Monday 8 August 2011

Books do furnish a room, and shape a life.

I was musing over an idea for a post for this blog that I might write in a few days and it got me thinking about ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl, and how much that book gives me a happy, warm feeling inside. This made me think about other books that stirred up strong emotions when reading them, or bring back particularly happy memories. The fact that books hold this power to me means I like to keep hold of the books I have read, as they entwine my memories, and have contributed to the person I am today (and maybe just a little bit because I’m an obsessive hoarder…).

Here are some of the books that mean a lot to me (mostly children’s books to be honest, but I had to try not to get too carried away).

  • ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl. I adore all the stories of his that I ever read, and I got through pretty much all of them that are published. It’s hard to choose a favourite but there is something special about ‘Matilda’ that has stayed with me.
  • ‘Vlad the Drac’ by Ann Jungman. Perhaps not one that so many people have read but I absolutely loved it. A vegetarian vampire with a penchant for washing up liquid, wonderful stories. “Poor old Vlad, poor little Drac”.
  • The Usborne Puzzle World books. Fantastically entertaining. I remember being very excited to be old enough to move on to the more complex series.
  • ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’/‘The Jolly Postman, Or Other people’s Letters’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Absolutely wonderful book. I genuinely believe all children should read these at some point. Quaint little stories, and great fun seeing what’s in all the letters.
  • The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. To this day, thanks to these books, I have idealistic ideas about getting a group of friends together, packing up a picnic, and cycling off somewhere for an adventure.
  • ‘A Note of Madness’/ ‘A Voice in the Distance’ by Tabitha Suzuma (not for children). I adore all books written by Tabitha Suzuma but these are the first two I read, and indeed, ‘A Voice in the Distance’ was the first book to ever make me cry. So emotional, I didn’t want it to end. I want to read them again now my emotions have recovered from the last time. Brilliant stuff. Not enough people have read her books, and they are really missing out. Her latest novel, ‘Forbidden’ was absolutely fantastic and really makes you think about it a long time afterward. I think I must have seemed very anti-social whilst reading it, and a few days after, as I was so wrapped up in what was happening in the story.
  • ‘Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man’ by Claire Tomalin. I really felt that this biography brought the world of Thomas Hardy to life, and for some reason inspired me to be creative. Loved it.

I didn’t include ‘Harry Potter’ on this list as the series got a whole post of its own last week. I would absolutely love to hear which books have been important to you throughout your life, so please do comment and share your favourite books.

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