Six degrees of separation:
from Hamlet to Hercule Poirot
Ah ah, could giving us a one unusual word title be too tough for my way of playing this game? Ok I had to change a bit my own rule, but it worked, by using the same first name of author to start with!!
Using my own rules for this fun meme hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (see there the origin of the meme and how it works – posted the first Saturday of every month).
Here are my own quirky rules:
1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title (or in the subtitle) offered and find another title with that word in it
3. Then use the first word of THAT title to find your text title
4. Or the second if the title starts with the same word, or you are stuck
1. Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell
A popular book, and I love Hamlet by Shakespeare, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet for this book.
“Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.
Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.
Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.”
2. Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding
She quotes a lot St Isaac the Syrian, and it is always refreshing to see a Father from the Christian East quoted by a Christian from the Western world. Going back to our common roots…
“The subtitle of Maggie Ross’s new book captures its essence, for it is about silence and our need to behold God. Beholding is a notion that we are in danger of losing. It is often lost in translation, even by the NRSV and the Jerusalem Bible. Beholding needs to be recovered both in theology and practice.”
VERDICT: The perfect tool both for ESL and EFL students, from basic grammatical rules to practical and even creative writing.
4. The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
I haven’t posted any review, but I really enjoyed it, like any book by Simon Winchester anyway.
“The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history. The compilation of the OED, begun in 1857, was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.”
5. The Housekeeper and the Professor
VERDICT: The Housekeeper And The Professor is a difficult book to review; the novel is more about the ambiance than the plot itself. You may even end up loving maths at the end!
6. Peril at End House
OK, slightly cheating again, by using only half of the first word…
I haven’t written anything about this one either, but it definitely was a great plot.
“Hercule Poirot is vacationing on the Cornish coast when he meets Nick Buckly. Nick is the young and reckless mistress of End House, an imposing structure perched on the rocky cliffs of St. Loo.
Poirot has taken a particular interest in the young woman who has recently narrowly escaped a series of life-threatening accidents. Something tells the Belgian sleuth that these so-called accidents are more than just mere coincidences or a spate of bad luck. It seems all too clear to him that someone is trying to do away with poor Nick, but who? And, what is the motive? In his quest for answers, Poirot must delve into the dark history of End House. The deeper he gets into his investigation, the more certain he is that the killer will soon strike again. And, this time, Nick may not escape with her life.”