The ten book challenge has been doing the rounds for a bit, and I thought I’d write a bit more than the names of the books here. I think I owe the books that much. I’m taking the challenge literally and naming books, not series.
1) The Mystery of the Missing Necklace – Enid Blyton
I’ve read this one more than any other book of hers, I think, which is saying a lot. If I mention Enid Blyton as a whole, I know the Faraway Tree series and the Famous Five series have to feature, but as a book in itself, this one won me over many times. It mixed cleverness and humour with a magical formula I loved!
2) A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett
This was one of the first books to make my heart ache. I cried with both joy and happiness. When I finished reading it, I wanted to read it again, and I never wanted to read it again because of how sad it made me.
3) George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl
One of the best things about this one was that it was read out to me by a dear teacher from school. Sometimes, having a story read out is an experience you don’t forget.
4) Devil’s Cub – Georgette Heyer
I’ve read many of her books several times, but no one moved me to laughter and excitement the way Vidal and the incurably truthful Mary Challoner did.
5) Désirée – Anne-Marie Selinko
Probably the first work of historical fiction I ever read, I was blown over by how real Napoleon’s first love became to me. I loved the detail and enjoyed being immersed in a period about which I knew nothing.
6) Pollyanna – Eleanor H. Porter
Who can read Pollyanna without falling in love with Pollyanna and her glad game?
7) Moonraker’s Bride – Madeleine Brent
After reading this one, I realised how formulaic all the Madeleine Brents were – English girl in foreign city falls in love. That does not stop me from thinking of the first one I read as a remarkable work that I enjoyed.
8) The Ivy Tree – Mary Stewart
The ups and downs in the plot, the twists and turns in character revelation … I can immerse myself in its details without even having the book in front of me!
9) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling
I wonder how it is that the third book in the series is the one that most people love the most. What is the secret ingredient that makes this the best one in a brilliant series?
10) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
Another book that left me stunned. In fact, I was so impressed by Rebecca that I read all the other Daphne du Mauriers I could find, and even contemplated doing my PhD on her (this was when I was in class 8). Needless to say, that never happened.