For the next two weeks I intend to focus my blog on reviews of those books which have had the greatest impact on me personally over the years.
I could include classics like The Lord of the Rings, which my sister and I read aloud to each other between Christmas and Easter when I was eleven, an epic I have certainly enjoyed several times on my own since then.
Then there was Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd which I remember with affection for its detailed descriptions, its capture of mood and characterisation and I must admit identifying more with Fanny than with Bathsheba Everdene, in my impressionable teenage years.
In this list I could also not leave out Emily Brönte’s Wuthering Heights where I wept in the realisation that love does not always triumph.
Shall I add one of Jane Austin’s novels to these books of distinction and if so which one would it be? The hardest thing I find with Jane Austin is distinguishing between my memories of the written word and the film or televised costume dramas viewed since. My thoughts are coloured by voices and actions which sway my judgement and so I can’t easily identify a favourite amongst her work.
Instead, in the next two weeks I intend to share lesser tomes, in terms of their fame and fortune anyway, but nevertheless they will be novels which I believe are equally worthy because they still live on within me long after I have read the final page and they have certainly left their mark in the way in which I think about the world.