Thursday, August 17

One Book

Am at home this afternoon. Women's things suck.

Nell has tagged me for a 'book' list, so here it is:

1. One book that changed my life: The Oxford Companion to English Literature. The middle school I attended had a tradition of giving one book to each departing pupil, which they got to choose, and I picked this. I wanted a book I would constantly refer to and get really good mileage out of, but something that was more exciting than an ordinary dictionary. I have turned to this book many times over the years: when I wanted to learn more about Shakespearean characters, classic writers, outlines of Must Read books, and writing styles.

2. One book I have read more than once: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. This was my favourite book all through childhood, and remains my favourite book to this day. Apparently JK Rowling has also named it as one of her favourite books, so I am in good company. This story is beautiful -- the writing even more so -- and I still pick this up and re-read it every couple of years. I even bought myself a new copy about eight years ago so my original childhood one wouldn't get too worn out.

3. One book I would want on a desert island: Hmm... tough one. It would have to be something pretty big, I think, because I read quickly. But then again, it depends how long I'm stranded and what else there is to do. Rather boringly, I suppose something like the SAS Survival Handbook might be very useful.

4. One book that made me laugh: Things to Do by Nell Dixon. Okay, it's not published yet, but since I'm the author's critique partner I get the "CP's benefit" of reading Nell's work as she writes it. You have all got a lot to look forward to with this book. Nell's characters, the situations they get into, and the things they say had me laughing out loud as I critiqued this book (there were lots of red pen "LOL"s). Gilly is one of my favourites in this book, but I also hold a special place in my heart for Mr G and his backseat karaoke ;) It's out on August 29th.

5. One book that made me cry: I don't think I've cried at many books, but the most recent one I can remember is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Apparently more characters are due to die in number seven. Gulp.

6. One book I wish I’d written: Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani. This book is the first in a trilogy, all of which I consumed in just a couple of weeks one summer a couple of years ago. If you haven't read them, you simply must. They are some of the best books I've ever read and the characters are still with me. The good news is that a fourth instalment is coming in September -- early birthday present to self.

7. One book I wish had never been written: Hmm, another tough one. I might have to go with American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis. I know it's cult reading, but it's also the vilest thing I've ever read. It's usually included in lists of classic twentieth-century novels, but whether the writing is revolutionary or not, I just can't get past the content. Sorry.

8. One book I am currently reading: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley. My NWS report mentioned Susanna Kearsley twice (once as a comparison to my manuscript -- eep), so I immediately sourced out some of her books. This is the first one I have read, and I can't put it down. It's part ghost-story, part romance, set around an archaeology dig in Scotland. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this author's books.

9. One book I have been meaning to read: Ye Gads, there are about five hundred! But the one that is sitting on my shelf, staring at me, tapping its foot and raising an eyebrow at me is The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. If you read my blog regularly you will know that I read Rebecca for the first time a couple of months ago and absolutely adored it. I'd tried THOTS last year, on the dual recommendations of a colleague (Hi Anne!) and Nell, but couldn't get into it. Given how much I loved Rebecca, I'm determined to try again with this one.

I tag Phillipa Ashley, Fiona Harper, and Sam B. (if you can do it on your blog!) to complete their "One Book" lists.


Nell Dixon said...

Hope you're feeling better. Wow, I'm blushing over Things to Do. Guess I'd better hurry up with Places to Go when Charlie's finished. :)

Lis said...

Hope you're feeling better :)

Michelle Styles said...

I love and adore The Little White Horse. It is such a wonderful book.
Have you read Linnets and Valerians?

Phillipa said...

OMG - I've never been tagged before. Er..thanks Jess. P x