I am often struck by people’s relationships to certain books. It points to moments in our lives, ones we want to relive, some we’d rather forget. We become attached to a book or a movie when it ‘speaks’ to a part of ourselves.
I believe that a memorable book and indeed movie, is like spending time with a good friend; give more than they ask and often provide exactly the boost you need. Here are some of my sentimental favourites and why:
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – The book of course, but equally the BBC miniseries is my number 1 choice of reuniting with old friends.
- Only You – Ok it is a pretty corny movie, but Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. make it fun. It is required viewing when I am pining for Italy and the Amalfi Coast.
- Sara Dane by Catherine Gaskin – This is a rich and interesting story of a young woman sentenced to transportation as a convict to Australia. An Australian classic. I haven’t seen the wonderful TV Mini series in many years. My copy was my grandmother’s book and it brings many happy memories of her when I walk past it on the bookshelf.
- Harry Potter 1-7 by J K Rowling – What can I say about the wonderful world that Ms Rowling created? I was captivated by her weaving of so many tales, creatures and myths into this series. I always enjoy re-reading the books before I watch the movies, because the books are so much better.
- The Magus by John Fowles – this is my seminal book. I adore John Fowles, consumed everything I could find in my late teens and early twenties. His writing spoke to me then. It has been many years since I have read one of his books and I am almost too scared to tackle The Magus again in case I don’t love it as much as I did. The French Lieutenant’s Woman will the first on my re-read list.
- Percheron Trilogy by Fiona McIntosh – These three books were in some way my first introduction to popular fantasy. With locations loosely based on Constantinople it is rich with lush scenery and fantastical creatures and magic. I also love reading Fiona McIntosh and particularly enthusiastic as she is a South Australian author.
- The Diary of Anne Frank – compelling and eye opening read as a 13 year old. I have read several holocaust novels from the perspective of the child since. Whilst many of these have been excellent this book has really shaped my thoughts on this topic. I was fortunate to visit the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam many years ago and to see the house in reality is quite humbling and sobering. If only humanity could learn from history ….