I have been an avid reader all my looong life. A question was posed recently on a friend’s Facebook, what is your favourite book of all time?
They wanted me to pick just one?
My cousin Madonna, gave me the title quote recently. She is undergoing chemotherapy currently and asked me for some ideas about books to read.
I asked – what do you like?
Her response forever enshrined in this BLOG post was – if someone doesn’t die I am not interested in opening it.
So I rolled through my favourite ‘someone dies’ authors in my mind and here is the collection I sent her – annotations optional.
Someone dies genre
Lee Childs and the Jack Reacher series. Jack is 6’5″ – who thought Tom Cruise could be a good approximation of that?
David Baldacci and the Amos Decker series. All of his series actually.
Janet Evanovich and the heroine Stephanie Plum adventures. I want a Ranger in my life!
J D Robb and her in Death series. Eve Dallas and crime fighting in the near future, flying cars. Addictive.
Alistair MacLean and his war adventure series. This is strictly speaking a ‘many people die at the hands of the enemy’ genre, but closely related. I was introduced to this author when I received HMS Ulysses as a book prize in school, aged about 14.
Animals and people being entertaining genre
Here I am introducing my two favourite books EVER.
My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell. This wonderful autobiographical work is the often exaggerated story of Gerry and his family on the island of Corfu between 1935-1939.
It has given rise to a number of movies, TV series, and subsequent books. Now you know what the origin was.
I have had several copies over the years – loaned them to friends and acquaintances and just forgot to get them back. About the treasured yellow hard copy edition Mark – the sound engineer at Radio 2EA Sydney around 1984. I’d like it back – if you have finished with it?
So many parts stand out.
The ultimate accolade his Mum would bestow on any new picnic spot they visited – I could die here.
The hapless chickens who would flock to the back door at any time of the day when enticed by the Magpies who mimicked the human call of ‘come get your food’!
The best? His unflappable mother in later years, who after receiving a flock of pelicans without a return address, settled them in and waited for a call from Gerry. She was not surprised they were from him when he eventually called. Who else would send me a flock of pelicans, for safekeeping dear?
That is the type of parenting I have tried to emulate.
The final entry in this meandering ‘books I have read’ list is given to Desmond Morris and his book Animal Days. I encounter contrasting responses every time I read it.
He makes some truly serious observations about human and animal behaviour. The sadness of the eventual consequences of chimp/human interactions and the sadly dysfunctional pandas made me weep. But my centre is pure marshmallow. (Who can forget the moment when Bumble Bee was injured in the Transformers?)
His descriptions of the world-class scientists’ antics on a conference bus-tour left me gasping from laughter. Along with the retelling of his then-fiancee perched on the bonnet of a car as they searched for wild rabbits for a research project. They lost time getting out of the car when the animal was transfixed by the headlights so Ramona would perch there and once the car stopped would leap off to capture the rabbit. The point was to not distress the bunny and quick action was necessary.
Yes, they did get married.
Let me know your favourite book/s of ALL TIME?