want to try this meme but I’m a bit intimidated by having not read many of the starter books. Luminaries will be on my TBR pile for years I’m afraid.

  3. marsar2

    Hi! I have read The Luminaries, and it’s actually not your “typical” award-winning type of novel. It’s nothing but a huge monster of a Victorian pastiche, and while I didn’t LOVE it, I think it was okay, overall: if you’re into those things, perhaps you should give a try :).

    By the way, I love your blog, you have a very unique, funny voice.

    • Words For Worms

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m not sure a “huge monster of a Victorian pastiche” would be something I’d like, so I’m glad to hear you put it that way :).

  4. Annabel Smith

    I like your Japanese theme, katie. I loved Never Let Me go and they also did a pretty good job of the movie, which is rare. I went through a massive Ishiguro phase some years back – The Unconsoled is my favourite of his but I liked the spec-fic twist in Never Let Me Go.

    Though I can’t say I share your fascination for ‘hooker books’ I was surprised by how much I loved Memoirs of a Geisha. Incidentally, I read a tweet yesterday that in the 19th century, women who took up the oldest profession in the world, had on average, 4 years to live, because: syphilis.

    Also in a twist you might appreciate, The Luminaries is also a hooker book! Yes, the main female character is a former lady of the night, and her frenemy is a ‘madame’.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.