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Friday, 20 April 2012

Literature I love

The list of books I love is long...very long. The authors that come to mind are the authors of all my favourite children's classics: Frances Hodgson Burnett, Johanna Spyri, Louisa May Alcott, J M Barrie, Kate Douglas Wiggins, Rudyard Kipling, Hans Christian Andersen, L M Montgomery, Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl; and others like Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Eva Ibbotson and J K Rowling. Can't think of anyone else right now. So this is my list for now:
  1. Heidi - This is my all time favourite. I've lost count of the number of times I've read it. For a number of years I read it at least twice every year. It was the book I fell back upon when I didn't have anything else to read, when I needed comfort, when I just wanted something to read..What is it that I find so appealing about this book? For one, the setting. For years I envied Heidi her Alpine hut and her fir trees and her goat's cheese. Spyri's loving descriptions of her homeland, her wonderful characters, and her simple but moving story are all elements that contribute to the charm of this book. Besides, this was the first ever classic I read and it opened up so many worlds for me. And it has a special place in my heart and my bookshelf by virtue of being my first and most often read 'big' book.
  1. Anne of Green Gables - This book was a great discovery. After I read it I spent two years reading all the books of Montgomery's that I could get my hands on. I still have a fascination for her, in spite of the faults I can now pick in her books. And I think that she is the author whose personal life I am most familiar with. On a side note, I refuse to believe she committed suicide! It might be a bit stupid, and idealistic, considering the evidence, but I simply can't live with the thought. About her books, the Blue Castle and Rilla of Ingleside are my favourites, apart from the Anne series. Anne is a heroine who really fired my imagination. I fancied I was a lot like her, and I think I even tried to be a bit like her. I can't exaggerate the influence L M has had on me. 
  1. A Little Princess - and Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden, these being the only books of Frances Hodgson Burnett's still widely available. What a protagonist! Sara has pluck, endurance, imagination, generosity and kindness. And I always hoped I'd be exactly like her in the face of misfortune. I think I liked Sara best out of all three protagonists and The Secret Garden best for its setting. As for Fauntleroy, he's a really sweet little kid, but I have to confess I've never yet met a boy that angelic, and it doesn't seem likely that I ever will.
  1. Peter Pan - I definitely have Peter Pan syndrome. I think this is the only book I read the abridged version of for years without realizing it was abridged. I'm usually a huge snob when it comes to this, and I turn up my nose at abridged books of any sort. But this one's different because its illustrations (by Eric Kincaid) are heavenly and it's not very abridged. Peter Pan has got to be one of the most beautifully written children's books ever. It's great fodder for the imagination.
  1. Little Women - Little Women is always a pleasure to read. And Jo is a heroine who I think most girls like. Of all the girls, she seems the realest, perhaps because she's based on Louisa herself. And she's such fun.  
  1. Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm - This book grew on me. The second or third time I read it I laughed out loud while reading about her journey with Mr.Cobbs. But I always thought her growing up was too brief and I like the first half of the book much better than the second half.
  1. Matilda - Roald Dahl. Bookworm. Super-intelligent. Magic powers. 'Nuff said.
  1. Malory towers - Enid Blyton was another author I was neck-deep in love with. And Malory towers is such fun to imagine. Especially the pranks.
  1. Persuasion - I love all Jane Austen's books except Northanger Abbey. I think Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice are my favourites. I don't know what I can say about Jane Austen that hasn't been said before, though. She's such a brilliant writer! So witty and unsentimental and her characters are so real we can identify with them still. The reason I like Anne best of her protagonists is because she seems different from the others. I adore her gentle and refined nature.
  1. Jungle book - Of course, Jungle book is simply fascinating. And I love the Indian setting and the sprinkling of Hindi words throughout the book.  
  1. Sherlock Holmes - Dear Mr.Holmes. Who can help liking him? Though it would be nice if he faltered a little more often, and if Dr.Watson had a few of the brainwaves too.
  1. Chasing Vermeer - I like this book because it's so different and original. And it makes you think. I love the patterns in the book, and I think in patterns for days whenever I read it. Plus it introduced me to Vermeer. 
  1. Magic Flutes and Which Witch - I really like Eva Ibbotson. There are quirks in her writing that are entirely her own. I like her children's and adults' books. Her books are really fun to read, and I love the way her love for Austria and Vienna shines through in her books. And I adore the eccentricities she gives some of her characters.
  1. Harry Potter - It occurred to me halfway through this list that I'd forgotten Harry Potter and I was appalled. I mean, how could I? Such an integral part of my childhood. Really, it would be a crime to forget Harry. I've read the books numerous times, and every time I'm reminded why I love fantasy.
  1. Vanity fair - This is the only book on this list I've read only once, and that's because I read it comparatively recently. An absolutely fascinating book. Becky Sharp deserves her reputation. I won't pretend I understood every word; and I had to keep referring to the footnotes. But it was definitely worth it. This is one book that just aches to be read over and over again, mulled over and analysed.

Tell me which books you like! :) 

P.S: Not in order of preference