So the challenge —
List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Nominate your friends!
Here are mine:
1) Jurassic Park, of course. Made me re-think my entire approach to life. Also has dinosaurs.
2) Pride and Prejudice. When I was a kid I hated Jane Austen, but that’s because I was young and stupid. I love her wit and sarcasm, even if she is a bit fluffy sometimes.
3) Out of the Blue – Simon Armitage. A poem rather than a book, but around this time of year, we could all do worse than pause and read this harrowingly beautiful piece.
4) Reconstructing Amelia – Kimberly McCreight. I’ve read loads of YA fiction, loads of stories of loss, and of hidden lives, AND I don’t have kids and yet for some reason this book has really stayed with me ever since I read it. Brilliant, I thought.
5) Catch 22. It got under my skin and I didn’t like it at all. Sort of like the Bubonic Plague, I guess.
6) The Woman in Black – OK, the REAL scares come at the play version, but the novel is hauntingly difficult to shake off. Hill’s use of minutiae and her absolute immersion in the genre makes for a tale that really gets inside your bones. It’s not even particularly scary, per se, but it is deeply unsettling.
7) How to Be a Woman. This didn’t quite survive a second reading the way I would have liked, but if I ever have a daughter, this is going to be her 13th birthday present. I don’t care how much swearing there is in it. It should be required reading, as far as I’m concerned.
8) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – unsurprising really, though actually not as brilliantly written as I first remember, but there’s no doubting its impact or relevance.
9) Uncle Dynamite. Wodehouse is incredible – any of his books could be on here, but this one was always the one I most enjoyed, as ridiculous as it it is.
10) The Da Vinci Code. Ok, it’s ridiculous, but I absolutely loved it, and I love all that ‘insider trading’ stuff with the secret codes and all the rest. I don’t care if it’s true or not, it’s just great fun.
I nominate everyone who follows me on Twitter – get talking about your favourite books!