Over the last few weeks a number of my friends have posted their ten favourite books on facebook. Some nominate friends to do likewise, usually stating that they should not think too hard. I have not been nominated but thought it would be a good exercise.
I did have to think hard because didn't really start reading books until I was 38!
As a child I could not accept stories about animals who wore clothes and talked, but I did have a copy of 'Milly Molly Mandy'. Even so I much preferred pictures to words. I managed to go through school without reading a novel from cover to cover where, fortunately, English Literature was not a compulsory subject! My life was full of doing and making; as a child I knitted jumpers and made clothes for my dolls and for my friend's dolls. By the age of 9/10 I was knitting jumpers for myself and sewing my own clothes along with going to dancing lessons five times a week - no time for homework let alone reading!
My list of books:
1: However, I did have a copy of the Bible, given to me by my parents when aged six, when my Christmas list consisted of a Bible, hymnbook and gun! The gun was so I could play cowboys and indians with the two boys who lived up the road - this was much more fun than reading stories - we were acting them out! I later progressed from the Authorised Version to JB Phillips New Testament, then the Good News Bible (described by a tutor at college as the Mickey Mouse version!) and now I prefer the New Living Bible for my personal use.
2: The novel that got me reading was recommended by a friend who was lodging with us - 'The Magus' by John Fowles. I liken it to learning to swim by jumping in the deep end! (I still can't swim!)
3: 'Life and how to survive it' by John Cleese and Robin Skynner was published when I was a Marriage Guidance Counsellor. It is very easy to read, very helpful and is illustrated with many humorous cartoons.
4: When my faith took on a deeper understanding I read 'God of Surprises' by Gerard W Hughes.
5: 'My utmost for His highest' by Oswald Chambers - a book of daily devotions written in the early 20th century which still bring me up sharp.
6: 'Holiness' by JC Ryle, written over a hundred years ago but I found it easy to read especially as he accepted women as equal.
7: At college a friend recommended 'The other side of silence' by Morton Kelsey.
And that's where my list ends although I have read all of Gerard W Hughes' books and many of Oswald Chambers' and Morton Kelsey's books but none have had such an impact as those seven.
However, during the late 80s and 90s I avidly awaited the next novel by Susan Howatch with her 'Starbridge Cronicles' and 'Wonder Worker' trilogy. Today, I am devouring Robert Harris' latest; 'An officer and a spy', having read all but one of his previous novels.