Miscellanea

The Tipping Point // Six Degrees of Separation

The idea behind this exercise is to connect books in any way that’s meaningful to you, from the profound to the inane. Although Kevin Bacon is typically behind the six degrees game, books are just a bit more fun. June’s jumping off point is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

I did not read that one, I was in college at the time and suspect I was buried in text books. One of my favorite Malcolms is in Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (though I did prefer the movie version of the character). I consider Jurassic Park to be part of the “nature go awry” category of literature that I love so much. Very official, obviously.

You can’t create predators and expect to control them. You can’t really expect to control predators, period. Nature finds a way. Perhaps with a great white shark, for example. Underwhelming lead in aside, Jaws is my next link for the off-kilter nature connection. The Stephen Spielberg link is entirely coincidental.

If it happens in the water, it can happen on land. Just as Daphne DuMaurier wrote in her novella that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (included in her collection The Apple Tree).

While the entirety of Britain under avian assault is a national catastrophe, Stephen King wrote a much more personal story about the threats we face from animals. King’s tale involves the family pet, an adorable St. Bernard named Cujo. Cujo is simply a victim of rabies, a good dog with a bad end.

Another novel featuring a devoted dog is The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. After an influenza epidemic wipes out most of the population, Hig is living in an airplane hanger with his dog Jasper. If you haven’t read this novel and like post-apocalyptic fiction, this is a good one.

Another post-apocalyptic novel, and one I’m having difficulty deciding how I feel about, is Wonderblood by Julia Whicker. It’s the story of a world where most everyone has been wiped out by a disease known as Bent Head. Those left worship the astronauts who lived many years before. It’s a fantastic premise, but one I’m not sure I entirely enjoyed. I’m still thinking about it though, for what it’s worth.

From learning about little things that make a big difference to worshiping the ruins of Cape Canaveral in six easy steps. Care to join?

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