I'm here with Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. She chooses a book as a starting point and then links to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.
The starting book in this month's chain is one I've meant to read, but so far have not. I know many others have read it and probably watched the film adaptation - Atonement by Ian McEwan.
This is a tale, set in the 1930's, of young Briony who witnesses a scene that she doesn't understand and misinterprets. Lives are changed. Some really liked this book and some did not. It was nominated for the Booker Prize.
Connecting to the name of the protagonist, Briony, I thought of another book, Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart. One of my favorite books by a favorite author - another Bryony is 'called' home by her cousin through the 'telepathic' connection that they've never spoken of. In fact, she's not sure which of her cousins is the one. Bryony's father has died and there's something strange about it. Gothic suspense - love it!
The next connection is to another book by Mary Stewart. As I said, she's been a favorite author of mine since my teens. This Rough Magic is set on Corfu. In it, Lucy comes to visit her sister and, of course, a body washes up on the beach. There's a dolphin and the handsome son of a famous actor - you get the picture. Mary Stewart set many of her books in interesting locations. This book is on my 'Classics Club' list to reread at some point in the next months. It was written in 1965.
Another book on my 'Classic Club' list is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I love this book. It's definitely a classic of Gothic suspense. Written in 1938, this book begins with the sentence - 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.' Who is it that dreamed? Well, it's the second Mrs. de Winter, though we never find out her first name. Rebecca was the first Mrs. de Winter and she and scary Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, dominate the whole story. If you haven't read this book, you should. October is a nice month for it.
A recently published book that also has a very Gothic feel and a scary and creepy old housekeeper, The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. I read this one a few weeks ago and can say that it's a good one. The book begins with a rhyme about magpies and the sentence 'The magpies are back.' What is it about those black squawking birds? Have you noticed that the covers I've shown are all fairly sinister looking? Yes, that was on purpose.
The connection to the next book is 'Magpies' and I can also highly recommend Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders. Our mystery group read and discussed this one a few months ago and it was a favorite. A tale within a tale - an author that delivers his manuscript and then dies - an editor reading it and realizing that the last chapter is missing - a novel within a novel. As I said - a good one. This book has been nominated for a 2018 Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel.
Our last connection is to another 2018 Anthony Award nominated book - Bluebird Bluebird by Attica Locke. This book has already won a 2018 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel. Attica Locke sets her book in East Texas with a protagonist that is a black Texas Ranger. There's a crime to solve and there are certainly racial tensions. I'm looking forward to reading this one soon.
I do enjoy creating these chains - going from book to book. This month, I've read 5 of the 7 books. We started in 1930's England and ended up in present day East Texas. The connections were a character named 'Briony/Bryony', author Mary Stewart, my 'Classics Club' list, a scary and creepy housekeeper, magpies, and 2018 Anthony Award nominees. As usual, mystery novels are supreme. I'll not be participating in the September 1st event as I'll be on a blogging break, but I'll try to be back in October with another 'Six Degrees of Separation'.
I love your chain - full of gothic mystery and including some of my favourite books - Rebecca is one of my most favourite books that I first read as a teenager.ReplyDelete
Have great break!
I didn't read REBECCA until I was grown, but I liked it so much. Very atmospheric. I recently heard an interview by Ruth Ware about her writing of THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY and she talked about how REBECCA has affected her life from the first time she read it in her teens.Delete
What a fun chain! I loved Rebecca, too, hopefully I can do a reread soon!ReplyDelete
It's a good one to reread, Angela. And have you watched the old B&W movie? Very spooky.Delete
These are chains are such fun. Bluebird, Bluebird is one of my favorites in the mystery/thriller book genre, and I really want to read The Magpie Murders. Rebecca is such a classic! The ambiance is unforgettable.ReplyDelete
You should try THE MAGPIE MURDERS for sure. And I want to try to schedule BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD for our mystery group next year.Delete
Wow, I love these connections! I did a book report on "Rebecca" when I was in 9th grade. Do you know I had my friends tell me for years afterwards that they remembered my great ENTHUSIASM for that book!ReplyDelete
(It was an oral book report, I must have made an impression!)
But hey, it was and IS a great book!
I also read books by Mary Stewart and I think I read every Victoria Holt book I could get HOLT of! HA HA!
