Friday, 10 February 2017
6 Degress of Separation - February 2017
New month and time for another chain of books. This month, host Books Are My Favourite And Best starts with Fates and Furies by Laureen Groff. I must admit I have never heard of it, although I see that it was one of the most popular books in 2015. Just shows how stuck I am with my TBR shelves! Never to late to change. Seems like a fascinating book.
Reading the synopsis on Wikipedia, my attention was drawn to the line "is essentially about how the different people in a relationship can have disparate views on the relationship". That is certainly true, and it immediately made me think of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, where Rachel has a totally different view on the relationship with her ex-husband, and we could say people she sees from her train window.
From there my connecting word would be train and I am thinking of a book I have had on my shelves for many years; Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux. It is a travel book about his travels through China in the 1980s, and his aim was to disprove the Chinese maxim "you can always fool a foreigner". I am looking forward reading this one.
Here the connection continues with travels and I come to think of Tiziano Terzani's book A Fortune-Teller Told Me. It describes his travels across Asia by land and see following the advice and warning from a fortune teller in Hong Kong that he must avoid airplanes for the whole year of 1993.
That leads me to Asia and an interesting book called Monsoon Traders, The Maritime World of the East India Company by Bowen, McAleer and Blyth. The East India Company was one of the most powerful commercial endeavours the world has ever seen. An interesting story of the development of world trade, although depressing in its treatment of people and countries to achieve commercial success.
The chain word here is ships and leads me to Kapare och Pirater i Nordeuropa under 800 år (Privateers and Pirates in North Europe During 800 Years). When we hear pirates we normally think of the Caribbean area, although they were common in all areas where sea travel was frequent. I know there were some Swedish pirates, but was not aware of the whole picture. Interesting book covering the Baltic and North Sea areas.
A big force and influence in this area was the Hanseatic League, which takes me to Thomas Mann and Buddenbrooks. His family saga of the decline of a wealthy north German merchant family through four generations. Here he portrays the life and manners of the Hanseatic bourgeoisie in the mid-19th century. It is based on his own family who lived in Lübeck, one of the Hanseatic cities.
That was my chain of six books. Hope you enjoyed this chain which took me almost all over the world.