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.
from → Poems & extracts