Six Degrees of Separation from Vanity to Solitude

It’s first Saturday of the month and time for #6degrees hosted by Kate at booksaremybestandfavourite. You can play too.

Vanity Fair is one of these books you have to stop and think. It’s really famous. Have I read it or do I think I have read it because it is so famous? The answer is that no I haven’t. The next question is why not? Then of course. I must. I should. Another one for the TBR.

Frankenstein might be a bit like that. Everyone has heard of that but have they read it?. I know read this one twice. Once in my early 20s and again for book club just this year. I feel I am letting my gender and the legend that is Mary Shelley down when I must confess I did not love it.

I enjoyed much more reading a biography of Mary Shelley, In Search of Mary Shelley by Fiona Simpson which explores Mary’s life and though filled with much conjecture this is expected when reaching back into the previous centuries of burned and lost trunks of letters. What will happen in the future when we explore lives from Facebook posts and Twitter feeds instead of the cursive text of letters. Who writes letters anymore?

I do like an epistolary novel. Let’s go there next and choose the also famous book, The Color Purple by Alice Walker.  Walker was the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.

But, no woman won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction from 1942 until 1961, when Harper Lee won with To Kill a Mockingbird. I am not even surprised by this almost 20-year drought. I was about to write something about all men being bastards but I won’t because it’s probably not true.

Toni Morrison won in 1988 with Beloved which is without a doubt one of my most beloved books. It is an exquisite example of magical realism. Now I have an Oprah Winfrey link in here too!

Despite my love of magical realism I really did not enjoy Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Year of Solitude and that is my second confession for this month.

5 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation from Vanity to Solitude

  1. Woo hoo — I have read a few of your selections this month – To kill a mockingbird, The colour purple, Beloved and One hundred years of solitude. All good books, though One hundred years is not my favourite Marquez.

    I appreciate your confessions too – its good to get this guilty secrets off our chests sometimes. Haha.

  2. So true about “Did I read that or do I just think I did…?” I did a lot of my classics reading in my teens and twenties but just because there’s a dog-eared copy of something on my shelf doesn’t mean it was necessarily read by me!

  3. I’m with you on One Hundred Years of Solitude which I started 3 times and never finished, and Frankenstein which I finished but hated. I kept turning the pages waiting for the excitement to begin, but it didn’t. An exceptional case of the movie being better than the book.

  4. Great list! I think Frankenstein must be one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and I’ve never gotten on with Marquez either. But loved some of the others on your list 🙂

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