Thursday 12 January 2012

My Three Books

What three books would you rescue from a burning building?

Thank you to A Mummy Too who has set the challenge to list your 3 favourite books.

Actually what I'm trying to do is identify one book for each stage of my life. One from my childhood, one from adulthood and one from the grave. No not really although that would be interesting wouldn't it? What book would you want to be buried with in case you weren't really dead and needed something to read to pass the time? But then you would need one of those clever book light thingummies. And spare batteries, because you know they would run out.
Have I digressed?
Oh yes, the third literary category is parenthood, what is your favourite book to read to your child? Do your kids like the same book night after night after night to the point that you can recite it with your eyes closed and the any sense of feeling is eradicated through sheer boredom? Not just me then.
So the challenge is to choose just one book from childhood, adulthood and parenthood.

My love of mysteries started early with The Secret Seven, Enid Blyton.

The Secret Seven, Enid Blyton

Every Christmas and birthday I would ask for a new Secret Seven book and I would devour it immediately, right up to the last few pages when I would realise that it would soon be finished and I would have to wait months for the next one and I would savour the last few minutes of pleasure. Sadly, Mum and Dad are not big on childhood mementos and the books have all gone so I am going to have to re-buy the collection to ensure that my children get to experience The Secret Seven.
After I had consumed all of the books in the Secret Seven Series, I must have progressed to another series of mysteries which (given old age) I can no longer remember, before I moved on to status books, you know, ones that were at least an inch thick and involved *ahem* romance, like Riders.

How is it possible to choose just one book? If I was to choose a classic, having studied English Literature, it would be a Jane Austin, with Pride and Prejudice being my favourite. But the truth is I am a sucker for a good thriller, a suspense, a mystery (see Childhood) so an Agatha Christie could be top of the list but don't ask me to choose just one of her iconic stories.
Racking my brains and scanning the 'library' shelves, there are some great books there that are worthy of the short list like Donna Tartt's "The Secret History", a page turner that has got me turning the pages a couple of times, Margaret Atwood's "The Blind Assassin" which I could not put down on one memorable holiday or Anne Rice's "The Witching Hour" is the only fantasy novel I have ever read that grabbed me from the start and wouldn't let me put it down.
But the one book that rises above them all is Tracy Chevalier's "Girl With A Pearl Earring".

Girl With A Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier

Much like I would be desperate to get the next Secret Seven mystery in my childhood, I pace the pavement outside the bookshop to get the new Tracey Chevalier novel. Her style is magical, simplistic and evocative, taking a slice of history and spinning a lace like web of a story around it that traps you and will not let you go until the final page is turned and you cannot help but let out a little sigh.

One classic that is right up there for me is "Peepo" by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Lovely illustrations that reveal new pleasures every time you read it, and one that I will keep for many years to come.
A more modern book is one a friend of mine bought for my eldest son for his 4th birthday. It is about poo so of course, is a great hit in our house. It is "The Mole Who Knew It Was None Of His Business" by Werner Holzwarth.

The Mole Who Knew It Was None Of His Business, Werner Holzwarth

Lovely illustrations, great animal characters and the best descriptions of animal poo you will ever read. I defy you to get bored of reading this to your children or for your children to stop giggling.

On that note I am off to colour co-ordinate my book collections.

What would your three books be?

Join in with A Mummy Too and have a gander at what other people class as their top three books.



  1. Hurrah, so glad you've joined in :) Great book choices. Enid Blyton just keeps showing up, doesn't she? The illustrations for The Story of the Little Mole look lovely - will definitely be getting it to read with my lot!

  2. Are you me?!!

    How bizarre is that?!! Girl with a Pearl Earring was second choice!

    What else do you read? I need some inspiration to download for my kindle!



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