So a short while ago Robyn got a book swop going on her Bookclub blog and I joined in without thinking twice - as most of you know I am one of life's perpetual readers - have been since I was 5 years old and will be until I can see no more. There is very little better than a good book.
What she asked of us is to send someone our
favorite novel of all time. Wow, such a difficult decision for me as I
love so many. I have had a list in the back of a note book for years - I
add to it, I take away, but I have not ordered it in numbers for years.
And I did find it daunting to do - in fact, I have settled on a top 10
(in no specific order) and then a top 10 to 20 etc. Down to 40 - I have
some that I have fallen out out the top 40 as I have added new books. I
use the following criteria to build my list: 1. I have to immediately
think that I need this on my top list, 2. I possibly gave it a 10/10
when reviewing it in my book journal, 3. I want to read it again or have
read it several times and 4. I must remember the name and author's name
- that way I know it stuck well enough to recommend to someone else.So I
decided to send her my top love story ever -" Love in the time of
In return, Shayne sent
me " Five quarters of the Orange" by Joanne Harris, a book that I
actually have a history with - I have read many of her books (loved
"Chocolat and "Coastliners" best) but somehow gave up on this book and
had to give it back to someone I borrowed it from - so I never finished
it. So now, I will attempt it again but only after I finish "7 Dae" the
new Deon Meyer released today and delivered to me by the friendly
Kalahari folk this morning. I took my lunch time, had a coffee and read
the first 65 pages. But back to my top 10 books.
Although through the years I have taken care of
reading the prize winners as well as most of the classics (yes, I have
read the whole of War and Peace), I must stress that this is a very very
personal top 10. Those that spoke to me, those that moved me and those
that I love to read time and time again.
So, my top 10 books of all time (in alphabetical order):
Atonement - Ian McEwan
McEwan is the master observer of the human emotions and dealing with
it. This is just such a masterfully told story of a young girl's world
going wrong and influencing so many around her. Stunning read - have
read it 3 times already and have never seen the movie - I have to admit
that I am scared the movie will take some of the magic away
Lord of the Rings Trilogy - JRR Tolkien
a classic - the very very best fantasy ever written. Have read the
whole trilogy twice, and some a third time.For once, the movies did well
with the books. And do read The Hobbit before you tackle these.
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
best love story ever written - spanning over more than 50 years. I can
just imagine the two on the boat at the end of it. I have read it at
least 4 times and want to read it again. Never saw the movie but
apparently it is crap. So just don't - read the book! It will make you
believe in love forever.
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
A wonderful story of the birth and the life of a man and two nations - colorfully woven with the
magic of India. Not exactly sure of how many times I have read it (I
do not always make the note in my book), but I bought my own copy after
having borrowed one as a student.
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I know, two books by one writer (which must make him my favorite
although I am not so sure about his newer books - he was the Nobel
literature prize winner in 1982). The magical family saga that
introduced magical realism to the world. Stunning - but remember to
refer to the list of characters - after 4 reads I still sometimes get
confused between all the Aurelios.
People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
more recent first read -The magical story of a little Jewish prayer
book and how it came to be saved through many wars by many people of
other religions. Read my full review on my Bookclub blog
The Book Thief - Markus Zusaf
have only read it this year for the first time, but a magical magical
book and story. In general I avoid World War 2 stories but this one is
wonderful and imaginative and so uplifting. Do read it.
The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
family saga over many generations taking place in Chile and to the
background of the never ending South American wars and civil wars. I
love how she portrays woman and the relationships between them. I have
read it 4 times and the movie is ok - great actors, but totally ignores
one of the generations.
The Songlines - Bruce Chatwin
a doubt the most unusual choice in the list and a very personal one - I
am quite sure you will not find it on many "Top 100 books" lists. But
to me, something that speaks to me about man, and our restless nature. I
have read it many times, lost my original copy when I loaned it to
someone and had to re-order one. I only know one other person who have
ever read it - Dana Snyman, the travel writer, and he says it is one of
his favorites too.
Wuthering Heights -Emily Bronte
only real classic on the list - there has to be one and currently this
is my top one ( some of the others are Modern Classics thought). I love
the story of Heathcliff and Catherine and the incredible moody
atmosphere that permeates the whole book. One to be read over and over
again. During dark and light moods.
So please tell me - who is your favorite writer and which
are your top books (be it 1, 3 or 10) . And have your read any of my
top 10 and what is your opinion of it?