Aug. 31st, 2014

Ten books

Aug. 31st, 2014 12:07 am
brixtonbrood: (books beauty sheep)
Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker

Ten Books which have stayed with me - or rather us, so 5 each, shouldn't be too difficult to decide which is which, with some execptions.

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula Le Guin. The trek across the Ice is some of the most beautiful writing I know.

The Lord of the Rings. Actually, it's not so much the book itself, as the radio adaptation, which I listened to on hard repeat throughout my teens. Whenever I actually read the books I'm always taken by surprise by the bits that aren't in the radio adaptation. Favourite bit is Sam singing in the Tower of Cirith Ungol, which is a choice obviously driven by Bill Nighy's performance.

A Civil Contract, Georgette Heyer. I'm reaching the end of a systematic chronological read of all the Heyer Regencies, and hence can definitively say that A Civil Contract achieves things that the others (much though I love them) simply don't.

Cities of the Red Night, William Burroughs. The opening chapters in particular, with three or four different stories starting, and you want each one to be the rest of the book.

The Giant Under The Snow, John Gordon. The best flying scenes I've ever read, and some properly folkloric nasties.

Ballet Shoes, Noel Streatfeild. Re-reading this to Small as a bedtime story just brought it home to me how much I have memorised every detail of this book, from the escalators at the tube stations (or lack thereof) to the design of each audition dress. Winifred's entirely understandable outburst that of course Pauline will always be right for everything is a highlight.

The History of the Runestaff, Michael Moorcock. This is 573 pages of the purest pulp, written by Moorcock over the course of four weekends (one for each volume within the series) and read by me on a day during a long summer holiday when I had literally nothing else to do. Utter bobbins, but emblematic for me of five years spent indiscriminately devouring the entire SFF content of rural libraries.

The Ice Warrior and other stories, Robin Chambers. Not the lead story (which is a bit silly), but one called The Accident (I think), which was the first time I'd read a story where the end leads straight back to the start. It blew my seven-year-old mind.

His Master's Voice, Stanislaw Lem, and similarly, Roadside Picnic, Boris & Arkady Strugatsky. Both books highlight the uncaring, casual indifference of the universe and its other inhabitants to humanity - I can't really separate them in terms of staying with me.

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