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World Book Day 2013

March 7, 2013

On this World Book Day, I thought it would be fun to share some of my own childhood favourites and adult favourites. So this blog is really a series of lists. I hope it may inspire you to tell me about your favourite titles and authors, past and present – and poets, too, of course.

My lists are not long as I am a slow reader. I have never developed what educationalists call ‘reading stamina’. This is probably because I’m not good at sitting still for long – I’m a physical fidget with a butterfly brain. I wonder if that is one of the reasons I am attracted to poetry – it can say so much in so few words: ‘short and sweet’, but with as much potential to pack punches, elicit deep thoughts and feeling or entertain with gentle whimsy as any novel.

So here goes. My lists:

First novel for children that I couldn’t put down: Heidi by Johanna Spyri (I was aged 7)

Other books that stick in my mind from my childhood (some of which I still have):

Five Dolls in a House – Helen Clare
Marigold in Godmother’s House – Julia Lankaster Brisley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C S Lewis
The Family From One End Street – Eve Garnett
What Katy Did – Susan Coolidge
Five Children and It – E Nesbit
All of a Kind Family – Sydney Taylor
Lion at Large – Richard Parker
The Riddle of the Rocks – Frances Cowen
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
The Boy Next Door – Enid Blyton

plus lots of adventure stories by Malcolm Saville and others that I’ve probably forgotten, but enjoyed along the way …

Favourite poets that I read and reread when I was aged 7-11:
Walter de la Mare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ogden Nash, Hilaire Belloc, A A Milne, Edward Thomas and others.

First novel for grown-ups that I couldn’t put down: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Novel I’m currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett (the 4th in his discworld series)
Novel I’m currently rereading: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen (on my Nintendo DS)

Favourite authors for grown-ups:

classics: Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Jane Austen and recently getting around to enjoying Charles Dickens

modern: Anne Tyler, Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Daphne du Maurier, Jane Gardam, Mark Haddon, Susan Hill and discovering new authors along the way.

Favourite poets that I read and reread now:

Wendy Cope, Charles Causley, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, Alison Brackenbury, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Roger McGough, Anne Stevenson, Edward Thomas, Sophie Hannah, Walter de la Mare, Phoebe Hesketh, G K Chesterton, Thomas Hardy and lots more.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2013 07,03,13

    And already I am noticing titles I’ve omitted – such as Mary Poppins by P L Travers. When I was about ten, I even won 10/- (ten shillings) – 50 pence – but in spending power more like £20 – for writing a book review for a young people’s magazine of this delightful book. Then there was The Rescuers by Margery Sharp. Both these were turned into films. How could I forget them? And then that classic, Little Women by Louisa M Alcott – I loved that! I’ve decided lists are dangerous – it’s so easy to miss important names!

    • Elizabeth permalink
      March 20, 2013 20,03,13

      I found your list intriguing – since you liked so many I liked why didn’t I know the others?! And what about Daddy-Long-Legs and the Anne books?

      • March 22, 2013 22,03,13

        Oh, yes. I loved Daddy Long Legs. I never read the Anne books – is that Anne of Green Gables?

  2. July 24, 2013 24,07,13

    Found you via a Blip forum – don’t remember having any books when I was younger – well not at home, but I am an avid reader. I can thoroughly recommend a first novel by an Australian author, M.L. Stedman, “The Light Between Oceans” – takes a few pages to get into it, but it is a cracking read.

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