Thursday, 19 August 2010

Islands in the stream; strawberries and cream

Last week Scott Pack mentioned on his blog that he’d taken a couple of location-specific books with him on holiday to the Isle of Wight.

I too am off on holiday soon, and not that I’m lucky enough to be heading to a tropical island—last time I looked south Devon was neither tropical, nor and an island—but I’m just finishing up with Robinson Crusoe (on the Kindle, Tim) and have also indulged in a hardback copy of David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet, which I’ve lined up next. It’s a coincidental quirk, but, without having read The Thousand Autumns… etc.  I’m assuming there are similarities between it and Defoe’s classic, both in historical setting and in the situations the lead characters come up against. In other words, they are complementary books.

So what I’m getting at, in a roundabout fashion, is asking you this: What two books would you recommend that go together like strawberries and cream? (I would say like peas in a pod, but don’t want to set Aliya back any steps on the road to recovery.)

The only rule is recommended books aren’t allowed to be by the same author, or a second author picking up characters from the first, a la Wide Sargasso Sea or Roger Morris’ Inspector Porfiry series.

PS Talking of Scott, Happy Birthday Bookswap.


Abi said...

'A Short History of Nearly Everything' always makes me want to read 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and vice versa. I think it might be all the fossils in both books.

Neil George Ayres said...

Funny you should mention John Fowles, Abi, given Aliya's recent activity. ;)

Juxtabook said...

Adam Bede by George Eliot and Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell. Having spent most of Sylvia's Lovers thinking about Adam Bede I read somewhere that Gaskell was reading Adam Bede whilst writing SL - and it shows in lots of little ways as well as one major plot similarity.

Neil George Ayres said...

Thanks, Catherine. I've been meaning to indulge in a bit of Gaskell for a few years now. She's all loaded up on the Kindle, so maybe when I'm done with Mr De Zoet I'll give North and South a bash.

I've tried George Eliot before but we didn't gel. Maybe I started out with the wrong book.