This week’s topic on I Swim for Oceans’ weekly “Let’s Talk” link up is: Books That You Value the Most. Buckle up, this could be a very long, long post!
There are books I value for their content, for the escape they offered me at a time in my life when I sorely need it, for their life lessons, or even because I have a particularly beautiful edition. I’m attached to nearly all of my books for one (or more) of these reasons, so it’s going to be tough to pick just a few! But here goes, in no particular order:
Matilda by Roald Dahl
I grew up on Dahl. His stories narrated my childhood, taught me how far the reach of the imagination can be and gave me unlikely heroes and heroines to whom I aspired. Like Matilda. She won my heart in the first few chapters as she learned to read and devoured books whole. I could relate to her, and she’s probably the literary character I love the most.
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
I came late to Harry Potter – I only wish these books had been around when I was a child! These are, both literally and figuratively, magic. Rowling’s world is one I retreat to again and again – I’m sure these will be the most often re-read books in my collection for years to come!
The Adrian Mole Books by Sue Townsend
I went through a phase of reading pretty much anything with “journal” or “diary” in the title, and came across these. It’s hard to describe their charm if you haven’t experienced it – when described they sound…. well, weird and a bit unappealing. But they are hilarious and I loved poor, hapless Adrian.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
This is at once one of the most deeply affecting and deeply disturbing books I’d read when I first picked it up. It is now tied by… well, the rest of Irving’s novels. But it has stuck with me, and I am forever in awe of his writing talent.
A Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides
One of the best sex guides out there. I know it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the books on this list, but I’ve read extensively on the subject and this book covers everything (seriously, it’s HUGE *insert “that’s what she said” joke here*) and I love that it gives practical, no-nonsense information with a great sense of humour.
Wall and Piece by Banksy
I’ve loved Banksy’s work for over a decade now – since well before he shot to international notoriety and became the best-known unidentified person in the world. I love his artistic style, but more than anything I love his witty social commentary and inventive concepts.
Graffiti World and Graffiti Women by Nicholas Ganz
Both of these books contain hundreds of amazing pieces of art from around the world that reflect a huge range of styles and media. And, for an art form that is quite often (erroneously) perceived as a male one, the fact that Ganz devoted an entire book to women’s contributions blew me away.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Funniest. Book. EVER.
Travels by Michael Crichton
I’ve re-read this over and over. Judge Crichton for ending up on supermarket shelves if you must, but the man could write. This is my favourite of his books as it’s actually an autobiographical account of his time in med school, and subsequent travels. Hugely entertaining.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This book is just so… endearing. I honestly can’t do it justice in a two-sentence description, so I’m not going to try. Just trust me, it’s lovely. Also, the author wrote a moderately successful book-turned-Disney-fave: 101 Dalmatians.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Who didn’t fall in love with Anne (with an “e”) Shirley? I certainly did. I could relate to her love of books, her rough treatment by her peers and her need to find that one “bosom friend” who would not only fill a social gap in her life, but be there for her when the rest of the world proved, yet again, that it wasn’t. I also came to love the Cuthberts and the relationship that developed between them and this one awkward, accident-prone girl who stole their hearts.
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
I picked this up when I was about 12 in Heathrow on my way home from visiting family in the UK. I read the whole book on the 8 hour flight home, and have loved Bridget ever since. I’m about to re-read the whole series so as to fully appreciate Mad About the Boy!
The Trixie Belden Books by Julie Campbell
I can’t remember how I first stumbled across this series – I think I found one in a used bookstore – but I loved them. Kind of like Nancy Drew, but the characters seemed more varied and likeable, and they stuck with me. Trixie herself is a tomboy who keeps accidentally getting into trouble – or seeking it out in order to solve her latest mystery. I loved these books and wish I could read them again with the mind of a child to re-live their magic.
I could go on, but I think I should probably stop there! Which books have a special place in your heart? Share in the comments! //<![CDATA[ var sc_project=10144299; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_security="82f610c9"; var scJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://secure." : "http://www."); document.write("”); //]]>