Thursday, June 4, 2009

15 Books!

I don't usually join in with any regular feature in the book blogging world but I could not resist this one because I thought it was a great question to ask. So here we go with the first "Booking Through Thursday" on this blog.
This can be a quick one. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
Here are mine:

1. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier - one of the best works of fiction I have read. I became so absorbed in the story that I found myself cheering on the bad guys!! That's what I call great writing.

2. Othello - William Shakespeare - I read this at school when I was doing English Lit. I loved Othello, Desdemona and Cassio and hated Iago with a passion. I constantly wanted to shout out "Don't trust Iago - he's lying" just like I did at pantomimes when I was small and would shout "He's behind you"

3. The Cather in the Rye - J D Salinger - This was the first real 'grown up' book I ever read, I was 14 years old at the time. I fell madly in love with Holden Caulfield and could not believe a teenager could do all the things he did. He was my hero.

4. Jude The Obscure - Thomas Hardy - I didn't read this until a couple of years ago and was so glad that I took my sons advice and read it. It was the first book I ever read where I cried whilst reading it. I hadn't expected it to be sad, but it was.

5. Gweilo - Martin Booth - This book is a memoir of Martin Booth's early childhood which he spent in Hong Kong. I loved this book because Booth paints such a vivid picture of the city during the 1950's and his love for Hong Kong, it's people and his mother comes shining off each page.

6. The BFG - Roald Dahl - This was a favourite of my boys when they were small and I remember having to read it over and over again for them because they loved it so much. We also got the video when it came out and had to watch it about ten thousand times (at least!)

7. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - How can this not be on the list! It is one of my all time favourite books.

8. A Year in Provence - Peter Mayle - I love the way Peter Mayle paints his characters in this book and the way he describes the change of pace his life is undergoing following his move from England to Provence. This book started me off on a Peter Mayle binge and I had very soon found and read all his work. It also started me off wanting to retire to France one day!.

9. No Room for Secrets - Joanna Lumley - Joanna Lumley is a real favourite of mine and I loved the idea she worked from when she wrote this book. We follow Joanna through her house and as she talks about clothes, furniture, books and paintings in each room, her life story begins to unfold. It was a lovely book to read.

10 Macbeth - William Shakespeare - Another one of my English Lit study plays. I loved the air of tension created in Macbeth. It was one of the first books I read where a character begins to unravel in front of the reader. It started me on a lifelong love of empathising with well drawn characters.

11. Show Me the Magic - Annie Caulfield - Annie Caulfield is a great writer and a wonderful observer of people and places. I particularly liked this book because Annie slowly begins to uncover the life of her taxi driver, Isidore, as he acts as her guide around the country. It is poignant and very funny.

12. My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier - My second du Maurier read and it came in a very close second to Rebecca. I loved the character of Rachel and wondered, along with everyone else, including Daphne du Maurier herself, whether she had been responsible for her husband's death. I thought, if du Maurier doesn't know the answer then how could I? So well written, I couldn't put it down.

13. The Laws of Spirit - Dan Millman - This book is a particular favourite of mine and one which I return to often. Dan Millman is an inspiring writer and in this book he tells a story of a man who journeys through the countryside and meets a sage along the way. They take on the journey together and as they go she teaches him of several 'laws' of spirit. I am always intrigued by the Law of Balance and love the way he explains how this works.

14. Thought as a System - David Bohm - This book changed my life! Really! David Bohm was a physicist and was particularly interested in understanding the thought process we have as humans. He postulates that even though we think we are thinking about something (anything) independently, our thought process is based on past experience and unless we see this we cannot break the hold this learned thought system has on our thinking process. He calls this 'the reflex' and argues that in order to be a true independent thinker we have to break this 'reflex' to achieve it.......It is an amazing book. Read it!

15. Beyond Black - Hilary Mantel - This book is really quite dark and scared me a bit but it was one of those books that I just could not put down. When I finished reading it I had so many questions and I always consider that this is the mark of a really great story. This did it for me and I don't think I will forget it in a hurry.

These are in no particular order and I can think of at least 15 more, but, these were the first that came to mind.
So, what are yours?


  1. I really enjoyed your list, I hadn't thought of Macbeth but that is one of my favourites too! I haven't read anything by Annie Caulfield but that one sounds really good so I shall have to go and have a look! Beyond Black is sitting on my to be read next pile, I'm really looking forward to it!

  2. Thanks Dot. Annie Caulfield is a great writer, I've read two of her books now and enjoyed them both.
    I still get chills when I think of Macbeth trying to wash the blood off his hands but not being able to get them clean.
    Looking forward to hearing what you think of Beyond Black.