We are now 21 days into the month of May. Chris Cornell has died. Trump is still in office. It snowed, a lot. I wish I could say I have something to offer to cheer you (meaning me) up, but blogging seems a bit like talking into a vast void – and it’s practically my only adult conversation as of late. Because, trust me, talking to library patrons, despite their right to vote and serve in the military, is not the same thing*. Often good, but not the same. So, in lieu of a witty, scintillating post – which I’m honestly not sure I have in me – I offer you a chain of books. Kevin Bacon style. Stephen King makes an appearance, as does Jane Eyre (in passing), I even mention W. Somerset Maugham. What more could you want?!
(Could you possibly want Anne of Green Gables set to Soundgarden and Audioslave? Because I totally did that.)
The month begins with The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. I have not read it, but I do enjoy the simplicity of the title. The “noun”. When trying to think of a comparably abrupt title, Brian Doyle’s The Plover came to mind.
The Plover chronicles Declan O’Donnell’s voyage across the Pacific, and while I didn’t love it, it was beautifully written. A novel I did enjoy that also chronicles a man named Declan is Karina Halle’s The Darkhouse, but instead of an ocean voyage, Halle’s Declan chases ghosts.
If we’re discussing novels that attempt to frighten you, it’s not a stretch to jump from The Darkhouse to The Dark Half. The latter is by Stephen King, and one of his more enjoyable works. It’s about a writer – who else? – who cannot escape the darker side of himself, despite his best efforts.
Jane, in Lyndsay Faye’s Jane Steele suffers from much the same issue. No matter how far she runs, or how good she tries to be, she just can’t manage not to murder those who cross her. Murders aside, Jane Steele is a wonderful retelling of Jane Eyre. It’s fun, fresh, with the right amount of levity.
Jennifer McVeigh’s The Fever Tree was not a retelling, but it reminded me – in the best way – of The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham. I enjoyed McVeigh’s writing and have yet to read her new release The Leopard at the Door, but I hope to get to it soon.
Care to join in?
*A patron accidentally cut off limbs to their conifer tree. They wanted advice on how to reattach them.