6 Degrees of Separation: Picnic at Hanging Rock

July 2, 2017 | 5 comments


6 Degrees of Separation is a book meme hosted by Kate at Books are My Favorite and Best. The goal is to construct a chain with 6 other books, using any criteria you want, and see where you end up.

The starting book this month is the Australian classic Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. I haven’t read the book, but being a geologist, Hanging Rock is on my list of places to visit if I ever go to Australia.

Someone that is used to hanging on to rocks is Alex Honnold. In his memoir, Alone on the Wall, he describes a selection of his most astonishing climbing achievements. Honnold is famous for free soloing, which is a type of climbing where you don’t use a rope, partner, or hardware for aid or protection. He is the first climber to free solo Yosemite’s 3000-foot El Capitan wall and has pushed free soloing far beyond the limits of what anyone thought was possible.

Something most people considers unthinkable is exactly what Aron Ralston was forced to do in 2003. In his memoir, 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, he describes the extreme action he had to take to save himself when he got his hand trapped under an 800-pound boulder while hiking alone in Utah and without anyone knowing where he was or coming to his rescue.

Jack Olsen’s book, The Climb up to Hell, chronicles an amazing rescue attempt of four climbers on The Eiger in the Swiss Alps in 1957.

An amazing rescue attempt is also the focus in Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio J. Mendez. Mendez was the CIA agent who came up with the plan for how to rescue six American hostages from Iran in 1979, after militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran. Even though the 1979 event is the focus of the book, it also chronicles the rest of Mendez’ career and his work as an espionage artist for the Technical Services Division of the CIA.

The same year as I read Argo, I also read Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures by Robert K. Wittman. Whitman was the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team and his memoir tells the details behind his recoveries of priceless art and antiquities all over the world. The book has been described as “a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair” but I actually found it quite slow paced and borderline boring.

Tom Kirk, an international art thief, is the main character in James Twining’s series that starts with The Double Eagle (which has been described as a mixture of James Bond and The Thomas Crown Affair).

This time, my chain took me from the Australian classic Picnic at Hanging Rock, via numerous non-fiction books, to the thriller The Double Eagle.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Picnic at Hanging Rock, where will you end up? Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to read the rules and see who else made a chain this month.