Six Degrees of Separation is a meme run by Books are my Favorite and Best. You are given a starting book and then you link it to six others using whatever stream of consciousness reasoning pops into your brain.
The Starting Book this month is Fever Pitch.
“In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that’s before the players even take the field.
Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby’s award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom â€” its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens’ coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.”
Wow, the book is about soccer. I thought immediately about baseball because the movie version changed it. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book about baseball, because it is boring.
Actually that’s a lie because I know a lot about Babe Ruth from:
One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
“The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation.”
When I think of this book I actually think mostly about planes because that is most of the beginning of the book.
Another book about aircraft crashing
“The Right Stuff. It’s the quality beyond bravery, beyond courage. It’s men like Chuck Yeager, the greatest test pilot of all and the fastest man on earth. Pete Conrad, who almost laughed himself out of the running. Gus Grissom, who almost lost it when his capsule sank. John Glenn, the only space traveler whose apple-pie image wasn’t a lie.”
This is one of those rare books where I love the movie almost as much as the book.
Another book where I love the miniseries almost as much as the book
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
“By the time Rock Hudson’s death in 1985 alerted all America to the danger of the AIDS epidemic, the disease had spread across the nation, killing thousands of people and emerging as the greatest health crisis of the 20th century. America faced a troubling question: What happened? How was this epidemic allowed to spread so far before it was taken seriously? In answering these questions, Shilts weaves the disparate threads into a coherent story, pinning down every evasion and contradiction at the highest levels of the medical, political, and media establishments.”
I just heard about this book about one of the women prominent in And The Band Played On. I’m getting it from interlibrary loan.
Hey, I Know Her!
Adventures of a Female Medical Detective: In Pursuit of Smallpox and AIDS by Mary Guinan
“In 1974, a young doctor arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with one goal in mind: to help eradicate smallpox. The only woman physician in her class in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, a two-year epidemiology training program, Mary Guinan soon was selected to join India’s Smallpox Eradication Program, which searched out and isolated patients with the disease. By May of 1975, the World Health Organization declared Uttar Pradash smallpox-free.
During her barrier-crossing career, Dr. Guinan met arms-seeking Afghan insurgents in Pakistan and got caught in the cross fire between religious groups in Lebanon. She treated some of the first AIDS patients and served as an expert witness in defense of a pharmacist who was denied employment for having HIV–leading to a landmark decision that still protects HIV patients from workplace discrimination. Randy Shilts’s best-selling book on the epidemic, And the Band Played On, features her AIDS work.”
Another book from this era that I have coming from the library is:
My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story by Abraham Verghese
“Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, the town of Johnson City saw its first AIDS patient in August 1985. Working in Johnson City was Abraham Verghese, a young Indian doctor specializing in infectious diseases who became, by necessity, the local AIDS expert. Out of his experience comes a startling, ultimately uplifting portrait of the American heartland.”
Yeah, that Abraham Verghese, who wrote Cutting for Stone.Â Cutting for Stone was set in Ethiopia so I always thought he lived in Ethiopia, or anywhere other than Tennessee.
An author that does live in Ethiopia wrote this book on my iPad right now
The Pygmy Dragon by Marc Secchia
“Yesterday, a Dragon kidnapped me from my cage in a zoo.
Stolen from her jungle home and sold to a zookeeper, Pip knows only a world behind bars, a world in which a Pygmy warrior and her giant ape friends are a zoo attraction. She dreams of being Human. She dreams of escaping to the world outside her cage.
Then, the Dragon Zardon kidnaps her into a new life. Pip rides Dragonback across the Island-World to her new school – a school inside a volcano. A school where Humans learn to be Dragon Riders. But this is only a foretaste of her magical destiny, for the Dragon Assassins are coming. They have floated an Island across the Rift and their aim is nothing less than the massacre of all Dragons.
Now, the courage of the smallest will be tested to the utmost. For Pip is the Pygmy Dragon, and this is her tale.”
Oh my gosh. Just seeing The Right Stuff mentioned makes me happy. One of my favorites ever!
I love how wide ranging your chain is!
I think I could have used your prompts and nominated entirely different books (except the last one – I don’t have any books by Ethiopian authors in my TBR stack). Anyway, one book about baseball that is in my list of all-time favourite books is Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding. It’s an amazing story and although baseball is part of the narrative, it’s not really about baseball (I don’t mind baseball but it’s not really a sport we see much of in Australia so I can appreciate that it would be tiring to have it on tv / the news constantly).
This is such an interesting chain. I haven’t read any of these, but there are several that are tempting. But I have to disagree with you about baseball…baseball is NOT boring!!! 🙂
I haven’t read any of the books you used, but they made for a very interesting chain. I love how different books everyone uses, and how different all the chains turn out.