The idea behind this exercise is to connect books in any way that’s meaningful to you, from the profound to the inane. Although Kevin Bacon is typically behind the six degrees game, books are just a bit more fun. December’s pick is A Christmas Carol.
But now that I have, I can tell you it’s wholly satisfying in an unexpected, lovely way. It’s like a post wrapped up in the nostalgia of childhood, because I LOVED Muppets’ A Christmas Carol, based on Charles Dickens’ work of the same name, when I was younger. You know what else I loved? Kermit and Tim Curry fighting in the Muppet interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Simply irresistible.
Nancy Horan takes on the life and love of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny in her novel Under the Wide and Starry Sky. The particular wording and format of that title reminds me of The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (though the similarities end there), a novel “of voyage and exile that moves between contemporary war-torn Syria and the caravansaries and khans of its lost past. Maps are mentioned on almost every page: not just making them but the decisions that making them involves, what lands they cover and what lands they leave out.”
Speaking of maps, the beautifully weird and beautifully designed Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson features detailed maps and other ephermera (and bats, and an apocalypse). Tying in to the word republic is Carol Shields’ The Republic of Love, which details the lives of a folklore researcher (she focuses on mermaids!) and a radio show host/disc jockey as they fall in love.
Love, lists, and music feature heavily in High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, which chronicles record store owner Rob’s most recent romantic failure. As Rob works through his issues, he and Laura get back together, with him agreeing to move past his career as solely a record store owner and reestablish himself as… wait for it… a disc jockey.
I made it all the way from A Christmas Carol to High Fidelity, by way of pirates, Syria, bats, muppets, mermaids, and DJs. Care to join in? Please do!