I saw this over at Shelley’s, and thought it sounded like a great question for all of you:
“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”
Here are the first 15 books that came to mind when I considered this challenge (in alphabetical order):
Animalia – Graeme Base
The first of many amazing Graeme Base picture books I have read. His beautiful and detailed illustrations always fascinate me. I can remember spending many hours as a teen making lists of items on each alphabetical page of Animalia and could probably quite easily entertain myself now in the same way.
The Colour of Magic (and the Discworld series) – Terry Pratchett
The first book of the Discworld series may not be the best, but it marks the beginning of one of the great series concepts of our generation.
The Comedy of Errors – Shakespeare
My first Shakespearean play, read at the age of 10. You never forget your first.
Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
Such a magnificent book, both entertaining and enriching. I often marvel at how incredibly diverse Eliot’s general knowledge was and reflect on the irony that the book discusses themes of intolerance and prejudice and the need to acknowledge your true self, but it was written by a woman under a male pseudonym.
The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
Intelligent, witty, and entertaining writing with an element of suspense, mystery and social commentary – what’s not to love? After finding this book, I devoured the rest of the Thursday Next series. This is the kind of book I could simply read over and over.
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day – Dr Seuss, Jack Prelutsky, Lane Smith
Really, just about any book by Dr Seuss lingers in the mind. Fox in Socks, The Lorax, Hop on Pop, I can read with my Eyes Shut, Oh, the Thinks you can Think – they are all amazing and memorable. I discovered Diffendoofer Day, based on a manuscript that was left half completed with Seuss died, a few years ago. The completed version is a celebration of being an individual and developing a love of learning.
Little Hut of Leaping Fishes – Chiew Siah Tei
This book was just so beautifully written that I just kind of relaxed into the story as I read it. There was a sense of poetry about the writing that made reading this book enjoyable in a literary sense as well as being an enjoyable story about a fascinating period of Chinese history. (Suite101 review)
Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
An ordinary boy becomes an internationally renowned dancer – this amazing life story is so inspiring but also feels incredibly real. (Suite101 review)
Nation – Terry Pratchett
Proof that Pratchett can write more than pseudo-fantasy/satire. A wonderful book exploring the nature of leadership and cultural legacy as well as being an interesting and enjoyable read. (Suite101 review)
The Other Hand – Chris Cleave
A book that is so well written and entertaining that it takes a moment for you to realise just how deep and significant the message is. Definitely a book that leaves you evaluating your response to the issues raised. Release as Little Bee in the US. (Suite101 review)
Pawn of Prophecy (and the Belgariad) – David Eddings
I was just a little bit in love with (Bel)Garion when I read this book as a teen. My copy is almost falling apart from being read so often.
Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
I read this for the first time as a high school text and have read it regularly and lovingly since. I now picture Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as the central couple, but otherwise my enjoyment and fascination with the beautiful symmetry of the novel remain unchanged. A timeless and enduring classic.
Seven Little Australians – Ethel Turner
I guess this is the Australian equivalent of Bridge to Terabithia. This was one of the first novels I read as a child that showed me that a wonderful story doesn’t always end happily. It also captured the atmosphere of Australia at the time in which it was set.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
I can still remember how this book made me feel when I read it in early high school (aged around 13), particularly one of the final scenes where Scout stands on Boo Radley’s porch and contemplates the events Boo has observed from his window. I loved the idea of needing to walk in another man’s shoes before you can really understand him.
A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
My first Bryson travelogue and most certainly not my last. I love his clever insightful writing and eye for detail and his wonderful sense of the ridiculous.
What books linger in your memory? Mention them in the comments or link to your own Booking Through Thursday post, if you have one.by