In recent years, the ultimate lottery book has been The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008). Although it is violent, I thought the first in the trilogy was very well done but I did not like the second and third books in the series very much. I remember bringing my then-boyfriend to see the movie and he enjoyed it but said we were the only people in the theatre who weren’t thirteen-year-old girls. I guess it’s lucky he didn’t notice that before we bought the tickets!
Another book about mob rule is A Catch of Consequence by Diana Norman (2002) (I realize I used one of her books last month; she was a very memorable author). This is a great historical novel that begins in Boston near Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market, if you know the area. The prosaic heroine is an innkeeper who rescues a British gentleman from an angry group of Patriots (and not the kind that plays football).Third Degree
Angry crowds reminded me of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859), the only one of his books I really like, in which a mob storms the Bastille. I read this in tenth grade English. Fourth Degree
I’ve already used The Scarlet Pimpernel (November 2019) which is my favorite book about the French Revolution so for my fourth book I will use Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (2004), a dual timeline novel in which the present-day heroine years for a Scarlet Pimpernel hero – and who can blame her? It was entertaining but too implausible for me to continue with the series, although I have enjoyed some of her other books.Fifth Degree
Staying with this period of French History, my fifth book is Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (2010), a YA dual timeline story about a present-day teen who goes to Paris with her father in search of the Lost Dauphin, the son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. This book got good reviews but I recall it being somewhat depressing.Sixth Degree
My final book is Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama (1989): “Instead of a dying Old Regime, Schama presents an ebullient country, vital & inventive, infatuated with novelty & technology.” When I was observing the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill on television and on social media, I noticed that preeminent historian Simon Schama, an expert on Revolutionaries, was tweeting away as he watched, which was quite surreal. I wish I had taken a class with him when we briefly overlapped in Cambridge but back then I was focused on the 16th century. Now he is teaching at Columbia.A Place of Greater Safety, so couldn’t include that, although I was tempted!
Have you read any of these? Did you play #6Degrees this month? You should!
Next month (November 6, 2021), Kate says we’ll start with Sigrid Nunez’s What Are You Going Through, which was an NPR Best Book of 2020.