Greetings! It’s time for another Six Degrees of Separation post. This is a meme hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a common starting point and participants then link to six other books to form a chain. It is endlessly amazing to see all the different results and I love taking part.
This month begins with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This is pleasing for all sorts of reasons, the most important of which for me is that it reminds me immediately of my darling husband. He likes to read this story every year in the lead up to Christmas, which is a lovely tradition.
My favourite rendition of A Christmas Carol was by Sir Patrick Stewart in a one-man performance where he played all the characters. With only a few spare props on the stage, he recited the whole book as if it was a play and it was absolutely captivating. A testament to his acting skill and Dickens’ amazing text.
Sir Patrick is my link to the next book in the chain, which I offer with slight trepidation because I am not sure whether plays are allowed. But hey, it’s Christmas so I am going for it. I saw Sir P in Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra, together with the wonderful Harriet Walter. Another powerful and memorable performance.
Thinking about Egypt as a setting takes me whizzing across to Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Described as ‘Agatha Christie meets Indiana Jones’ this is an enjoyable romp. I must explore Peters’ other novels in the series some time.
Mention of sand makes me think of Erskine Childers’ The Riddle of the Sands – a vintage tale of adventure and espionage.
I love a good spy story and am currently reading the excellent The Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. I watched the film last week and only just about managed to keep up with the story. But it was completely gripping and I was delighted to see that Matthews’ book is the first in a trilogy. I am hoping that with the narrative from the film under my belt, I might be able to work out the finer details of the twists and turns in the original text – fingers crossed!
Meanwhile, the main character in The Red Sparrow is a former ballerina. So what else could there be for my next link? Yes, it is of course the classic Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield.
And if the chain was ending here, I could reference Streafield in the title of a Christmas carol, namely The First Noel, taking us very satisfyingly right back to where we started. But I need to find one final link in the chain. So instead I am going to use Noel to hop across to my most favourite Christmas book of all – JRR Tolkien’s Letters From Father Christmas. This is a collection of letters he wrote to his children, ostensibly from Santa. They are absolutely charming, full of invention and beautifully illustrated. It is a treasure of a book and a lovely seasonal way to end this month’s linking adventures.
If you would like to continue with the linking fun, why not check out the accompanying playlist for this chain over on my other blog, Leaping Tracks
Next time, we will be seeing in the New Year with John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Until then, I wish you all a wonderful festive season. 😀🎄