We begin with J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Haven’t read it. In fact, haven’t read a single word by Rowling. Zero interest. It horrifies people. “What about Harry Potter?!” they sputter. “Nope. So shoot me,” I say.
They’re equally horrified that I’ve never read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It’s amazing how often this book comes up in conversation. I am interested in Egan, just haven’t got round to it.
An acquaintance once lent me Goon Squad, along with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Collected Short Stories. I read the Fitzgerald (because Fitzgerald) but Egan gathered dust and after a while I felt I had to return both books or I’d be stretching the friendship.
Ernest Hemingway (the man at the centre of The Paris Wife) had a few wives. As did John Wonder, the man at the centre of Malcolm Knox’s The Wonder Lover. The difference between Hemingway and Wonder was that Hemingway had just one wife at a time…
And my final link, piss-weak and obvious, is to R. J. Palacio’s brilliant story, Wonder.