Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Books that shaped my life

Tara's Gallery theme this week - books. Haven't been inspired to write any blogs for a while so thank you Tara for giving me a kick start

Once upon a time now you are sitting comfortably I will begin. As a child my life was my books! My days were spent curled up in a ball somewhere reading and reading and yes more reading. I would literally have to be turfed out of the house to "get some fresh air". As the teenage years fell by the wayside and I became an adult somewhere my love of books was exchanged for love of other stuff. When the kids were small I read to them from the moment they were born. I would like to think that this helped them become the articulate intelligent people they now are. ( I say articulate but I need a translator my He-man's 18 year old grunts and She-ra's 16 year old galloping-at-speed dialogue) These days I always have a book on the go and am a "sort of" member of a book club. Thing is I am so goddamn tired when I get to bed that I can end up reading the same paragraph for weeks on end. Plus stress, of which I seem to have my fair share, robs me of my ability to concentrate and read. Bulk reading seems to have become the preserve of holidays. Reading for pleasure curled up on the sofa mid afternoon seems to have become nothing more than a childhood memory. Here are some books which have shaped my life

Enid Blyton - Including The Faraway Tree, Mallory Towers and Famous Five. These were all saved and have been read through the generations. Currently sat on my sisters book shelf waiting for the 8 year old to wade her way through.

Charlottes Web - E.B.White. I still have a  love of pigs, can't kill a spider, named my first pet after said pig and still cry at the end of this book.

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy tales - I still have this book! It's full of beautiful illustrations and typical of the books my dad gave me.

Dr Seuss - gotta love a bit of green eggs and ham. I even had a song book!

Charlie Brown series - Charles M. Schulz, given to me by Grumps when he first met my mother. Great books for adults and children alike. I still want a beagle plus my daughter is pig pen and I have music from the TV series on  my phone. Call me nostalgic.

John Wyndham - I became addicted to these at one point which I read along side

Edna O'Brien - This must have been the period in which I started to learn about feminism, not that I would class O'Brien in a flag bearer for that cause, and I remember my Step mum giving me lots of books on the subject.Wong and Greer if I remember rightly. The bookshelves still heave with a variety of titles.

I became liberated as a teen when I read Molly Parkin. My eyes were on stalks. So this was sex! I have just re read her first book and it seems so tame/dated by today standards.

Delia Smith - Complete Cookery Course. This was a gift from my mother & grumps before I went to be an Au pair. I still have it and use it today. It was the last book she bought for me.

Lemony Snicket - We still love these as a family and someone somewhere has got the entire audio collection which I would really like back. The language in these were fantastic and would keep the whole family talking for hours giving us our own in jokes and sayings. Absolutely fabulous!

Spike Milligan's Bad Jelly the Witch. I loved Spike's wacky humour as a child and was delighted to read this one to my two.its been read more times than I care to say and now waits to be rediscovered by my niece and nephew.

The following books I never want to see again, The Mr Men and Little Miss series and Thomas the bleedin' Tank engine. Read every night night after night til the children knew them verbatim and I couldn't skip pages.

I am deliberately not mentioning J.K.Rowling as a book that shaped my life although it definitely did for my daughter, prime target audience at the time. I found them dreadfully dull books to read and very slow. Thank god for the films is all I say.

I now have the pleasure of reading to my niece and nephew and am so delighted the nephew has really come in to his own of late. He still loves...
click here for Amazon

Having wanted to study American Studies I love all that is Americana  the most recent book that left a long last impression with me is The Brief History of the Dead" by Kevin Brockmeier of whom I have gone to read more of his work. I would so love to believe in the sentiment of the book. I will still devour most things American set in any period along with books set in 18th century Britain.

These days my bookshelves are a testament to OCD. Colour Coordinated or what? Bet there's a book on that too

..And they all lived happily ever after.
The end

PS I have put a link to Amazon for as many of the books or authors as I could find if I have tempted you to look further


  1. Ooh you're mad tidy, I'd say you'd need a gin or 3 before you csme to visit your auntie!!!! lots of my own childhood books in your list xx

  2. Some of my favourites in your list too. I 'devoured' Enid Blyton books x.

  3. I recognise some childhood favourites of my own from your list. I was a bookworm too as a child and teenager. I must make more time now x

  4. I love Hans Christian Anderson fairytales - they always have a sinister little twist at the end and as a child I would worry and think overtime on them - especially the dogs with the saucer eyes in the Little Tinderbox! I don't have a book shelf - being even more OCD than you I don't keep many! but I do love my library for it's beautiful collection of Arthur Rackham fairy illustrations, Aesopps Fables and, yes, Harry Potter - youre right - they are slow books but I just get lost in them and don't want them to end!

  5. I had loads of the Charlie Brown books - I'd completely forgotten about them thank you.
    I am rushing off now to re-arrange my bookcase by colour - fantastic!

  6. Auntie Gwen *waves frantically in case you are about to go off line again for ever! It's about the only thing mad tidy about me. Rebelling teenager stylee at the moment and my bedroom floor looks like I have evaporated out of my clothes
    Lesley - hello there - I think every girl has read ol EB - rite of passage
    Jenny - it's a shame how adulthood rids us of our greatest pleasures - sometimes
    Betty - I LOVE the big saucer eyed dogs!
    Gemma - There is a special place in my heart for Charlie Brown. In fact i had even tagged that name as my sons first name but someone got there before me. Send me a pic of your bookshelves.

  7. gorgeous collection of books there!!.. brings back so many memories. and my boy loved that Mole story when we got it from the library. B

  8. I distinctly remember coming downstairs after finishing Charlotte's Web, sobbing and wailing about the poor spider.

    Nodding in agreement with Dr Seuss, Delia, Enid Blyton, and the little mole!

  9. Some fabulous book there! I'm hoping to one day come across Crummy Mummy by Anne Fine, and a cleverly penned anti-smoking kid's book called Tim Kipper!

  10. Oh I love reading Dr Seuss to The Boy Wonder. I get quite carried away and he thinks I'm quite mental. Thanks for following my blog BTW.