Monday, 1 April 2013

Listmania 11: Favourite Books

I have always loved to read. I was a nightmare sleeper as a child and always considered five am an acceptable time to wake up. Mum taught me to read well before I hit school in an attempt to keep me in bed longer. She unleashed a monster. Having English teacher parents meant there was a plentiful supply of books on hand and we were very regular users of the library as children.

Fast forward to today and I don't read as much as I would like to. I am happy to read magazines and blogs online but I prefer paper in my hands when it comes to books. With the demise of Borders there are not a huge range of options for buying books in Singapore with the exception of the wonderful Books Kinokuniya chain. I do not know what we would without Book Depository.

I have followed Deb's approach of a broader look at books I love and then a quick look on my nightstand which is a more accurate reflection of what I am managing to read at the moment.

This pile is a bit of a look at books I have enjoyed recently and in the past. While I love a good Jane Austen I rarely re read those books.I really am at a point in life where I need books that I can pick up and put down again.

Starting from the top makes the best sense. Agatha Christie is still one of my favourite authors. The books are so readable and the themes so timeless and universal yet they shed a really interesting light on society at the time they were written. I have been buying omnibus editions of all her non Poirot and Marple novels and they have been such a great investment. I started reading these books when I was 8 or 9 so she has definitely provided me with 30 years of reading pleasure.

'Bloom' by Kelle Hampton was a memoir written by a blogger I follow about her reaction to the birth of her daughter Nella who was born with Down Syndrome. While aspects of the book drive me crazy the basic story is a very moving one of acceptance and change. I would also have to add the Blogess' memoir 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened' as an excellent example of the blogger turned author. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read but I suggest you read it alone at home. The snorting with laughter as you read will annoy fellow commuters and family members after a while.

'We Need to Talk About Kevin' is the last book my Mum suggested I read before she died and I recently reread it as a Mum and it certainly has a far darker tone from my new parent perspective. I keep meaning to watch the film as I am an enormous fan of Tilda Swinton. It is a bit of a tough read but a very thought provoking one.

Douglas Coupland is probably my favourite author and I feel he is quite under rated. His earlier works include 'Generation X' and 'Microserfs' and look at the life and times of Generation Xers in North America. As someone who sits firmly in that demographic I have found them a really interesting read. Most of his books I have in storage but this one I recently purchased and I really enjoyed reading it again.

My current favourite genre is crime and particularly novels by the Scandanavian crime writers. I am a big fan of Henning Mankell (you may have seen the TV adaptations of his Wallender books starring Kenneth Branagh) and this book is by an Icelandic author. They are dark books but it is interesting being transported to a part of the world that is unfamiliar and fascinating to an outsider.

My secret pleasure is the Sookie Stackhouse series of books by Charlaine Harris. I have only watched the first season of the TV show (True Blood) but I have really enjoyed the books. Light and entertaining.

This is the current state of my bedside table. There are more of Miss Three's books in evidence than my own which is probably about right.
The Lion in The Meadow was one of my favourite stories when I was a little girl and I am pleased that Miss Three loves it too. We read it often. The Glum Peacock is a book my sister brought back from India for M3. It is a lovely story about accepting yourself and not wanting to be the same as everyone else. Beneath that is the famous Make Way for Ducklings book. We read that for the first time last night as it was a little wordy for M3 when she was younger. We both really enjoyed it, especially the detailed drawings. It was a gift from family friends who live just outside of Boston where the story is set.

On the grown up side of things there is an old issue of Vanity Fair that I have not managed to read. One longer article from there is about what I will get read before I fall asleep at night. I also have two novels there. An Inspector Singh novel by Shamini Flint which I have just finished. These are a really enjoyable series of crime novels written about a Singaporean policeman solving crimes around Asia. They are light but quite well written and I have read all of them now that I finished the one set in Cambodia. The final book on my bedside table is Gone Girl and I just don't love it. I haven't finished it and am not sure I am going to bother. The characters are so unlikeable.

I must apologise for the even worse than usual quality of my photos today. I have managed to misplace my camera so I am relying on the iPhone for happy snaps today.

I would love to hear more about your favourite books and authors as I am always looking for new books to read. I am currently awaiting a Book Depository order with a Jamie Oliver cookbook and a couple of Gretchen Rubin books including a sentence a day journal. There are a couple of books for M3 too. Sadly hubby doesn't read fiction - he really is missing out!

I am linking up with Deb's marvellous Listmania at homelifesimplified. I would love to see your post there! Have a wonderful April!

Post image for Listmania Eleven: Books


  1. Oh yes I love the book depository - but I use it more for kids books than my own (I love my kindle now). My bedside table has a few of my kids books too!

  2. I love reading and I always said I would never get an e-reader but now I have one I love it because I can get my hands on so many books I wouldn't normally be able to get and a lot cheaper. I love historical fiction and crime so I should probably give Agatha a go.

  3. I love to hear that you love Scandinavian authors. Have you read anything from the author Mons Kallentoft? He comes from the same village as I, and his books take place in my hometown Linköping and the first book from my childhood village and another one mentions the village we live in now ( Klockrike).

  4. I too am grateful for book depository - i can only imagine if it had been around when we lived in Bangkok - we had expensive books at Asia books at least + Kinokunia as well but rarely ventured there.

    I want to read the Sookie Stackhouse boks this year too - we fell in love with True Blood last year and hubby is already asking about the next series which has not come into the video shop yet .

    I wrote a grateful post about The Blogess' book last year - most laughing i have done in years!!! kept waking hubby up in bed with my laughing and shaking the whole bed

  5. My favorite books ever are the Earth Child Series by Jean M. Auel. Starts with Clan of the Cave Bear. I must have read the first one like five times!

  6. We need to talk about kevin aww what a chilling story and I have seen the film as well Tilda does not disappoint xx

  7. I am very embarrassed by all these books I have no idea about! I am off to the bookshop on Wednesday to buy up big. Thanks for the recommendations

  8. Thanks for this list, I'm always looking for some new books to read!

  9. Impressive list of books, I myself have to choose hobbys, either scrap or read, because if I just start to read, I never stop, I don't even go to bed....

  10. Trying to cut back on television (hubby downloads whole seasons of shows and watches very quickly!) so I never watched True Blood. Might just try the Sookie Stackhouse series. Books are far better than television! Also adding a few more of your recommendations. Thanks!

  11. Love your list of books and have popped a couple on my wish list, love Book Depository to0.