Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Five Favourite Books

I decided to confine myself to books I have read in the last five years or so. Otherwise Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Lorna Doone etc. would sweep away all the others. I have chosen the first five to pop into my head otherwise it would have become a battle to decide. I read all the time so had hundred and hundred to chose from and had to narrow it down. As well as many memorable books, I have read many forgettable ones to. Anyway, here we go with the first five I thought of.

1) My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. This author is my favourite so she was the obvious first choice and though I love all her books, her best for me is undoubtedly My Sister's Keeper. Her books are subtle, emotional, deeply-felt reads which linger in your mind for a long time after finishing them. She has a new one out and I can't wait to leave on holiday next week because I will buy it at the airport and read it on the plane.


2) Chocolat by Joanne Harris. This book is loved by many and certainly by me. It is a magical, lush, feel-good book with gentle paranormal elements to lift it out of the ordinary. I've had enough of vampires, fairies and werewolves to do me for a lifetime but I love paranormal at this level - ghosts, telepathy, strange going-ons. I recently read the sequel to Chocolat but wasn't as impressed though it was still a good read. It had a pervading sense of malevolence which tipped the balance away from the essence of Chocolat. I have also read nearly all her other books and love them but none more so than Chocolat.

3) Moonshine by Victoria Clayton. My sister lent me this book and I was enraptured from the start. She is a wonderful writer who pulled me into the world of an old house in need of restoration and a cast of quirky, lovable characters. An unexpected love story is icing on the cake. I am reading another of hers now and though it hasn't captured me quite as well so far, I love her style of writing.


4) Chloe by Freya North. A friend put me onto this author and I will be forever grateful to her. She has a fresh, easy-to-read style that pulls you through the book at the rate of knots. Again I have read nearly all of her books and loved them all but this, the first, remains my favourite. It takes Chloe on a journey of exploration around the British Isles and we discover with her magical places and people as she searches for a purpose to her life.

1) Deep South by Nevada Barr. I have read many of her books and had great difficulty choosing my favourite because I love them all. But this one has a haunting, powerful feel with a scene near the end that will stay with me forever. Her main character (a woman) is a National Park Ranger and each novel is a mystery story set in a different National Park. So, apart from great writing and a complex main character, the parks come to life in a way that no geographical book could describe.

21 comments:

Footsteps said...

Thanks Suzanne. My reading time is sadly squeezed these days, but I'm going to look for a couple of these when I finish my current book.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Good to see you in here, Heather. I've been checking on your blog to see if you're back. Hope it all went/is going well.

Suzanne

Bernita said...

At last.
Someone who has read Lorna Doone

raine said...

Haven't read any of these, but they do look interesting.
And yes--Jane Eyre is at the top of my list.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Bernita, we studied Lorna Doone at school but it's one of those books that haunted me for some reason and so stays with me.

Suzanne

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Raine, what is it about Jane Eyre and how come no love stories that powerful are written today? What did the writers of that era have that we don't have today? Time, passion, insight?

Suzanne

raine said...

It may register differently for each person, Suzanne, I don't know. For me it's the TRUE romance of the stories--the sublimated passion, the joining of two souls, the forbidden, the pain, the joy, the angst. Especially with Jane and Rochester, two unattractive outcasts who don't seem to belong anywhere else, to find they belong in each other's arms.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Wow! You said that so well Raine. So why can't modern writers do that? Or maybe they do but they don't get published. Readers seem to have such a short attention span these days that they need fast paced books without too many layers. I hope there's a swing back.

Suzanne

Footsteps said...

Valid points, Suzanne and Raine. Appreciating the "layers" of a well-written story requires more than a spare fifteen minutes here and there. I remember devoting whole afternoons to reading books "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights." What a luxury that kind of time would be now!

Sandpiper said...

Interesting post and the discussion going on in the comments here are, too! :) I enjoyed the quality of the classics, but when I read fiction now, it's usually action - Ludlum, Clancy style books.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Heather, life is indeed very different these days and it's not just because we are older with more responsibilities. I look at the children and teenagers of today. It's hard to get them to concentrate on anything for too long. They are all over the place. They are so used to instant entertainment, mostly of the passive participation type, that they seldom create their own ways of passing the time. A long languid read would not be their thing at all. I am generalizing of course.

Suzanne

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Sandpiper, that's why those authors are the top sellers because they give a fast, not too indepth read, which suits today's society perfectly. Do you realize that our kids will probably never know the joy of reading the likes of Jane Eyre. What will happen to the classics?

Suzanne

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Heather, I have tried twice now to comment on your blog but it doesn't show up. I think the problem is my end but I don't want you to think I am ignoring you.

Suzanne

a.i. editor said...

Hi, Suzanne

How are you?

The first book sounds interesting. Reading a book on a flight is a good idea. There is not much else to do apart from sleeping so reading is a good alternative! I do try chatting up with the other folks & stewardesses too. :-)

Oh, I got a Valley of the Kings, Egypt post up! I thought you might want come see. ;-) Its linked to images & other Egyptian themed blog post which might interest you too!

http://voyage.aimvotal.com/egypt-valley-kings/

Do have a good read & a pleasure watching the videos, yeah!

Abas
voyage.aimvotal.com

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Thanks so much Abas. I will go look at your site straight after work.

Suzanne

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

These books all sound like delightful reads, Suzanne. Thanks for sharing. MOONSHINE grabs my attention first. I must look for it.

How are you doing today? Our snow has pretty much melted. Jeff worked in the orchard today. Soon the garden will be tilled. This is a a perfect point for me to watch nature closely so my ms is accurate in descriptions. :D I'm starting work on it again.


Hugs, Nancy

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Hi Nancy,
We still have blue skies but there's a definite chill in the air. Only three more days before I leave on holiday.
I'm pleased to here you are going back to your ms. while you wait for other news.

Suzanne

Sandpiper said...

You're so right, Suzanne. Fortunately, in our schools here, they do still teach the classics. What I like about the ones I read is that I can put them down and pick them up when I have time again. It's always about time for me, because if I'm not working or doing something for my family, then I'm outside on my walks. I have a lot of the classics in my library. I love the old books with the worn leather bindings and covers.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Sandpiper, those books in your bookcase sound wonderful.
I make sure I read every day despite work, family and writing. I snatch moments. If I didn't have a book on the go, I would feel bereft in some way. Long live all classics.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Suzanne, enjoy that holiday. I'm excited for you!!! WOOT!!! I have made good progress on the rough draft.

Hugs, JJ

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Thanks Nancy. I am sure the holiday will be great. I really need it after a tough few weeks at work and line edits for my new book at night.
I look forward to seeing your progess when I get back.

Suzanne