Thursday, 17 March 2011
Top Five: Fave Books of All Time
I was obsessed with Ever After when I was 12. One of my favourite lines was when Prince Henry asks Danielle to pick a book that she likes, and she replies, "I could no sooner choose a favourite star in the heavens." At the time, I thought this was, like, way deep, and quickly adopted it as my own attitude towards books. Now I just think it's super cheesy, but I have to admit it still kinda applies. As an avid reader, I come across so many books that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (and a few that I hate, hate, hate), but over the years I've managed to whittle down a rough top five list of books that stay with me and repeatedly draw me back in. So, here goes:
1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Dickens is my favourite author - I just adore his beautiful prose, quirky characters and sprawling stories - and David Copperfield is the epitome of these things. I always feel sad when I've finished reading it, not because of the ending, but because it ends. Even though it's mega-sized, I still can never get enough of Davey boy and the inhabitants of his world - from Betsey Trotwood and Mr Micawber to Steerforth and even the icky Uriah Heep. OK, I just talked myself into reading it again right now.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Picking up this book is like diving into a big, comforting pool of marshmallows, hugs and sunshine (corny, but true!). I first read it when I was 16 and have revisited it at least once a year since then, but my introduction to the story happened when I was nine and the amazing BBC series aired here. I watched my gran watching it, and I remember her explaining to me what prejudice meant and then telling me all about Elizabeth and Mr Darcy and their pride and prejudices (of course). She then lent it to me on VHS, and I still have her copy of episodes four to six. I treasure it, even though I can no longer watch it (thank goodness for remastered DVDs).
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read this for the first time last year and was immediately blown away. I initially resisted reading it because it's narrated by Death and it sounded a tad morbid for my liking, but I was SO glad I persisted because it's just brilliant. I tell everyone I know that they HAVE to read it (it's missing from the pic above because it's currently on loan); I just can't rave enough about this beautifully written, surprisingly uplifting Australian (!) masterpiece.
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This haunting tale really strikes a chord with me in the way it deals with love and loss. Frankenstein's desperate attempt to avoid losing everything he holds dear has the opposite effect, and I can't help but wish this was different every time I read it. Of course, that wouldn't make the book anywhere near as powerful and I wouldn't love it nearly as much. But I am a sucker for happily ever afters.
5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. This book has it all - it even says so itself: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles." It just makes me happy. 'Nuff said.