Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Top Ten: Books You Shouldn't Forget About
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the topic is: Top Ten "Older" Books You Don't Want People To Forget About (you can define older however you wish. Basically just backlisted books you think are great. Basically the point is to share books that could be forgotten about in the midst of all the new releases).
This was a toughie, because I wasn't sure where to draw the line at "older". I decided to focus on the "forgetting" part, and came up with some books I think people have a tendency to overlook. So, in no particular order...
1. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Such a stunning book that not enough people read.
2. The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. This series was such a major part of my childhood, but I fear it's kinda daggy now, which makes me sad. I know they tried to rejig and relaunch it a few years ago, but it didn't seem to really take off. BSC for life!
3. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene. Like the BSC, I loved the Nancy Drew novels growing up, and I really hope people are reading them for generations to come. They're totally dated, of course, but that's part of their charm.
4. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. The Queen of YA has produced some amazing books in the past ten years, and she says herself Alibrandi is her "weakest" work - but even her weakest is absolutely brilliant. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for what was, for a long time, the only Marchetta available.
5. Evelina by Fanny Burney. OK, I'm going really old-school for this one - Evelina came out in the 1700s! The epistolary novel isn't perfect, but it's entertaining enough, and more importantly it paved the way for female novelists like Jane Austen and the Brontes.
6. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell. I feel like Gaskell is overlooked too often in general, but North and South is undoubtedly the most popular of her novels, followed closely by Wives and Daughters. Mary Barton was her first novel, which she started writing to help move on from her grief over losing her son. It's tinged with darkness and sorrow, but is still a remarkable and lovely read.
7. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. This is another 'classic' author that I think gets overlooked quite frequently, but I adore The Forsyte Saga. Unlike many modern "sagas", this actually is one, spanning multiple generations in the Forsyte family and tracking the many dramas the clan attracts.
8. The Children of Men by P.D. James. Dystopia is (a little too) hot at the moment, but many of the new YA series being churned out just don't hold a candle to some of the older stuff - like The Children of Men, one of my favourite dystopias of all time. Chilling reading.
9. Checkers by John Marsden. This novella is probably one of Marsden's least-read works, but I still remember the first time I read it, when I was about 12. It shattered me.
10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I didn't know what to expect from this book about an autistic teenager when I read it for a book club a couple of years ago, but I was absolutely blown away. I recommend it to pretty much everyone.