Six Degrees of Separation: Vanity Fair

Hosted each month by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, Six Degrees of Separation picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Our starting book this month is …

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Never read it – I ought to though, for I’m sure I’d enjoy it – just need to find the time to devote to this classic doorstop. So without further ado, my link is the word fair which leads me to:

Fair Stood the Wind for France by H.E. Bates

I re-read this for 1944 week last month (see here).  It is both an adventure and a wartime romance, published towards the end of WWII in which an injured pilot falls for the farmer’s daughter who hides him. Just gorgeous! One of the best books I read all year.  I will take WWII as my link to:

Black Roses by Jane Thynne

Black Roses (reviewed here) is the first novel in Thynne’s Clara Vine series in which the titular heroine who is half-German is recruited as a British spy in Berlin during the build-up to the outbreak of war.  This series is a constant delight as Thynne’s first class research tells us German womens’ stories of the time. In this first book, we meet the wives of the Third Reich, especially Magda Goebbels.  Adventure, history, spying and some romance is a fabulous combination, and the sequels are just as good, if not better.  Rose is my link this time to:

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

I read this book when its English translation was first published, pre-blog.  I since treated myself to the Folio Society edition, and must read it again. I remember being blown away by the story, and fascinated by the history of the Popes in Avignon which crops up somewhere in it – see I can’t really remember much beyond unfortunately seeing Sean Connery as William of Baskerville in my mind now.  My link this time is via Italian literature to:

The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto

i read this for Italian Lit month earlier this year (reviewed here). This 2006 Italian novel is a lean and mean story with an amoral anti-hero at its heart. Very dark noir narrated by its nasty protagonist.  My link is via the amoral narrator to:

The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato

I’ve just remembered that I used this book last year too (here) through a similar link – it’s a useful one though with many directions you can go.  In this short book, a convicted murderer tells us his story.  Sabato was Argentinian, but this novel was a big hit when published in France in 1948, and Albert Camus was a fan which is my final link to:

The Plague by Albert Camus

Which I read for the 1947 Club (reviewed here), the story of a plague-struck French port in Algeria which is quarantined.  I found this an interesting novel, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy reading it.

So, after starting in England, we’ve toured the heartland of the Euro-zone (with side trips to Buenos Aires and Algeria, although the French influence remains), which reminds me I can apply for an Irish passport…

Where will your six degrees take you?


21 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Vanity Fair

  1. Tredynas Days says:

    My wife is in the process of getting hers (Irish father), and so is my stepson. My Irish ancestors are a few generations back, so I’m not eligible, unfortunately. Loved the links, Annabel. And do read V. Fair – it’s great fun. Becky Sharp is a brilliant creation, but I also enjoyed the intrusions from the garrulous narrator.

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    I’d also advise reading Vanity Fair – it’s a lot of fun and so well-observed! I love your links this month. I really feel I should be taking part too, since I like Vanity Fair so much…

  3. Margaret says:

    Great chain – including some I’ve read and others I have waiting to read. I read both The Name of the Rose and The Plague years ago (in French) – pre-blog – and absolutely loved both books.

  4. Literary Feline says:

    I haven’t read Vanity Fair yet either, but I would like to. I enjoyed seeing how you linked these books together. My husband has been trying to get me to read The Name of the Rose for years now. I imagine I will one of these days. Have a great weekend!

  5. Kay says:

    Lovely! I have read The Name of the Rose many years ago. It might be time for a reread. Have also read The Plague – what an unpleasant story. I won’t be rereading it. Ha!

  6. Kate W says:

    Vanity Fair is certainly chunky but it is ‘easy’ reading. For years I’ve been meaning to read War & Peace and while dithering, someone said “It’s just a Russian soap opera.” VF is the British equivalent!

  7. buriedinprint says:

    What a striking cover for The Plague (one I haven’t read either). Actually, I like the way your collection of covers displays generally. Sometimes I try to that that as well, but the sizing never seems to look that nice!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thank you. I do crop and squish (just a tiny bit) to get them to fit. I do it in Powerpoint, then clip into a png file. This time, I forgot to unhighlight one of the covers though – shocking! 🙂

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