My Life in Books Tag

booktag

I enjoyed reading Charley’s recent post at booksandbakes1  on the tag of My Life in Books and she kindly nominated anyone who wanted to participate. My hand shot up as the prospect of having an excuse to study my books was irresistible. What a treat!

Blimey! Where to start? By my reckoning I read at least 80 books a year, so that alone adds up to … a lot of books. I slowly dawdled past my old flames, scanning the covers, stopping to flip through the pages, reading a snippet here or there. It quickly became evident that this post would take some time to complete…hours later…

Here are my book selections for the tag and I’ve added a twist by including the first sentence/paragraph of each book as a taster. I want to mention that the books read in recent years, most of which have been on Kindle, are sadly ruled out. The choice was still staggering however.

  1. FIND A BOOK FOR EACH OF YOUR INITIALS.

I cheated a bit here by including my middle name too.    

A.

2015-10-05 15.02.01 

This is the  last of Thomas Eidson’s excellent and heart-stopping trilogy.

‘Like a frigid hand of ice gripping the back of her neck, the winter wind blew in across the prairie, over the quiet farmyard and into the garden where they stood staring at the coffin. She shivered.’

M.  

me

Get your tissue box out for this one – although I rarely cry whilst reading this one had me weeping by the end. Beautiful but so sad. I’ve put the sequel ‘After You’ on to my Christmas list. The sequel is a first for Jojo Moyes but she could not resist the clamour from her fans to learn more about Louise and her life.

‘There are 158 footsteps between the bus stop and home, but it can stretch to 180 if you aren’t in a hurry, like maybe if you’re wearing platform shoes.’

P. 

papillon1

Gosh, I re-read this many times in my teens and then later relished seeing Steve McQueen in the film version. I suffered with him throughout and by the end collapsed on the sofa exhausted. 

‘The blow was such a stunner that it was thirteen years before I could get back on my feet again.’

2. COUNT YOUR AGE  ALONG YOUR BOOK SHELF – WHICH BOOK IS IT?

A tricky one as the house is encumbered with bookcases but I have an antique-style desk with top bookshelf where my all time favourite books reside. I counted and stopped at my age.

2015-10-05 14.58.06

A must-read for mankind I feel. 

‘You who live safe

In your warm houses,

You who find, returning in the evening,

Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider if this is a man

Who works in the mud,

Who does not know peace,

Who fights for a scrap of bread,

Who dies because of a yes or a no.’

3. PICK A BOOK SET IN YOUR STATE/COUNTY/CITY/COUNTRY

god1

This book starts in the county I’m living in now, so just slides into this category by my reckoning.

‘I decided to enter this world just as my mother got off the bus after an unproductive shopping trip to Ilford.’

4. PICK A BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION YOU WOULD LOVE TRAVEL TO

ladies2

I am a great fan of Mme Ramotswe of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1.  Ladies Detective Agency and I would love to travel to the warmth of Botswana, sit in a cafe and do nothing but gaze onto life outside whilst sipping redbush tea. Oh well, I’l make do with reading the books and watching the TV series. 

‘Mme Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of Kgale Hill. These were its assets: a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone and an old typewriter. Then there was a teapot, in which Mme Ramotswe – the only lady detective in Botswana – brewed redbush tea.’

5. PICK A BOOK THAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR

hand

As such I don’t have a favourite colour but I adore this cover of the sunset over the sea and must say that I bought the book for that alone, before becoming engrossed and anguished by the tale that unfolded. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

‘Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl.’

6. WHICH BOOK DO YOU HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORIES OF?

the hob

As so many writers I was inspired by a wonderful teacher. When I was aged 8-years-old Mr Kewley introduced this book to us. I have re-read it countless times, the magic of words still beating their song in my heart. The book holds a particular pathos for me as my then favourite teacher passed away two years later from leukaemia. 

‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with thing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.’ 

7. WHICH BOOK DID YOU HAVE MOST DIFFICULTY READING?

mason

Having read and mostly enjoyed ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ I bought this hardback with confidence. Alas all my attempts to read beyond the first chapter failed and it now sits in my book shelf, unread, pristine. Such a pity as I loved the concept and it felt such a noble enterprise.

