My Life In Books
Books have always been incredibly present throughout my life and growing up our house was stuffed full of books, in every room and on every shelf, from the classics to frequent recent purchases. Many of the books told stories of their own as it's a collection that had been growing throughout my parents relationship. They can tell you where they picked up their paperback copies of Thomas Hardy and who in the family those anatomy books used to belong to. I remember that most of our shopping trips included a visit to the local bookshop and those rows of shelves full of young adult fiction was a veritable treasure trove for me to discover. On long road trips story tapes would always be packed, picked up from bookshops, charity shops or the library. Those memories of drives to Dartmoor, York and the multitude of other places have always stayed with me. Books and stories have a profound effect so I thought I would gather all the books that have had the greatest impact on me.
Walk Two Moons: Sharon Creech
I first became aware of this book and Sharon Creech as an author when we listened to this as an audiobook on a long car journey once. I'm pretty sure it had everyone in the car in tears. I later read this book multiple times and I think it's still one of my favourites. It ignited a love of Sharon Creech as an author and I read every book of hers that I could get my hands on, but I'm not sure any of them quite compared to experiencing Walk Two Moons that first time.
Harry Potter: J.K.Rowling
I'm not sure I can make a list of books of my life without including Harry Potter. I'll admit it took me a little while to get into the series, I don't think I started reading them until the third book was released. But once I did, I was obviously hooked on the wizarding world. They still are excellent books to re-read and there are always new things I pick up on with each new read. When the last book was released I went along to the midnight release at the Waterstones in town and devoured it whilst listening to The Red Hot Chilli Peppers Stadium Arcadium album. I now can't read that book without thinking of that album and vice versa.
The Hobbit: J.R.R.Tolkien
Ah Tolkien. This one my mum read to me when I was young, and also comes with one of my favourite book related memories. One evening when mum was reading it to me before bed she fell asleep mid sentence and it took me a little while to realise that she wasn't just going for a dramatic pause.
I studied Classics at uni which included a module on Augustan Literature where we studied certain sections of Ovid's Metamorphoses. I then ended up writing my dissertation on the depiction of rape in Ovid's Metamorphoses which meant I went through this copy over and over making a crazy amount of notes throughout. I've always been interested in mythology so dissertation writing wasn't too bad! My original idea was to focus on the myth of Philomena and it's depiction throughout literature and how it reflects the silencing of women today, but it wasn't to be.
God of Small Things: Arundhati Roy
God of Small Things was one of the first books I read the summer after I finished uni. I remember reading it sat in the garden in the sunshine with the cats curled up beside me. I think lots of students have that feeling of excitement when you get to enjoy reading for pleasure again, and being able to read whatever you like, after having had to analyse texts over and over. I cannot recommend this book enough if you haven't read it yet!
Are there any books that have made a big impression on you?