Saturday 2 April 2011

B is for Books!

I'm starting to feel a little like I'm on Sesame Street. You know, 'This blog post has been brought to you today by the letter B.' Or something.

Anyway, as I'd rather read a book than do just about anything else, I decided to list the books that have had the biggest impact on my life.

Number Five: Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes

I love this book. Not only does it talk about drug addiction and recovery, but manages to do so in a way that is funny but doesn't take away from the seriousness of the topic. It always makes me laugh, and it shows that women's fiction isn't all handbags and cocktails (though I do love both).

Number Four: Mallory Towers Series by Enid Blyton

In fact, I liked all of Blyton's British Boarding School books. I was enchanted by it, probably because I was an only child at the time, and used to read them in bed, pretending that my bed was part of a dormitory and that I was at boarding school, waiting for the lights to go out so I could steal off with my school friends and have a midnight feast. Of course, I'm a complete home bird who would have cried my entire way through boarding school, but that's another matter.

Number Three: The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

I love this book. I wish she had written more books, but I reread this every so often. I love the imagery, and the way she manages to convey the sense of entrapment through her sentence structure. I think every woman should read this book.

Number Two: Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead

Confession: I love young adult novels. The teenage years are so exciting, your character is starting to form, you're beginning to make decisions for yourself, and your future could go literally anywhere. I liked how Mead too real vampire mythology and wove it into her books, and it made me think that maybe I could do the same with my historical knowledge, use it to form a supernatural but realistic society. So I did, and I wrote Ravensborough.

Number One: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

All right, so strictly these are two novels, but my Dad gave them to me together so I could compare two types of dystopian worlds and ideologies. He asked me to decide which society I'd rather live in, one that was repressive or one in which everyone was programmed to believe they were happy. That was ten years ago, and I still haven't made up my mind.

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