Hosted each month by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, this meme picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six steps. (Here’s my one for last month.) This month the starting book is Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.
Fates and Furies is a novel I’ve yet to read. If you look at the reviews on Amazon, they’re extremely varied, yet I seem to remember much love for this book in the blogosphere…
The mention of ‘Furies’ in the title as in the Greek ‘chthonic goddesses of vengeance’ (as Wikipedia says, don’t you love that word ‘chthonic’ ? It means relating to the Underworld.), leads me straight to more Furies…
- The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes
Loved this book. A thoroughly modern psychological drama full of ancient Greekness. Haynes has a new novel coming out in May – The Children of Jocasta – can’t wait.
Read more about this brilliant novel in my review over on my old blog – click here.
Again, I’m taking a link from the title, and Amber leads to:
2. Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Published in 1970, this, the first in Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber series. I read the series back in the early 1980s so sadly no blog review to refer you to.
The saga starts off in the real world with a man waking up in a New York hospital with amnesia. He escapes and discovers that he is one of the Princes of Amber, a parallel (fantasy) world to Earth. I loved reading Zelazny’s books – and now want to revisit Amber!
I shall, however, link to another author whose surname begins with a Z:
3. Stefan Zweig’s The Post Office Girl
This book has been in my TBR for far too long, and Zweig remains an author I’ve yet to read.
So I’ll move swiftly on.
Post leads to:
4. The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Thériault
This is a lovely little novel written by a French-Candaian author.
It starts off light, but has a rather dark, obsessive heart. Read my review of it here.
One of its major themes is the art of Haiku, and Haiku leads to:
5. Advantages of the Older Man by Gwyneth Lewis
This novella is an extraordinary little ghost story told with humour and a lot of heart, featuring the ghost of Dylan Thomas.
Read my review of it here.
In the story the ghost of Dylan Thomas says he’s experimenting in writing haiku!
Gwynneth Lewis is a playwright, poet and novelist. One of her other books is The Meat Tree – based on the story of Blodeuwedd, the woman made from flowers, from the Welsh Mabinogion. This book was the 4th in a series of reworkings of tales from the Mabinogion published by Seren books.
The first book to be published in this series was:
6. White Ravens by Owen Sheers (vol 1)
This short novel is based upon the story of Branwen, daughter of Llyr, the second branch of the Mabinogion.
Read my review here.
This is a tale of two brothers, their sister and the love of her life. We start in the near present on a farm in Wales where foot and mouth has caused Rhi’s brothers into the dangerous business of stealing and butchering lambs to supply fancy restaurants in London. One night necessity forces Rhi to drive the van, and she abandons her brothers once in London – finding herself at the Tower of London. There she meets an old man who tells her another wartime story about a man, Matthew, who is sent to collect some raven chicks…
As in all of the books in this series, White Ravens is a powerful tale.
So, there you have it – from Ancient Greek Goddesses to Welsh Mythology via the post and haiku.
This was, as always great fun! Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby next month.