Book Couples: One Good Book Leads to Another
For example, in The Namesake, there is simply no getting away from Nikolai Gogol, or from his book The Overcoat. I want to know everything. I have to experience the connection for myself. A character in The Hours affectionately calls another “Mrs Dalloway”, the title character, of course, in Virginia Woolf’s novel. Next thing I know, Mrs. Dalloway is on her way home with me.
Historical fiction can often open doors I never even knew were there. In school, I always hated history. Dates…facts…boredom. Put those same events into a novel, and you have my attention. As an adult, Irving Stone’s Those Who Love started it all for me. I had to know more about John and Abigail Adams and the life they led. I took out books on period costume and architecture and read what I could (within reason; there’s a lot out there!) about John himself. When My Dearest Friend came out, I felt like John and Abigail were old familiar friends.
I have sailed the world in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels. My experience of them has been enriched by travel diaries, atlases, books on British naval history, medical emergencies at sea, navigation, period weaponry, even a book on the history of laudanum. Do I read every word? Of course not, but my curiosity is usually satisfied, and my world expanded.
The theme of this month’s book display at Main Library is Book Couples. The books are meant to be borrowed and enjoyed together. The connections may be readily apparent, but not always. Maybe you’ve already read one half of the couple; take them both home and you may find yourself paging through it again as you read its mate. I highly recommend it for devoted readers, the insatiably curious, or those just looking for a couple of good books to enjoy together. Posted by Joanne.