Thursday, 10 January 2008

Booking through Thursday - May I introduce...


How did you come across your favourite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?

Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?

Not much posting here of late! Not so much an extended Christmas break as a frantic panic when I re-started work to prepare for meetings, and since Monday I've been in London working hard! Not even a trip to a bookshop to show for it.

Favourite authors? Rather than compile a new list, I think I'd better use my Library Thing list of favourites, otherwise we'll be here all week. I don't really remember discovering Jane Austen, but I do remember joining the Folio Society years ago so that I could have a really beautiful boxed set of her books. I treasure them and read at least one every year. I first came across Georgette Heyer in the local library in my teens, I have loved her books ever since. Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse was lent to me by a friend when I was about 11, because it was vaguely "horsy". I fell in love, and Goudge's writing, both for adults and children, has sustained me all my life.

Alan Garner and William Mayne were similarly childhood discoveries; I love Mayne's books based on his time as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral. I'm not sure his characters talk like real people, exactly, but I find their conversations irresistible.

Dorothy Sayers came a bit later – after I dropped out of drama school I was at a loose end and spent a lot of time in the library. Crime novels were a great favourite and for years my husband and I both read pretty much everything that came our way. If I weren't keeping to the Library Thing list I would have to add several other writers here (notably Marjory Allingham and Michael Innes).

Then there's a triumvirate of much more recent writers: William Gibson, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Garth Nix. Grimwood is far too violent for me, really, but I love what he does. Both he and Gibson were recommendations by my sons, who often come up with interesting things to keep me amused. Nix goes the other way – a beautifully designed cover caught my eye, and I try to persuade everyone I possibly can to read his Old Kingdom trilogy.

Finally, I can't list favourites without including Mervyn Peake. I don't re-read him frequently in the way I do all the others, but he's part of my soul. If there was a fire and I had time to rescue anything (once the dogs were out, of course) it would be my first editions of The Gormenghast trilogy.

11 comments:

GeraniumCat said...

Before anyone tells me, I know my link on the BTT page isn't working - it seems to be allergic to me and, of course, it won't let me change it. Sorry everyone!

Chris said...

I just discovered Heyer. Love her work. I can't wait to read more.

Melody said...

I haven't read any of the authors you listed except Jane Austen. I'm still trying to collect her other books since I only have three at the moment.

Happy BTT!

Julia said...

I'm not familiar with authors you listed but I'm think I should try.

I hope you've a good days/weekend ahead!

BookGal said...

This is what I love about book blogs. You've listed a number of new to me authors so I have some new names to explore.

BooksPlease said...

I haven't come across some of these authors, but yes to others - Jane Austen, Alan Garner and Dorothy Sayers(it's ages since I've read her books) and how could I have forgotten Elizabeth Goudge - lovely books. Thanks for reminding me. And I've never read Georgette Heyer, although she was very popular when I worked in a public library!

Table Talk said...

I keep trying to read Peake, but somehow I can't make contact with him. Even the TV version left me cold. Otherwise, I'm pretty much with you all the way.

gautami tripathy said...

I have not heard of anyone other than Austen. No prizes for that!

An Aside: You just click on your post title, copy it and paste there at BTT. It will work at first go!

GeraniumCat said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Chris, I'd love to be reading Heyer for the first time - what a lot of fun reading you have in front of you. Booksplease, I do think you'd like them...

For people who don't know some of the others: I do love all these authors but they're a pretty eclectic mix. Garner, Mayne and Nix are mostly YA authors (Mayne wrote for younger children too, a wonderful mix of everyday and exotic, but I think to many people they might seem dated now). Grimwood's Arabesk trilogy is an alternate history set in Egypt after Germany has won WWI (so the Ottoman Empire prevails rather than the Third Reich) - utterly absorbing near future thrillers but the violence warning stands!

Michael Innes isn't as good as Allingham or Sayers, perhaps but, if you like period crime fiction, some of it is excellent.

elizabethm said...

I think we might have shared the same childhood - yes to Mayne and Alan Garner (I know him now, how cool is that?), and how about Rosemary Sutcliffe and Lucy M Boston and The Far Distant Oxus? None of my reading as an adult has stayed with me in the same way but also love Austen and Heyer and Anne Tyler and (for self indulgence) Katie Fforde.

GeraniumCat said...

I think you are probably right, though I didn't like Tyler's last(?) book, The Amateur Marriage. But yes to self-indulgent reading of Katie Fforde, and I loved Rosemary Sutcliffe. The Far Distant Oxus isn't a book I know, though I've seen a couple of references to it recently. I gather I should read it? For adult reading, have you read Victoria Clayton, Elizabeth Pewsey and Joyce Windsor?