My Life In Books

I was nominated for this tag by the lovely Aliza ages ago but am only now getting round to responding. So firstly this is an apology to Aliza, for not acknowledging her kind message at the time, as well as a thank you and an encouragement to all readers to go and have a look at her great blog. Thanks Aliza!

I’m writing this from my living room, curled up on the sofa nearest my book shelves, so I’ve got inspiration close to hand. I’m going to try to answer all these questions using books from my shelf. Let’s see how I get on!

1 Books with titles that begin with each of your initials… 

EverythingIlluminated     BringUpBodies

[Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer / Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel]

I remember really enjoying Everything is Illuminated, but for some reason I didn’t go on to read other works by the same author. Several people recommended Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close but as soon as I knew what it was about I thought, “Oh no, that’s not for me, thank you very much. Hell. To. The. No.” It’s probably excellent but I’m too scared of books that might be upsetting. I’m such a coward.

I’m always a fan of anything set in the Tudor period and Wolf Hall was an immediate favourite. I didn’t enjoy Bring Up The Bodies, the sequel, as much but it was still a great read.

2 Count your age along your bookshelf, which book is it? 


[The Plague – Albert Camus]

My books are arranged alphabetically by author. If I count to 32 along my books I reach ‘C’ and I’m still on the top shelf. Hurrah. This is what my ego needs.

I picked this tatty copy of The Plague up at a charity shop a few months ago, shortly after reading a great article about Camus online. I was dead keen on reading this at the time but it’s been sitting on my shelf unread ever since. I’ll get to it soon I’m sure.

3 A book that represents a destination you’d like to visit…. 

[A Passage to India – E.M. Forster / The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy / A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth / Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie]

There were a few possible candidates for this one but India is an obvious answer for me. My deep wish to go has often manifested itself in an obsessive need to read books set there. These are the four currently on my shelf – the only one I haven’t yet read is Midnight’s Children but I can’t recommend the other three highly enough.

4 A book set in your city/county/country… 


[Waterland – Graham Swift]

I know of only one book set in my home city. I didn’t particularly enjoy it and I don’t own it so it’s not going to appear here! I live right on the edge of the Fens and I love the way that books set in this area can have an eerie, isolated feel to them. This is one of my favourites. It’s bleak as hell.

5 A book that’s your favourite colour… 


[The Children’s Book – A.S. Byatt]

I’m not sure I have a favourite colour but I think this is one of the prettiest books I own. I don’t have many nice looking books – most are scrappy secondhand copies and that’s quite okay with me – but in a rare moment of frivolity I bought this one new and in hardback. It was thrilling and, in my opinion, worth the money.

6 A book that you have fond memories of… 


[I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith]

Yup. We all saw that one coming.

7 A book you had difficulty reading… 


[Les Miserables – Victor Hugo]

It took bloody ages but  I got there in the end… although I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Hugo for all those insanely long digressions about sewers. Why would you do that? Why?

The Doctor summed it up perfectly:


8 A book on your TBR list that will give you a great sense of achievement… 


[War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy]

I’m reading this now so hopefully that great sense of achievement isn’t too far off in the future!

Thanks again to Aliza for the nomination. Make sure you check her blog out.

I’m not sure who to tag in this one so if you see it and like it go ahead and take it!

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