It’s time for #6Degrees, and it’s soooo easy to play – join us!
This month’s chain begins with Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (thanks to Maria Helena for this suggestion). I haven’t read this book and when looking for clues to start my chain, I came across Paul’s review on Goodreads. Paul is possibly my favourite Goodreads reviewer – although our opinions don’t always match, he never fails to make me laugh. And I really laughed when I read his one-star take on The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes –
“It’s one thing to realise that as a person with a fiction addiction you must tread a lonely path because in Real Life as you may know not that many people are as hopelessly addicted as we here on Goodreads. But then it’s another thing to have to admit that within that already small (but intense, intense) community of readers you are now part of a minority since the majority appear to be besotted with YA/adult romance/fantasy etc. So, mainstream literature is now a minority sport like lacrosse or curling, and should be rebranded. But then, even stranger, to find oneself as the minority of the minority of the minority…. Which happens when the majority of the minority are all raving about a novel that turns out to be The Sense of an Ending.”
Lacrosse is my link to The Naughtiest Girl Again by Enid Blyton. My family have long played lacrosse (not a popular sport in Australia) and when I was little I loved these books, not only for their lacrosse references but for the intense judiciary system established by the students of Whyteleafe, as well as the fact that it’s set in a boarding school.
I particularly love stories set at boarding schools, which is why I read The Virgins by Pamela Erens.
The staging of a play (Macbeth) is an important part of the plot in The Virgins – there are parallels between what’s happening on stage and off – as it is in Rebecca Harrington’s Penelope (instead of Macbeth, it’s an ‘existential’ theatre production of Caligula).
There’s an hilarious quote in Penelope that I keep coming back to –
“‘That sounds great,’ said Ted. ‘Penelope, do you still have that TV?’
‘Yes,’ said Penelope. Was he inviting her? She would make it clear that she was not attending. ‘You can use it. I think there is a parade in Boston that I wanted to go to.’
Parades make me think about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which automatically links me to Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (And Why We Don’t Learn Them From Movies Any More) by Hadley Freeman. If you’re a fan of eighties movies, it’s essential reading.
And to my final link – H. B. Gilmour’s novel, Pretty in Pink, based on the screenplay by John Hughes (king of the eighties movie-makers). Novels adapted from screenplays are generally deplorable but I’m including this because my treasured copy still sits on my shelf. I loved Pretty in Pink.
From a Swedish thriller and upper-class Brits to New England colleges and the very best of the eighties. I wonder where other chains will lead?
Next month (February 4, 2017), the chain will begin with Lauren Groff’s bestseller, Fates and Furies. (I haven’t read it yet but aiming to before February)