Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Fifteen Books

Just a quickie... Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you, right off the top of your head.

My mum developed a love of reading and using my imagination into me as a young child - bless you, mum!

[NB. These are in no particular order... of course there are others, but these were the first fifteen that popped into my mind]

  • The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien [amazing scope interwoven on so many levels... I've actually read it at least seven times. The secular bible, almost!]
  • My Brother Jack by George Johnston [my favourite Aussie author... I've even made the 'pilgrimage' to his gravesite! Amazing semi-autobiographical novel of growing-up in Australia in the mid 20th cent.]
  • The Far Road by George Johnston [ditto; the clash between personalization and reporting things as a member of the press... a powerful tale; unfortunately long out-of-print, but I spent about 15 years tracking down my own copies of all of his work]
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel [just... wow! This is one book I'll read over and over, but await a few years between, just for the 'wow' factor]
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell [who's in control? What if what we think is not right? Who decides what is 'right'?]
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell ["All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"]
  • The 'Wilt' series by Tom Sharpe [good for a silly laugh]
  • Life Studies by Robert Lowell [my favourite poet... turning 'spilling ur guts and finding skeletons in ur family closet' into an art-form - bravo!]
  • The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer [what was it like to be on the losing side on the Eastern Front in WWII?]
  • Anthology by The Beatles [great insiders' look into the life and price of fame]
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding [what are we really like when push comes to shove? Poor Simon :( ]
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy [terribly atmospheric, dreaming of bettering himself yet wholly unable to due to his lowly place in the world]
  • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt [amazingly personally-written heart-wrentching stuff. "Tis".]
  • Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy [triliogy in five books] by Douglas Adams [What can I say about Douglas Adams but - love it! My absurdist side adores his take on reality.]
  • On the Beach by Nevil Shute [great concept; stuck in my head from when I first read it as a young teen, and still own a the same copy now]

I wholly appreciate that books and reading, just like music, is a wholly personal thing (again, it's all about the 'receptive resonance / connectiveness' between creator and audience) - and that's quite OK with me :)
Peas be with ewe
Mal :)

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  1. I remember reading a lot of those books at school and I will never forget the scene in My Brother Jack when Jack uses the toilet in the house and shits on his boss :)

  2. Hey- good idea to transfer this from Facebork- I think I'll do the same. It would be interesting to do the exercise in a year or two and see if a different batch come to mind, or how much overlap occurs.I loved quite a few on your list, but they weren't all in my top 15. I should also read a few of yours, too- never know what I might be missing! Just finishing a fantastic book by Jeanette Winterson: The Stone Gods. Some of the writing is mesmerising, and the tale is very topical.

  3. Oh yay Neville Shute!! And all of your choices are so interesting that I will seek some of them out.

    What about "The Day of the Triffids"? Must look that one up and find out who wrote it. We did that in fourth form I think.

  4. Tis good to see what other books people find a good read too. 'Day of the Triffids' by John Wyndham slipped my mind too, as did "The Name of the Rose" by U Eco.