posts tagged "book"
If you like books, etc.: http://kateaufait.blogspot.com/
Day 11- The book that made you fall in love with reading
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - J. K. Rowling
I realise it’s cliche and predictable and everything else, but although there were books before this that I’d loved, I don’t think any other had had the effect on me that this did. My dad gave my my first copy when I was about 7, after hearing rave reviews from some friend in publishing or something. I read it straight away and I just remember being blown away by it - magical, fantastical books had been a favourite for a while by this point (my dad used to invent stories for me nightly, the most loved being about the Channel Island Witches of his creation; I’d read most of The Chronicles of Narnia beforehand and soon after attempted The Hobbit), but this was on a much more tangible plain, and I instantly fell in love with Quidditch and Potions classes and Chocolate Frogs. I had a ridiculously over-active imagination as a kid and this was only fuel to the fire; I had my entire parallel, magical life at Hogwarts mapped out: what house I’d be in (Ravenclaw), what my favourite subjects would be (Charms, then Care of Magical Creatures in the third year), even what kind of animal I’d take (a magpie: they’d make an exception). I read the rest of the series as soon as they were published and remember the wait between books being agonising: I remember squirming with glee at correctly guessing Voldemort’s real name; being more than terrified of Aragog in the forest; being willing to trade anything to experience the Quidditch World Cup; right through to shamelessly sobbing during Harry’s walk to death in Deathly Hallows. It started something that has stayed with me through the years, and whenever I’m in between books I tend to dip into one of the series and try to recapture those feelings of absolute awe from the first encounter.
Day 09- A book you’ve read more than once
Decided to skip this as I tend to read everything twice/three/four/etc times…
Day 10- The first novel you remember reading
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I read this when I’d just turned eight (the bug bit early), and I’m fairly sure the only thing which compelled me to read it was that one of my teachers told me I shouldn’t because it was too old for me. Obviously, I was a little moth to the flame and marched down to the library to begin to exercise my thus far lifelong literary stubbornness. I remember feeling ridiculously grown up (read: smug) as the other kids were still stuttering through monosyllabic picture books and I was reading Conan Doyle. I can’t really remember much about it other than that it had a really horrific cover of the hell hound in mid pounce and foaming at the mouth (actually I have a feeling it may have been this one, although I’m sure it was terrifying at the time…), and that the part on the moors gave me nightmares for weeks. I feel I should probably read it again as with hindsight I’m sure I really was a little too young to appreciate it, and thinking about it, it’s probably one of the literally two or three mystery/crime novels I’ve ever read.
08 - An unpopular book that you believe should be a best-seller
The Lonely Londoners - Samuel Selvon. I wouldn’t say this book was unpopular in the sense that it’s disliked, but I know that I, at least, certainly hadn’t heard of it before coming across it at University. I don’t really know if it fits the formula for a best seller (if such a formula exists, although I’m sure if it did that Richard and Judy would feature in it somewhere…), but I think it would be hard to read this book and not be touched by the sheer passion for life, and especially language, that saturates every page. I love its acceptance of naivety and total romanticisation of living in the city; it’s intensely funny yet equally poignant, especially when dealing with issues of race, which Selvon approaches with a wry prudence (one of my favourite lines from it, in which Galahad encounters racism on the street, is simply “and the old Galahad, knowing how it is, smile back and walk on”). It’s one of those books you can just dip into and it will remind you to be more attentive to the more obscure moments of beauty in life…
So yeah, it should be best seller.
07 - A book that’s hard to read
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad. I read this last year for my 20th Century Fiction class, and I had to really drag myself through it. The second half was wonderful but I found it a near impossible task to tread the waters of the first, and it’s certainly made me anxious to approach any further Conrad works… However, I think the essay I wrote on the book did quite well, so I guess it can’t actually have been too impossible.
06 - A book that makes you cry
Black Beauty - Anna Sewell. This was my absolute favourite book from when I was about 8 years old and first began to nurture an adoration of horses; it’s such a beautiful book and was probably really quite influential on how ridiculously empathetic I am regarding animals. I can remember it almost line by line I’ve read it that many times, yet still can’t get through it without some tears.
05 - A non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed
The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin. There’s actually loads of non-fiction that I’ve enjoyed but I thought I’d put this as I’m currently about halfway through (and loving it), and because I think it should be read more widely.
04 - A book that reminds you of home
Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) - Michael Ende. I remember the school librarian lending me her beautiful edition of this when I was younger and I just fell in love with it. I think I took it reluctantly as I was at the age when I considered myself too old for fantasy, and this proved me to be completely wrong; whenever I think of it I remember being totally lost in this whole other world at night, under my duvet with a flashlight.
Day 03 - A book that completely surprised you (bad/good)
Watchmen - Alan Moore borrowed this skeptically from the boyfriend, and turns out picture books can actually be quite good…
Day 2 - Your Least favourite Book
Lord of the Flies - William Golding. Always found this loathsome.