Sunday, February 5, 2017

February's Six Degrees of Separation: Fates and Furies

I've seen this on Wilde on My Side, and she pointed me to Books Are My Favorite and Best as the originator.  Basically, everyone starts with the same title each month, and then using your own personal trains of thought, lead your readers through six books, one to the next to the next.  It could be authors, covers, time of life when you read the book, or any other connection that comes up in your mind.

I've never read this month's starting title,  Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff, but apparently it's told in two parts, the first narrated by the husband and the second by the wife.  I'm a big fan of multiple POV stories.  One I've enjoyed recently was...

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley.  This one also has a male and female narrator, and there is the significant piece of information being withheld from the guy by the girl.  The book is funny and insightful, and does a great job skewering the notion that mental illness can be "fixed" by love or good intentions.

Whaley's three part name, with the "Whale" in there, always reminds me of the name of one of my favorite fantasy series authors, Megan Whalen Turner.  The first book in the series is The Thief, and much to my delight, the fifth book is coming out soon!

Speaking of thieves, David Benioff's City of Thieves is a terrific book set during the siege of Leningrad.  When I read it, I dropped my rating from a five to a four because he sets it up as being based on his grandfather's life, but it's not at all, which annoyed me.  But seriously, it's a great story, both hilarious and poignant.

The title of Benioff's book takes me straight to Marge Piercy's City of Darkness, City of Light.  I've had a weakness for historical fiction set during the French Revolution ever since I happened to read A Tale of Two Cities weeks after my freshman Global Studies class finished studying it.  Piercy's feminist story telling also reminds me of Margaret Atwood's.  But I'm going to take this in a slightly different direction--

Piercy also wrote one of the only two modern volumes of poetry I've bought.  The other one is Ursula Le Guin's collection, Sixty Odd.  It has a little bit of many things--reflections on people she knew in her youth, poetry of the type that makes me feel a bit unprepared to read poetry, and one of my favorite poems of all, "October 11, 1491" in which she desperately warns the Taino people to not go down "in a year an and a day" to greet Columbus's ships.

I enjoyed putting this chain together--I really like all of the books I added to it, so you may take them all as recommendations!  I plan on taking part in this every month, so come on back and see what March brings.


  1. I love this exercise! I haven't read any of those, but half of them are on my list. :D

    1. I really do recommend the five that I've actually read. And I think this is such a fun meme!

  2. Great list! The Benioff novel brings to,mind the Madonnas of Leningrad.

    1. I hadn't heard of that one--just added it to my TBR; thanks!

  3. I haven’t read any of these. I always stop scrolling when I see the cover of Fates and Furies, though. I like those covers that look simple at first but really aren’t.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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