Thursday, 12 December 2013

Meaningful Five

Earlier this the week the lovely Jen Williams, who I stalk on Twitter and whose debut novel I picked as my WoW last week, was inspired by a meme she saw on Facebook and asked everybody to name their top five books which are important to them personally. If you search on Twitter using #meaningful5 you can join in the fun too but I decided, like a few others, to make a blog post about my top five so everyone can see some of the books that helped shape my reading. These five are in no particular order, I had a hard enough time just choosing five never mind picking which one was the most important! I have cheated slightly with my first choice as The Dark Is Rising Sequence handily contains all five books in one, a good thing otherwise I could have been doing this next December whilst I decided which one was my favorite of the series...

The Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper
If your only experience of these wonderful books is the appalling film adaptation starring a pre-Hunger Games Alexander Ludwig and Christopher Eccleston then I beg you, please go and read the books. They are amongst some of the best British children's books written in the last fifty years and the only resemblance between the books & that movie are the characters names, not even the former Doctor could save that mess!

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner
Originally published in 1960 I think this is the first ever fantasy book I read. Along with its sequel, The  Moon of Gomrath, it cemented Alan Garner's place on my list of best authors and kick-started my oft mentioned love of mythology and folklore. Even though he is eighty next year Garner published a third book in the series, Boneland, last year which I own but can't quite bring myself to read and whilst the first two are most definitely for children the conclusion to the Tales of Alderley is an adult novel.

When Marnie Was There - Joan G Robinson
When Marnie Was There could well have been the first book I ever read that made me cry. I felt a strange affinity with Marnie and re-read this monthly for years! It was originally published in 1967 and I think it's as good today as it was the first time I read it as a rather precocious eight year old reader (not in 1967 I hasten to add, I'm not that old!) I have literally just discovered that Studio Ghibli are making this into an animated movie next year and I'm still veering between happiness and horror about this. As much as I adore Studio Ghibli Marnie has an incredibly special place in my heart and I don't know if I could bear seeing it on the big screen... When Marnie Was There is currently out of print so if you want to read it check your library or be prepared to spend quite a bit of money on a used copy (some of which are going for up to £50/$80!!!) I'm off to lock both my first edition and my tatty paperback in a safe :)

The Wood Wife - Terri Windling
I stumbled across this one by accident, I was looking up Brian Froud to see if my collection was complete and discovered he did the wonderful cover art above. Without even reading the synopsis I set out to track down a copy which was hard at the time as it was out of print in the UK and almost prohibitively expensive second-hand. I persevered though and am so glad as Ms Windling's work is amazing. Coupled with the fact that she is also an artist, the words spring to life on every page. If you're a fan of Charles de Lint and/or urban fantasy read it now!

Mythago Wood - Robert Holdstock
 The first book in the Mythago Wood series and probably my favorite out of all seven books, Robert Holdstock's writing is sublime and full of all the folklore & mythology a girl could want. Along with Charles de Lint these books are what refueled my love of fantasy, folklore and legend.

And because we all know I'm hopeless at sticking to numbers on lists here's what else I would have added if it was ten titles instead of five... Loved doing this, what five books would you choose?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I didn't know any of those books before, so I've added some to my TBR list on goodreads ;)


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