I spotted this meme on the outstanding blogs of Susan at A Life in Books and Marina at Finding Time to Write. If you haven’t visited their blogs I’d recommend you do for insightful reviews, bookish observations and original poetry. The meme was created by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.
From what I can gather each month starts from a different book and the aim is to move from the initial book to the sixth book with one link from the previous title. This month’s starter book is Wild Swans.
Wild Swans is the true story of author Jung Chang, her mother and her grandmother, as they live in the dramatically changing China of the twentieth century. It is a book I am sure I have read many years ago. I have little memory of it, which is a shame. It’s one I should re-read.
Another book I’m sure I have read but have no memory of, other than, I must have read it, is The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. The story itself, of Iris and her memories of her childhood woven excerpts from the novel her sister Laura wrote, The Blind Assassin, a scandal at the time. I have absolutely no recollection of reading the book – the only reason I think I have is because the cover is so strikingly familiar. Again another I must re-read.
There are lots of books to feature fictional books, and another that borrows it’s title from the fictional book it contains and one I know I definitely have read, and thoroughly enjoyed is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon. Daniel Sempere, taken by his father to The Cemetery of Books in Barcelona, choses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. Years later Daniel is running his father’s book shop and someone is trying to gather all copies of Carax’s work, in order to burn them. Daniel is determined to track down the mysterious Carax, of whom there is no trace.
A peculiarly special library also appears in The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. The unnamed narrator travels to Romania on the hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, uncovering secrets about her parents past. This is a wonderfully involving and engaging novel.
I can’t mention vampires without linking to Bram Stoker’s classic. His iconic creation Dracula barely needs any explanation. Jonathan Harker no doubt rued the day he agreed to travel to Transylvania to help Count Dracula. What follows is a battle against the undead Count and his minions as Harker is followed to Whitby, that wonderful Yorkshire seaside town, and the eponymous Van Helsing pits his wits against the vampire horde. Having recently visited Whitby I was reminded I had still to read Dracula, so I promptly treated myself to a copy on my return.
Loveday Cardew’s adventures in Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland, take her to Whitby. Loveday has escaped her past, finding solace in the written word and taking sanctuary in the bookshop where she works in York. Loveday begins to find books from her past, a past she has tried to supress. As she hunts for the person who is sending her the books she reassesses her life choices and how her life can progress.
So there we have it, from China to Whitby by way of Spain and Romania. Have you read any of these books? Where would your chain have taken you?