My love affair with books started at an early age. There was always a far-off world to discover between those two covers, an adventure to go on, new friends to make. Books have made me laugh and made me cry. They have transported me to Narnia, Middle Earth and Avalon. I’ve befriended vampires and danced with kings; travelled to Venice, India and Paris, the jungles of Burma and hot Alice Springs. And I’ve gone back in time to the age of the Tudours, the Caesars and so many more. My life has been so enriched by these things we call books. I can imagine my life without many of the modern gizmos and gadgets but not without books. They have been my best friends when real friends were busy doing other things.
Books have a strange power – they can teach, provoke, enlighten. They promote new theories, broaden our horizons and make us question the status quo. It is no wonder that, throughout history, tyrants have burnt them in their thousands. In some ways, books can be very dangerous things. So when I recently came across The Guardian’s list of 1000 novels everyone must read I was curious to see how many of them I had read. Yes, you see, I keep a list of books I have read which you may view here. To date, I have read 51 out of the 1000 titles. Will I ever read all 1000 titles? Probably not. There are some books on that list that I would never read, simply because the subject matter does not interest me. But as for reading 1000 books before I die? Yes, that is definitely a challenge that I would like to take up. The Guardian’s list can be my starting point.
Some ‘book facts’ about me:
Currently reading: Slash – The Autobiography by Slash and Anthony Bozza, What I can say? This book will never win the Pulitzer prize but I am enjoying a more intimate look into one of the greatest bands to rock the planet.
Just finished reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know that this book was highly acclaimed and was even made into a movie (which I haven’t seen) but it left me with a feeling of ambivalence. I am not sure why, I just was not moved.
Favourite book I read in 2012: The Glassblower of Murano by Marisa Fiorato. I had not planned on reading this book. My mother in law sent it as a surprise gift – and I loved it. It was not so much the story itself (although that was interesting) but rather, the fact that the narrator seemed to be viewing Venice through my eyes. Her feelings were my feelings. When something like that happens, there is instant magic and that character in the book becomes me.
A book I keep re-reading: Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier. The first time that I read this book I was about fifteen years old. Since then I have re-read it at least five times, maybe more. It has become a personal ritual to read it every summer.
My favourite book (to date): The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is a book about words and about their power to move nations. I have already written about it in The Book Thief Who Stole My Heart.
The next book on my list: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.