This week I’m lucky enough to get to share my top 20 all time favourite books with members of TBConFB. A fantastic online bookclub hosted by Tracy Fenton and a team of ninja admins. Most I read before I started blogging so it’s been nice to revisit books.
Here our my first five #ATF reads.
Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen
Girl meets boy and they find their happy ever after. The spirited but poor Miss Bennett takes on spirited but rich and bad Mr Darcy – who will win?!
This is the book that spurned a $1b industry, a few films and a million references to Mr Darcy. So, its kind of great but not for everyone. Quite simply my love of romance, written and real, started with Mr Darcy and trundles on today.
One of the best things about it, is the number of memorable scenes and quirky characters. Elizabeth’s response to Darcy’s proposal marks her down as an early feminist or at least a real heroine! Of course, there is one problem, especially if you remember Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, how does the everyday bloke compete? Mr Darcy has set the standard for husband material for teen girls for 200 years.
Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Set in Barcelona during the civil war, the story centres on the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This old, huge, gothic library is presided over by a few caretakers. As tradition dictates Daniel takes one book from the library but must forever after protect it. Daniel’s choice is The Shadow of the Wind.
This is my favourite book forever, if only I could back in time and read it for the first time. I can’t really tell you what this book is about. I can honestly say I don’t really know how to tell you why I love it so much and even what it’s really about. But I just love it. And if you read it and love it, you’ll be booking tickets to Barcelona. Although this is totally stand alone, there are three books in the trilogy, the other two are good but this is a literary masterpiece. And beautifully translated from the Spanish.
The Magic Pudding Norman Lindsay
A true Australian classic children’s book. It’s the story of a pudding. In fact a magic pudding, no matter how much its eaten it reforms to be whole again. Albert the pudding travels with a sailor, koala and a penguin, and has adventures.
As a child I loved this, a pudding that never ends? Seriously, who wouldn’t? Its fast paced, with cute characters and it made me smile I don’t know how many times as a kid. As an adult I’ve read it endless to kids, and its always a winner. The ending is just so lovely. Its old, probably one hundred years old but its still great. The author was also a celebrated artist so some wonderful drawings bring the pudding to life.
The Ocean at the Bottom of the Lane Neil Gaiman
This is a story about remembering your childhood forty years on. A man returns for a funeral and the past that happened in a neighbouring farm pulls at him and the story unravels. He and his childhood friend had adventures and mysteries but in fact his past is quite a scary place much as his childhood was. He remembers Lettie and her family and the almost fairytale like encounter they had.
Neil Gaiman writes fantasy for grown ups whilst totally getting the whole childhood thing. I just loved it. Its probably the most quoteable book I’ve ever read and with fantastic imagery. It’s the kind of book that you take great pleasure in finishing and sharing with others. You’ll want to talk about it! It wasn’t for some time after that I realised we never get to know who the man returning to his childhood is. And that really plays to the strength of Gaiman’s uniqueness.
Blood Shadows, book 1 Blackthorn Lindsay J. Pryor
Book 1 in an eight part series about an urban dystopian world. Here humans rule the third species. Vampires, lycans and angels are at the mercy of a cruel system and so are humans who fall by the way side. But war is coming and the man in the know is master vampire Kane Malloy. He wants to stop the war at any cost, he’ll need to make the right alliances and learn what others know. But most of all he’ll have to deal with shadow reader Caitlin Parish.
This UF series is unlike anything else I’ve read in this genre. Its full of Machiavellian politics. The author trails breadcrumbs throughout so that you can never quite trust what you think you know. If you love unique worlds, this will blow you away. In this genre just about everything gets compared to JR Ward’s BDB (which I adore), where that warms your heart and makes you smile Blackthorn twists your guts and makes your pant.
I’ve reviewed Blackthorn books several times here is the latest review