It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up. This month’s starting point is Second Place by Rachel Cusk, a new book about an obsession with a famous painter. It is hard to tell where this book it set – the author leaves it vague, although it is inspired by a story that takes place in Taos, New Mexico.
I was reminded of another book about obsession and art recommended by my mother which I enjoyed years ago, The Caravaggio Obsession by Oliver Banks (1984), set in NY and Rome, part of a two-book mystery series. The main character is a private investigator for the art world.Second Degree
Another book about an art expert in Italy is The Masks of Rome by Caroline Llewellyn, written in the style of my beloved Mary Stewart.Third Degree
Masks reminded me of The Vizard Mask by Diana Norman, a historical novel set in 17th century Restoration London (I have been trying to find a reasonably priced copy that isn’t an ebook). A vizard (also spelled visard) is an oval mask of black velvet, worn by traveling women in the 16th century to protect their skin from sunburn.Fourth Degree
In contrast to the historical fiction I enjoy is Sunburn by Laura Lippman (2018), a very dark novel of psychological suspense and obsession. You should know that Lippman is a Betsy-Tacy and Beany Malone fan.Fifth Degree
Sunburn was inspired by the noir classics of the past, and I just read the uber-noir book, The Maltese Falcon, last week. Except for Humphrey Bogart, I didn’t really see the appeal, she admitted, somewhat shamefaced.Sixth Degree
The sought-after falcon figurine reminded me of another book about obsession my book group read several years ago, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. It was a very interesting read and I liked parts of it but it certainly ruined my impression of T.H. White
Where did your chain take you this month? Please share!