6 Dec 2014


'They say every person on the planet can be linked to any other in six steps or less BUT what about books?

Books can be linked in obvious ways - for example, books by the same author, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.'

It's that time again. Hosted as always by Annabel and Emma, this month's book, once again not one I've actually read, is .....

The Narrow Road To The Deep North is a love story unfolding over half a century between a doctor and his uncle's wife.

Taking its title from one of the most famous books in Japanese literature, written by the great haiku poet Basho, Flanagan's novel has at its heart one of the most infamous episodes of Japanese history, the construction of the Thailand-Burma Death Railway in World War II.

In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wifetwo years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.

- Book description, The Man Booker Prize.com

#1 TENKO. Arguably one of the best known and perhaps the most highly commercialised novels of its genre. Based on true events, I read the book, watched the tv dramatisation, long, long before Pen and Paper but the character, one of only a few I can actually remember, that instantly springs to mine is the ever practical, rather formidable Dr Stephanie Mason who teams up with the brusque Sister Ulrica.

#2 THE THORN BIRDS. Another blast from the past (also adapted for television though I somehow managed to miss it) this one recently re-read. It is once again, a man of the cloth, Father Ralph de Bricassart, who I instantly remembered. One of my girlhood literary crushes, in my mine's eye I can still see him (swoons), shirtless, as Meggie inspects his badly bruised ribs.

#3 TWILIGHT. Though not a debate I got into it, two of literatures most recent hotly contended crushes (and not just amongst teenage girls) were Twilight's Edward or, my choice should I have had to pick, Jacob.

#4 A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Ah, the most famous literary Jacob of them all, Dickens' Jacob Marley.

#5 THE HOUSE AT MIDNIGHT. Haunted not by his  business partner let alone the ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present or Christmas Yet To Come but by the death of his uncle, Lucas becomes obsessed by old cinefilm of himself and his friends taken thirty years previously.

#6 THE SHADOW YEAR. Another story of obsession, of a decadent summer, of sexual tensions, of a group of young peoples lives changed forever at the centre of which is not a manor but an isolated cottage.

{NB Unless otherwise stated all of the books featured in this meme have been reviewed by myself on Pen and Paper}


Suko said...

Tracy, you are so clever! I enjoyed how you connected the books in this post. This is a fun meme, even the way I partcipate in it--by reading your posts.

Melinda Tognini said...

I was intrigued by your mention of The Shadow Year, so clicked through to your review. Now I will definitely have to read it! Here's my chain:http://melindatognini.com/2014/12/07/six-degrees-of-separation-the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north/

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I didn't get into the Twilight debate either but, if pressed to pick, I'd choose Team Jacob (Edward kind of creeped me out, lol).

Brian Joseph said...

I particularly like the connections that you made this time around Tracy. The connection with the name "Jacob" is really neat.

Marinela said...

Love it, Tracy. Love the way you connected the books in this post. :)

Arti said...

The Narrow Road to the Deep North seems like a very good read. The story line seems intriguing! Have a nice week ahead Tracy :)

Kelly said...

Like Suko, I always enjoy "participating" in this meme through your posts. I've read three of your selections this time,
#2-4. And for the record, I'm "team Jacob" as well. ;)

brandileigh2003 said...

I am team edward, lol..

Annabel Smith said...

Team Jacob? This looks like the end of the road for our friendship! I'm team Edward all the way.

Emma Chapman said...

Love your chain - I'm on a Dickens binge at the moment and A Christmas Carol is so great for this time of year. I haven't read any of the others on your list yet - except for Twilight. If I was pushed, I'd say Team Jacob: Edward is so pale and odd looking!

Lindsay said...

I love seeing these connections Tracy, glad to read your post again on this and see you participating again. I enjoy seeing the different books people think of.
The only ones I've read are The Shadow Year, and also The Christmas Carol, which is a story I love. Great list.
Sorry to have been a rubbish commenter lately.

Anonymous said...

Team Edward. But that aside, you're a star for pulling Twilight in alongside the Man Booker winner ;-)

Here's my chain: https://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/six-degrees-of-separation-from-the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north-to/