It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up!
This month we begin with The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper. It’s a fascinating account of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. One of the themes Hooper explores is remorse.
Remorse is the topic of Kate Rossmanith’s interesting memoir-research hybrid, Small Wrongs.
Rossmanith is an ethnographer, as is the character of Vita in Ceridwen Dovey’s brilliant novel, In The Garden of the Fugitives.
In The Garden of the Fugitives is set in Pompeii and the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Having visited Pompeii and Naples earlier this year, I was astounded by the fact that Naples is sitting in/on a volcano. This line in Fugitives captures it –
Not once did it occur to me that it might erupt while I was living in its shadow, though it was overdue for an explosion. Everybody said this was what lit the locals from within, gave them their manic energy.
Naples provides the link to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.
I couldn’t get stuck into the Ferrante series initially, and eventually listened to them as audiobooks. Some books are better as audios – Magda Szubanski’s memoir Reckoning was a fantastic audio choice because it is read by Magda. (Side note: Reckoning links back to Small Wrongs – both Magda and Kate’s fathers had significant roles in the War that they were reluctant to talk about).
Reckoning made me laugh and cry, as did John Boyne’s novel, The Heart’s Invisible Furies.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies is an epic and covers all sorts of themes and events, one of which is the AIDS epidemic in the eighties. This is also visited in Tin Man by Sarah Winman, which is a gentle, different kind of love story.
This month, my chain came to me in an instant, one book leading seamlessly to the next. Where will other chains go? Link up below or post your link in the comments section.
Next month (April 6, 2019), we’ll begin with Ali Smith’s award-winning novel, How to be Both.