04 September 2014

Ten Favourite Reads

I was just nominated by a friend (who just happened to be the supervising prof for my Master's thesis) to take part in the "Ten Favourite Reads" challenge. So I rose to it (the challenge, I mean). I had to resist the urge to primarily list serious works of literature in order to make myself look good to the academics via whose postings I received the challenge, and stop myself from feeling self-conscious about including Georgette Heyer and Rosamunde Pilcher in that list. Well, actually, Pilcher didn't make the Top-10 list, sad to say - but more on that in a minute. So here it is, the honest list of ten favourite books. In fact, I couldn't pick just ten favourite books - more than half the list would have been taken up with Austen, she did write six novels. So I just picked my favourites of the favourites: ten favourite authors, and then the one story I might, by a slim margin, like better than their other works. Here goes, in no particular order:

Jane Austen: Sense & Sensibility
Georgette Heyer: Venetia
J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
C. S. Lewis: The Horse and His Boy
Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters
Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night
Agatha Christie: Murder on the Links
Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones
L. M. Montgomery: The Blue Castle
Brothers Grimm: "Snow White and Rose Red"

I'm sure you're shocked and amazed at the list; you had no idea I like Austen and Heyer and the Brothers Grimm. Yeah, well.

But then, I ran into a problem: there were others (and some of them, yes, serious classic literature) that I also like - they're sort of my almost-favourites. So I ended up with a second list of ten, the runners-up:

Wilhelm Hauff: "Zwerg Nase"
M. M. Kaye: The Ordinary Princess
Rosamunde Pilcher: The End of Summer
Patricia C. Wrede: Dealing With Dragons
Diana Wynne Jones: The Nine Lives of Christopher Chant
Jean Little: From Anna
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Die Leiden des jungen Werther
George Elliot: Middlemarch
Edith Nesbit: Harding's Luck
Carola Dunn: Smuggler's Summer

And I'm sure if I kept going, I could end up with a third and fourth and fifth list, ad infinitum. Or, if I actually spelled out all of my favourite books by all these favourite authors, there'd be over a hundred on the first list alone. But there's limits. Really, you have to quit somewhere. So that's where.

Life, the Universe, and Favourite Reads. What's yours?


  1. Anonymous5/9/14 00:22

    Awesome lists. How about "Madwoman in the Attic"?

    1. Heh - that would require actually reading it first, wouldn't it. Also, all my books so far are fiction - I haven't put any non-fiction on the list. That'd be a whole other list. Or how about one of "Books sitting on my shelf that I mean to read"? Top of that list has been, for years, "A Tale of Two Cities".