My favourite monthly tag, hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books. Our starting book this month is:
Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher
Oh, how I loved Fisher’s first novel. I read it when it was first published in paperback, before the film came out – I no longer have my original copy which is a shame, although the movie is great. Postcards is a rehab story, it’s semi-autobiographical, it made me laugh and I’ve been planning to re-read it for ages. I’m staying with Fisher for my first link…
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I was literally reading this book as Carrie’s death was announced, which made it both sad and a celebration of her extraordinary life. The story of her casting and filming the first Star Wars movie, that affair with Harrison Ford, and the subsequent effects that being Princess Leia left on her life, you can rely on Carrie to tell it like it was. I’m linking next to another princess…
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
This was a case of film before book for me, but I enjoyed both. The book was published in 1973 so precedes the film by some years. The fairytale within is essentially similar, but Goldman uses a different framing device for the book within the book. It’s less cinematic than having Peter Falk as the grandfather, but as tongue in cheek meta-fiction it hits the spot. Goldman puts himself into the framing story as the ill child and his father reads him a book by S.Morgernstern called The Princess Bride. Goldman is telling us this years later after having searched out and abridged S.Morgentern’s book, all made-up of course. Buttercup is a distinctly singular bride, another is…
Never the Bride by Paul Magrs
This is the first of Magrs’s Brenda and Effie series of cosy mysteries set in Whitby, where a duo of older ladies find themselves sleuthing as odd goings on keep happening. This book was an absolute delight from page one, a gently hilarious and quirky tale full of weird and wacky adventures for the not quite OAPs Brenda and Effie. The nods to Frankenstein, Dracula, The War of the Worlds and other classic novels of that ilk fit perfectly with the otherworldlyness of Whitby – which is obviously a hotbed for paranormal activity, and ideally suited to Brenda’s secret heritage which I won’t spoil here! Brenda has never wed, which leads me to…
The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella
A plan to get the guys in our book group to read a romantic novel backfired when they couldn’t believe how sexy the book we chose was, they liked it rather too much! This is a war-time romance set in 1943 Naples, the story of a British Allied Officer who is given the role of the ‘Wedding Officer’ during the Allied occupation of the city, and the Italian cook, Livia, he falls for. A big hearted novel with loads of lovely food as well as romance, this book is a real page-turner. Super summer reading if you can find a copy.
You may not be aware, but Anthony Capella is a pseudonym used by a English writer who, these days, has changed tack completely, now writing psychological thrillers as….
The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
His third novel as Delaney is perhaps his least successful, requiring rather a suspension of belief, but is still a gripping read. Set in Silicon Valley, it’s the story of a tech entrepreneur whose wife goes missing – so he builds himself a replacement – a ‘cobot’ – a ‘companion robot’. The new Abbie has the capacity to think and she has many of Abbie’s memories. She looks like Abbie too as far as the synthetic skin covering allows, but she still needs plugging in to recharge at night. Her brain, however, is a significant advance in AI – to all intensive purposes she is Abbie, but with a selected-by-Tim memory. The book follows the new Abbie’s emotional development leading to a dramatic conclusion that leaves you reeling. From one wife, my final link is to another…
The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman
This small but perfectly formed novella is a modern fairy tale with a ‘Grimm’ moral punch about a bank robber that didn’t steal money, but items of sentimental value from his hostages. He explains before he leaves, that he now owns 51% of everyone’s souls, and that will have ‘bizarre and strange consequences‘ in their lives. They’ll have to learn to grow them back or die. Strange things do indeed begin to happen, and some of the victims’ experiences are rather unsettling to say the least. The story is recounted by the husband of hostage Stacey. She’d handed over her calculator on which she worked out everything – at first she thought she was just losing weight, but it soon becomes clear that Stacey is shrinking! Will she work out how to stop it, and even reverse it, before she pops out of existence like the Incredible Shrinking Man did? Wonderful stuff.
My six degrees has taken me around a world of 1 Wedding, 2 Princesses, 2 Brides and 2 Wives this month – where will yours take you?