Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ten books that saved my life

Because we were too poor to own a radio, when I was younger reading was the only way to escape. Here's a list of ten books that saved my life in roughly chronological order:

1 The William Books. Timeless humour pierced the deepest gloom.

2 Guys And Dolls. Grown up humour for kids.

3 Animal Farm. Hm. It's an allegory isn't it?

4 Hurry On Down. Unreadable now but it hinted at a way out.

5 The Great Gatsby. Peerless. Hopelessly romantic but written by the hand of an angel. I wanted to write like that.

6 Scoop. More grown-up humour and beautifully written.

7 A Farewell To Arms. My only reservation about this book was the fear that maybe Hemingway was better than Fitzgerald. He wasn't.

8 Goodbye To All That. How to survive a war. Which is what you're trying to do at sixteen.

9 Dubliners. Startingly good writing and accessible too.

10 An American Dream. Notable mainly because it was the last book I read before going up to University when the world changed forever.

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