There are some books that have stuck with me, books that I read when I was much younger. Stories that have continued to enthrall me and capture my imagination ever since the first time a read them. Many I have read over and over, like watching a favourite film. Here are a few of my favourites and what I liked about them, Iwould love to hear some of yours, why you liked them, if they are still something you would read now.
The Call of The Wild - Jack LondonThis book is beautiful. Powerful. Heart wrenchingly sad and beautifully written. An pampered pedigree dog is stolen from his warm and luxurious farm where he spends his days playing with the kids in the fields. He is taken North to work as a sled dog during the gold rush. He has to join the rest of the working dogs and suffer through the harsh conditions.The story istolf from Buck's (the dog) point of view, his confusion as to what is happening, his attempts to be part of the pack, the cruelty of humans...the story is just wonderful and sad and just a great story.
Z for Zacharia - Robert C. O'Brien
A young girl is left behind in a valley following a nuclear event. Her family are supposed to return but they do not. Beyond the valley is a nuclear wasteland which is impossible to cross so she is confined to the valley, alone. She has enough supplies and fresh water to support herself and she seems to cope well,until she sees a stranger in a hazmat suit appraoch across the wasteland,then she has to decide if being alone is better than having company. Amazing story about survival and the human need for companionship.
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
This book makes my heart soar. If someone were to ask me to use a book to explain my personality it would be this. The main character, Yossarian, a Captain in the American Airforce is faced everyday with people trying to kill him but no-one seems to care. He wants to be grounded so he can't fly anymore but you have to be crazy to be grounded:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle
It highlights for me not only the futility of war and it's real purpose, a business with career opportunities for those who know how to take them, but also the absurdity of following rules blindly and obeying convention.
The Chrysalids - John Wyndham
Another "Post-Event" book. Following an undisclosed nuclear event the world has been brought back to a more basic style of living. There is no technology beyond basic farm tools and since the fallout there have been many mutations, icluding humans. These mutations are seen as an aboniation against God and are either killed or cast out into the wasteland. The story follows a group of children who learn they have something in common but also something which if discovered could be very dangerous for them, It is a story about change, acceptance, judgment....but mostly, for me, hope. This is the book which got me into science fiction and it only gets better each time I read it....which I have done countless times!
The Lord Of The Rings - J R R Tolkien
Well I hardly need to describe the plot since it is so well known, but this book, or these three books to be more accurate, are a story of amazing depth. There are so many stories within the story, the picture Tolkien paints of Middle Earth is one which resonates strongly with me having benn brought up in the same part of the world that inspired Tolkien to write his masterpiece. For those of you only familiar with the films, one of my favourite parts of the book is when the Hobbits make a detour while they are escaping the dark riders. They wander into the Old Forest and spend a while with Tom Bombadil. I love the way the book is set in such a transitional period o=in it's history. There are still some relics of theold world but they know their time is passing, it is just a tale of epic proprtions and if you love the films and haven't managed to read the books - I stronlgy reccomend you do some time, there is so much depth to the books.
So there are just a few of my favourite books that stand out from my childhood, I hope some of you have already have the pleasure of reading them and I also hope that I can maybe interest someone to read one or two they haven't. I would love to hear what some of your favourite books were so please feel free to share :)