‘Snow-Balls have flown their Arcs, starr’d the Sides of Outbuildings, as of Cousins, carried Hats away into the brisk Wind off Delaware.-the Sleds are brought in and their Runners carefully dried and greased, shoes deposited in the back Hall…’

8. WHICH BOOK IN YOUR TBR PILE WILL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU FINISH IT?

2015-10-05 14.55.20

In my twenties I was introduced to this and it is a tricky read and took a long while to attune myself to the complex language. I was thrilled to have finished it but also surprised how much by the end it had become part of my inner self.

‘When conversation at school turned to the Russo-Japanese War, Kiyoaki Matsugae asked his closest friend Shiegkuna Honda, how much he could remember about it.’

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the books in my life and I would like nominate you fellow bloggers to carry on with the tag. I  look forward to learning about the books that have featured and are present in your life, please grasp hold of the baton and carry it forwards. It’s a great fun tag to complete. 

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18 thoughts on “My Life in Books Tag

  1. Peter R says:

    Well, you got me hooked there. “Mason and Dixon” is now on my Kindle, awaiting its turn in the reading list. Sounds a good read. Mason was a talented, self-taught astronomer and navigator, while Dixon was a renowned surveyor and cartographer. Mark Knofler wrote the song “Sailing to Philadelphia” about them. “The Geordie and the baker’s boy, in the forests of the Iroquois”

  2. Jill Weatherholt says:

    Wow! Terrific post, Annika! My dream would be to take a year off from work, head to a scenic location and just read. Although I love my Kindle, as it prevents me from having an accident while reading on the treadmill, like you, I miss the covers.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you Jill! So glad you enjoyed the post. I like your dream of taking a year out just to read! I’d never thought of taking a kindle onto a treadmill, but know when I took it to the beach once I was paranoid about the sand so not a relaxing experience.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a great blog … and a great idea. It’s got me thinking that I should do this just to see what I turn up, although I too have a problem of which bookcase to start on. It was interesting to see what you have in your bookcases – I believe that books reflect the person, and I’m afraid I’m always looking through the bookshelves when I visit friends, not only to see what they are intersetd in but also to see if there is anything that would interest me. Love the idea of the picture too – it adds the personal touch to the blog I feel.
    Well done.

    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you and it is a good idea for a blog. As yo say a person’s books often reflects who they are, so perhaps this is a microcosm of that, a glimpse into me through my books! It’s always interesting as the books tell a life story as well from childhood books, study ones, special interests as well as fiction.

  4. D. Wallace Peach says:

    I can see why that took hours, but what fun. Books are like old friends. You highlight one of the advantages of paper books – that ability to flip through pages and browse. For some reason, that’s really hard to do with ebooks, for me anyway. Thanks for all the recommendations 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      You’re right, I miss not being able to flip through my ebooks. Also I find I’m reading book after book but can’t remember the titles as I hardly ever see the front cover – a normal book would lay on the table shouting out its title and author every time I passed by so by the end of it be firmly inprinted on the memory, I’d recommend all of these apart from Pynchon perhaps.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much and I’m ever so sorry but I just found this comment in spam. You are so kind and I’m over the moon you’re enjoying looking around my blog. ❤️ Thank you for the follow, I’m now following you – you write great reviews of very interesting books,

  5. Mirja says:

    What a powerful post, emotionally and literally. It has me swinging between tears and laughs.

    So your hand shot up at the prospect of telling about your beloved books.:)) I am so glad you did; several titles are among my favourites too. The story about your teacher – Mr Kewley –
    and introduction to ‘Hobbit’ is so tender.
    As to ‘Mme Ramotswe’ I am a big fan too and have read them all.
    Can I please come along to Botswana.:) How often I thought the same.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you Mirja and yes, I so enjoyed writing this post. A few hours of pure indulgence. I had that original Hobbit cover book but was silly enough to lend it to a person who then point blank refused to return it. I was sad for years about that. Oh definitely do come along to Africa, the more the merrier to Botswana – I’m sure there’s group discount.😀

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