8 September is International Literacy Day. As a reader and a writer I am deeply grateful for the ability to read. I am even more grateful for my love of reading; people who can read but choose not to are hard for me to understand.
I will be celebrating literacy day by going home and spending the evening with a good book; while sitting in a lounge surrounded by book shelves, filled and overflowing with books. I wanted to share something about the books and author’s that I love, but lists of favourite books or best books worry me. How can I pick just one, or five or ten? And what about all the books I haven’t read?
So I decided to share a list of some of the books which I have read repeatedly. I took more than twice as the cut-off, and only noted books read as an adult. So this does not include the many wonderful children’s books which I read and reread when I was very young. I should add that this is a fairly random list. I am sure I have left off several books, and if I wrote this next week it might look slightly different. But it does give some idea of the books and authors I love, and might suggest a book that you want to read next.
Douglas Adams – The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy (and sequels)
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre
Angela Carter – The Magic Toyshop
Barry Hughart – Bridge of Birds
Esther Friesner – Yesterday We Saw Mermaids
Rosemary Kirstein – The Steerswoman series
Ursula K LeGuin – The Earthsea series
Alison Lurie – The Portrait of Lorin Jones
Ellis Peters – Brother Cadfael books
Marge Piercy – He, She and It (also published as Body of Glass)
Terry Pratchett – I can happily reread any of his books, and frequently do
J K Rowling – Harry Potter books
J R R Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings
And now I am going home. I think I can hear a book calling me. Happy Literacy Day to all you happy readers.