Top ten books

I had a discussion earlier with my housemate about which books would make my 'Top Ten' list. Wow, it's very hard to come up with a top ten. For a start, I would have to differentiate between books chosen because I think they're quality books and books chosen because they're 'comfort books' - ie, ones that have a special place in my heart for any reason, even if they're somewhat trashy books. I have to say I've found the task near impossible; and I suspect that a list I make today might be radically different from lists made tomorrow or next week... but anyway, here (in no particular order) is an attempt at my top ten list. I'll do a children's book list later on.

Top ten 'comfort' books - books that will always have a home on my shelves

To Kill A Mockingbird
- Harper Lee
Fortunately I read this before being forced to read it at school. I loved it for the character sketches and for the novelty of an adult book written entirely from the point of view of a child (who is still a child at the end). I wasn't even that concerned with Boo Radley coming out because I was so engrossed in the everyday stuff.

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
I love this for the wit and the 'in' jokes - because they're mostly literary or grammar/language jokes. This book caters to my Inner Nerd in a hugely entertaining way.

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
It's sentimental and preachy and the author moralises constantly but I still cry when Beth dies... every jolly time!

Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
What's not to love about a book where the author gives her favourite paragraphs a star rating?

The Chrysalids - John Wyndham
This book is where I developed my love for 'classic' science fiction... it was the Golden Age, in my opinion.

The Mapp and Lucia series - E. F. Benson
Difficult to describe; fun to read. Dry wit is my favourite kind!

The Belgariad series - David Eddings
Not really very well written, and at times very predictable and somewhat awkward, but these were the first fantasy novels I ever read so they're special to me. The characters feel like family.

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Wow, reading this was like going on the most fantastic journey ever. I read it during every spare second and it still took me weeks. I was so invested in the characters that I practically needed counselling when I finished it.

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
I wrote on this in my HSC without having read it. It's the only time I'd ever done that and I'm just lucky I did well despite myself. I read it later and kicked myself that I hadn't read it way back in high school. I would have liked it then as much as I like it now... admittedly, I do now find it hard to read it without picturing Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth from the wonderful BBC production from a few years ago.

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
It took me a long time to get past the bit where they cut off the girls' hair...

Hmmm... not a well developed list if one is looking for 'classic' literature, but this is my list and all the books on it are there because they mean something to me. The next list will be harder... I do love my children's books and I'm not sure I can keep it to ten. We'll see...


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