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. 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".