Ha, Kay! What a funny girl you are - see 'funny girl'? OK, bad, I know. I read so many Victoria Holt books in my teens. I remember the first one I read - BRIDE OF PENDORRIC. It scared me and thrilled me at the same time. It was a contemporary suspense at that time - old now - but not a historical.Delete
I knew you would be a fan of Victoria Holt! A British author, of course! LOL! She also wrote under other names, Jean Plaidy for one. We have such good taste!Delete
We do have good taste, right? I've never read one of her Jean Plaidy books. A little too historical for my taste, especially at that time.Delete
I so loved Mary Stewart when I was younger. I ought to re-read some of her books. I've heard good things about Attica Locke too. Nice links.ReplyDelete
I was really happy when they brought out the Mary Stewart books in e-book form. And they were very affordable. I know not every likes the e-book, but I'm happy that there is a way to reread those old favorites.Delete
A deliciously dark and gothic chain this month! And for once I've read nearly all of them and enjoyed all the ones I've read. The only ones I haven't read are the Mary Stewarts - I've never read anything by her. Looks like I should put that right - which one would you recommend as a starter?ReplyDelete
I loved her books when I was teenager, so that tells you how old they are. WILDFIRE AT MIDNIGHT is set on the Isle of Skye, THE GABRIEL HOUNDS in Damascas, AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND in Austria, and she also wrote several books about the Merlin/Arthur legend, the first of which is THE CRYSTAL CAVE. Plus those above. You should try one.Delete
Thanks! I'll maybe start with the Skye one then, since I'm in Scottish mode at the moment... 😀Delete
Just remember that the Sky book was written in 1956. It is a product of the time, but I liked it very much.Delete
I did so love Magpie Murders, but am not a gothic fan at all. No horror for me, please! I still remember scenes from movies that scared me when I was a kid.ReplyDelete
Well, as you know, I do so love a little Gothic, a spooky old house, a maybe or maybe not ghost, bumps in the night, a 'mad' woman - I've always loved them. However, I know they are not for everyone. Did you know that Anthony Horowitz has a new book out called THE WORD IS MURDER? He, Horowitz, is a character in the book. Very clever and I've heard good things.Delete
Yes! I am 25th in line for three copies in the state downloadable books library! He is like Alexander McCall Smith- so prolific and not just in one genre.Delete
Hope it doesn't take too long for you to come to the top of the list. Magpie Murders has gained in popularity over the last year.Delete
Love your chain, full of several favourites of mine, both classical (Rebecca) and contemporary (Bluebird, Bluebird). I have read some Mary Stewart - like you, I was very keen on her in my teens, but have forgotten now which ones I have read!ReplyDelete
Yes, I discovered her in my teens along with Victoria Holt and some other authors. Some of my first 'adult' reads.Delete
What a fab selection of books, Kay. I've read a couple and Magpie Murders is on my libary pile at the moment. You've made me want to seek out This Rough Magic as I loved Touch Not the Cat. Also attracted to your idea of rereading Rebecca in October. *Years* since I read that one.ReplyDelete
REBECCA in October is perfect. We did that a couple of years ago with the mystery group and also encouraged watching the movie.Delete
I haven't read any of the books - shamefully, that includes Rebecca... (I think! Perhaps I read it in my teens - possible, but it doesn't count if I have no memory of it 25 years later!).ReplyDelete
Rebecca is a good one indeed. However, I do understand about so many books out there and we'll never have enough time to read them all - sadly.Delete
What a FANTASTIC monthly meme! Perhaps I can participate sometime this fall ... although I have a tendency to forget book details as soon as I read them :(ReplyDelete
After reading The Woman in Cabin 10, I've heard mixed reviews about Ruth Ware's newest novel. I'm glad you liked it and perhaps I will give it a try.
Molly, this is a fun meme. I join in when I can. I think sometimes the fun for me keeps coming when I just kind of 'free range' the chain. Let the mind go where it wants to. And I think Ware's newest book is a really good one.Delete
I always enjoy reading these Six Degrees posts, but have never participated. Fall would be a good time to start! I've read two of your books and have two more on my list.ReplyDelete
JoAnn, it's fun to do. Always the first Saturday of the month, but some post theirs at any point that month. I like just seeing what where my mind will go with that chain.Delete
That's a great chain! Rebecca is one of my favourite classics - I loved it when I first read it as a teenager and I still loved it when I re-read it last year. I also enjoyed Magpie Murders and the two Mary Stewart books, especially This Rough Magic.ReplyDelete
Helen, I'm glad that several are Mary Stewart fans. I want to reread This Rough Magic. It has been a long, long time.Delete
Everyone of the authors in your chain is one I want to try, even though I am not a big fan of gothic stories. I have read Rebecca long ago and want to reread it. And I have read some books by Mary Stewart but a long time ago.ReplyDelete
Well, I guess that's pretty good if you want to read them and you're not really a gothic reader. Ha!Delete
What a brilliant chain - I have read Atonement and watched the film, more than once, as it is one of my favourite reads. I haven't read any of Mary Stewart's books for years but love Rebecca and Mrs Westaway's death - completely agree on that connection - and have your last two books on my wishlist!ReplyDelete
Cleo, you should definitely try Magpie Murders. I think you'd like it a lot.Delete
I love to read these chain-linking book posts. It's sort of like a puzzle, but I like "getting" it. Loved Magpie Murders too.ReplyDelete
Margot, it is like a puzzle. That's probably why I like it so much. I'm not much of an actual puzzle person, but I do like logic puzzles and book puzzles.Delete
A fun post and love reading these book connections. I've only read two books - Atonement and Rebecca and as for the rest, they all sound interesting too. I still haven't read Ruth Ware's latest book. So many books, so little time. Sigh.ReplyDelete
I completely understand about 'so many books...'. And I feel your 'pain' - Ha!Delete
I love the Mary Stewarts and Rebecca and I'm so looking forward to the Ruth Ware so I clearly need to read the others!ReplyDelete
Always happy to add to your TBR list, Katherine! LOLDelete
Love this, Kay! Mary Stewart is one of my favorites too, as is Rebecca.ReplyDelete
I'm happy to have from several who feel the same. I don't want Mary Stewart to be forgotten.Delete
Such a fun post! I have Magpie Murders on my Nook and think I will recommend it to my book club to read in 2019. Atonement is one I hope to read again someday. Loved it!ReplyDelete
I think your book group might like Magpie Murders. Mine did, but then it's a mystery group. Still...Delete
I really want to read Mary Stewart. Every time I see her books I'm reminded of Barbara Michaels whose books I loved. Wasn't the Magpie Murders great?ReplyDelete