On Thursday it was World Book Day. I’ve been a long time book worm – totally my mother’s fault for teaching me to read when I was 3. I consumed books like they might go extinct. University has probably had a negative effect on my love of reading and how much I read, but there are few things I enjoy more than perusing books in a book shop.
One thing that hasn’t disappeared is my love of children’s literature, and it is a dream of mine to do the CBeebies bedtime hour and to write books for children. I’m going to be very sad when my friends’ kids grow up because I love finding new fun books for them to enjoy!
I was lucky enough to be brought up by my Nana while my Mum worked full-time (how on earth she found the time and energy to teach me to read too is beyond me). If ever we went up town I would be allowed to choose a Puddle Lane book which you could get in the small supermarket that was in the St James’ Centre for less than £1. It says a lot that when my friend and I went to the Edinburgh Vintage Fair earlier in the year, in a room full of funky clothes, trinkets and jewellery I got most excited on discovering a pile of the Ladybird books from the 70s and 80s. Apparently my excitement was so amusing Jenny had to take a picture of the moment…
My friend Andy tagged me in one of those facebook memes. My brother bemoans that I post too much on facebook, but as Andy so rarely participates in things like that I couldn’t not. And in celebration of World Book Day I thought I would share what I wrote here. The idea was to list 10 of your favourite books.
10. The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Yes, it is no secret that I’m a huge AMS fan. I wish I was more like Mma Ramotswe, but probably Mma Potokwani (the bossiness)/Mma Makutsi (those glasses and shoes!) is more accurate. And I love reading books set in Southern Africa – we need more diversity in the arts of film, drama and literature to combat the danger of the single story…
9. Harry Potter (the whole series) by J.K. Rowling. Thanks uni friends for dragging me to see the film which give me the encouragement to give the books another go. I started reading them on trains around Europe and ended uni by graduating with their author.
8. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson. Used this book for my Higher English Specialist Study. And I still like to read it. Miraculous
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The only book I was MADE to read in high school and actually liked. Well done old sport.
6. Maisie the Cat books by Aileen Patterson. I still love finding these in the children’s section of bookstores around Edinburgh. Blackwells even has a Maisie the Cat puzzle to mark the anniversary of James Thins this year.
5. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Pretty much the only book on the weirdness of trying to explain faith and belief in God I identify with.
4. Dinosaurs Love Underpants by someone called Claire I think (I can’t remember). I came across this book helping a friend who was trying to find a present for his nephew one year, and so glad I did. My honourary nephews love this book and their sequels!
3. The Bible. To be fair, more of a series than one book. And some of the books are not my favourites. But the Book of Proverbs is good for some wisdom and Song of Songs is the ancient version of Mills and Boon making for some amusing reading…
2. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I love the way Jodi writes from different character’s perspectives showing how life’s decisions are not necessarily black and white ‘right or wrong’ but often far more complex.
1. Tully by Paullina Simons. My favourite book since my friend lent me a copy when we were about 15 – I soon got my own copy and it is without a doubt one of the tattiest looking books on my shelf now it has been re-read so many times.
Of course, as soon as I posted it I realised that I’d missed an important one off the list: The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I’m not sure how to fix that, so I’ll just make it a bonus 11.
One thing I’m hoping for is that we get another summer like 2013. As I walked passed Princes Street Gardens seeing flowers in bloom already, it made me think of putting a book and a jumper to use as a blanket in my bag to sit in the sunshine after work reading Fitzgerald or a bit of Alexander McCall Smith…and to the Edinburgh book festival in August…
I’ve already got a pile of books waiting for me to finish my final uni assignment of this school year…
What are your favourite books?