Ten Books
aharesbreath
I have pinched this from gilli_ann, couldn't resist.

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard – they don’t have to be “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.

(Disclaimer, I came up with the books quickly and trying not to think too much but then I obviously took longer writing a bit about each. Also I have picked some series rather than individual books, sorry.)


Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit - Goes without saying really.

Lavondyss, Robert Holdstock - And of course Mythago Wood, without which Lavondyss wouldn't have come about, and which should probably be read first, but Lavondyss just reaches new heights of mythic fantasy perfection, I am stunned every time I read it.

Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky - I had my own Raskolnikovian crisis a few years before reading this, I stole a Cadburys chocolate eclair from the pic'n'mix at Woolworths, just to see if I could. It ended up with me hiding the sweet in the bin under layers of kitchen roll, and confessing to my sister in floods of tears. That's pretty much the same thing, right?

The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, Michelle Paver - I'm cheating by nominating the whole series, but they're quite short and have an over-arching story, they could easily have been one novel. These are quite recent, so I first read them in my late twenties and I remember wishing they'd been around when I was little because I would have absolutely adored them. But it doesn't really matter, I adore them now.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte - Dark and visual and visceral and just ugh... Love it.

The Wyrd Museum Trilogy, Robin Jarvis - I really need to re-read these, I can't think of what to say, but I know I loved them, there were Nornir and Odin's Ravens and Glastonbury Tor... And an awesome museum.

The Gone Away World, Nick Harkaway - This book, jeez, there's just so much of it. It takes a little while to get into and it takes a LOT of energy and concentration to keep up (for me anyway), but it is so worth it. I've only managed to read it once (the first time, cos I was desperate to know what was going on) subsequent attempts have tailed off, but it's seared into my mind. It was an exhausting but really fulfilling journey.

White Fang, Jack London - I was very much a nature fan when I was little, I loved this and it's counterpart the Call of the Wild, and the conflict between the wild and the domestic.

Ecce Homo, Michael Moorcock - Being a good Catholic, atheist, sff fan how could I resist a story where an agnostic hand-wringer invents a time machine, goes back to the time of Christ to see if Jesus was real, ends up being taken for Jesus, dies horribly and still doesn't know if Jesus is real or not. Lol.

I am Legend, Richard Matheson - Because it's just awesome, it's relatable and poignant and gently profound. None of the film versions have come close to doing it justice and even seem to have wilfully misunderstood the premise. Plus it's a quick, easy read, Matheson has a very engaging style and can wallop you with seriously heavy stuff with a really light touch. (See also The Shrinking Man.)
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