Wednesday, 24 September 2014

10 Books That Have Stayed With Me

Okay, so Clare nominated me to list 10 books that have stayed with me in some way. I have to list 10 books that have stayed with me in some way. The rules: Don't take more than a few minutes and don't think too hard - they don't have to be the "right" or "great" works, just the ones that have touched you...

(copying this here from Facebook, to keep it for posterity)

Five Go Off in a Caravan (Enid Blyton) - Blyton was my first reading love, and I read basically everything she wrote. This was the first though, and the first 'proper' book I read all by myself. I distinctly remember my Nan buying it for me in Luton airport.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis)
- another of the books that really got me into reading. There are sequences from this I can remember verbatim, and having re-read it recently, I think there are whole sections of description, of characters and landscapes, that are just so evocative.

The Diary of Anne Frank - Excellent on two levels. Firstly as a study of a young girl and her emotions and feelings while in a total goldfish bowl, but also as a jumping-off point into further reading about the war and holocaust. Despite the vast differences in our situations, Anne was someone I really identified with as a teenager, and I imagine I'm far from the only one.

The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)
- read it for school, and loved it then. I am intending to read it again soon, and see if it's still as good, or if it was just the angsty teen in me then.

Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier)
- I never expected to like this, when I read it at the age of about 18. From the title I expected a boring romance aimed at older women. I couldn't have been more wrong.

On Chesil Beach (Ian McEwan) - very underrated, the honesty and awkwardness of youth, and the tragedy of a misunderstanding... I cried when I finished this.

The Man In the High Castle (Philip K Dick)
- perhaps an odd choice. I only read this a few months ago, and I didn't even enjoy reading it *that* much - but the characters and scenarios have really stayed with me.

Finding Myself (Toby Litt) - one of the first books I read and was able to analyse its structure and techniques (an excellent story within a story going on, for example) as an independent adult, rather than as part of a class, and thoroughly enjoy it at the same time.

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth (Helen Castor)
- a non-fiction book that re-ignited my interest in the British history of the Middle Ages.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) - just plain wonderful, frankly.