The topic of today’s post is “Better Together”. There are books I tend to read in pairs, simply because something in one makes me think of the other. Sometimes it’s theme, other times it’s location, and still other times it’s just personal association.
Here are some of my reading pairings:
— L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle and Colleen McCullough’s The Ladies of Missalonghi, both splendidly satirical novels about poor relations who come into their own once they (mistakenly) hear they only have a year to live.
— Kate Ross’s The Devil in Music (Julian Kestrel Mystery) and Susanna Kearsley’s Season of Storms, one Regency, the other modern, but both about an unsolved murder, both set in Venice and at a villa on the shores of Lake Como.
— Elizabeth Peters’s Borrower of the Night and Helena Dela’s The Count, both told by witty first person narrators, both set in medieval castles in Germany/Austria and revolving around ancient family curses and their resulting ghosts.
— Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series and Patricia C. Wrede’s Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward. This one is harder to explain, since the one is modern and Vicky Bliss-esque and the other is Regency and quite Heyer in tone. I think it’s because both feature spunky, YA female protagonists, dealing with magic and magic-borne enemies in an otherwise unmagical world. The Wrede books also read well with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which, like the Wrede books, takes place in an alternate Regency England in which magic is recognized and used.
— Judith Merkle Riley’s The Master of All Desires and Diane Haeger’s Courtesan, both set at the court of Henri II, but with very, very different portrayals of the primary actors. (For people who like a dose of humor with their history, I can’t recommend Merkle Riley’s books highly enough.)
— Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana and Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold. Both are “house” books. In one case the heroine inherits a house, in the other she buys it, but both make you want to find a house in a small village in the English countryside, preferably one with a gently magical mystery about it.
What are your reading pairings?