miwahni (miwahni) wrote,

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Ten Books meme

I saw this on byslantedlight's journal and thought I'd give it a go - Rules: List ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard – they don’t have to be “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.

Most of mine are books that I read years and years ago, including a couple of non-fiction books that really made an impression. And all but one of them I own. So here, in no particular order:

1. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs. My first class teacher read this out to us in instalments; it took years before I could walk past a banksia tree without shuddering and looking over my shoulder in fear of the Big Bad Banksia men.

2. Lord of The Rings by JRR Tolkien. This was my comfort book when I was stranded at boarding school. I used to climb up into the oak tree outside my dormitory and spend hours up there reading this. And re-reading. I wished I could find a way to Middle Earth.

3. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I loved it for the good look at Indian culture as well as for the interesting story.

4. The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart, which awakened my interest in Arthurian legend. I was reading this at the same time that Arthur of the Britons was airing on afternoon tv, making it even more compelling to read.

5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I was the only person in my class to hand in a positive essay / review of this book in third form. The only one. I loved it to bits and couldn't understand why no-one else in the class did. And then ten years later, watching The Wrath of Khan, and recognising the quotes - that was something special.

6. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibson. Because seriously, that is as much fun as you can have between the covers of a book.

7. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer. Read this in my late teens and it was like a light bulb going off above my head. The first book that really made me question the status quo, and question the way society seemed to operate. Probably time for a re-read.

8. The Australian Ugliness by Robin Boyd. Boyd is a very famous (in Australia) architect, on par with Harry Seidler, and his book critiquing the urban landscape that I grew up in really made me sit up and pay attention. Originally borrowed from the library to read; it made such an impression that years later I hunted down a copy on ebay.

9. The Story of Heather by May Wynny. Way before I read Black Beauty, or the Silver Brumby books. Heather was a pit pony, and this book was responsible for an enduring love of horses. My copy has an inscription in the front, given to my mother on her 14th birthday by her loving parents in 1952. That's really special to me by itself.

10. Pennington's Seventeenth Summer by K M Peyton. Your misunderstood, under-appreciated, frustrated-by-rules-and-boundaries teenage angst story which really struck a chord when I read it, aged 14. It's not high art, not even particularly good literature, but the eponymous character resonated with me in a way that few others ever did.

So that's my ten.
Tags: books, memes

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