A fellow blogger and friend, Kate Shrewsday, asked a few of us to list our ten favourite books for the fun of it. As I watched the others listing their favourites, I felt a bit daunted by the task. What if mine were too childish or too simple, ridiculous or embarrassing? Do you ever feel embarrassed by what you enjoy reading?
Within my family and groups of friends, there are avid readers and the picky pickers! Throw a book at an avid reader and they happily chomp their way through the pages, judging as they go along whether the book is worthy or not. The picky pickers on the other hand refuse to start a book unless they feel comfortable it is within the genre they prefer, not too long, not too short, decent blurb to entice them and a pretty cover. Of course by that time the avids have devoured a couple of adventures and moved on to other meatier titles.
What I discovered is that for both the picky pickers and avids, they refuse to read something that would embarrass them if placed on a list. This would have to exclude fifty shades, though most of my friends don’t feel anything about having read the book. Only me blushing then? Their portfolio of books range from the classics to modern writers with street cred – something we as writers look at as the holy grail.
So how did I get a list that I felt wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny? Well, I read what I enjoy. It doesn’t include the street creds’ books, unless someone absolutely swears by a book that it’s a must read, a what are you wasting your time reading anything else kind of book. I find my list filled with books I have stumbled upon from childhood up to now. Books that have kept me in good company throughout the years with their beloved dog ears, toast with melted butter stains and the smell of old libraries trapped within their pages; books that have travelled with me across miles of planet to wherever my suitcase has stopped. My books have come from charity shops, RSPCA events and car boot sales. I am a collector of the unwanted and homeless. Actually most of my Stephen Kings have been incredible finds in odd shops and market stalls!
They may not be flashy or classic, educational or amongst the greats, but they have certainly entertained me and I still enjoy reading them again and again.
This is my list and I do hope you add yours in the comments or link to this page. Let’s see what books we can pull out of the woodwork to recommend to each other.
1. Firestarter by Stephen King
2. Scarlet Shadows by Emma Drummond
3. Any Nancy Drew book by Caroline Keene
4. The Shadow in the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
5. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
6. A Book of Ghosts and Goblins by Ruth Manning-Sanders
7. The Land of Happy Hours by Stella Mead
8. Any Robert Crais books (they’re all good!)
9. Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby
Picture from indiatimes.com