I keep being tagged in those social media posts where you're supposed to put up a number of books you love or books that have changed you or just books. With no comment or explanation, they usually say. I suppose this is so that it doesn't seem like a hard thing to do. Maybe so that it provokes other people to comment. I've done this before, I always want to shout about books I love, but the tags are coming so thick and fast in the current situation - what else have people got to do but look back at books, movies, music, paintings that they love - that I can't bring myself to join in. And besides, I find I want to comment. I have things to say about books. I want people to hear them.
So I was lying in bed, thinking about what I might choose if I was posting seven books that mean a lot to me/changed my life/I want to share. I thought I'd need to browse through my bookshelves but actually seven books appeared in my head straight away. Of course, as a children's book nerd, all seven are children's books. I do read other things. I love many, many books aimed at adults, but I don't feel nearly as passionate about them as I do about the children's books I love. Why would that be? Is it because the books I loved as a child stood out more because the pool of all the books I had read was smaller when I read them? Is it because I wasn't consciously looking for books that were like books I'd already enjoyed, so that finding these was a joyful happenstance?
I'd be interested to know if adults who don't read children's books have stand-out books from their childhoods that they would consider including in a list of favourites. As us children's writers know, many adults see children's books as less worthy than books aimed at adults. I think if anyone who had been a reader since childhood gave it some thought, they would easily put their finger on a few stand-out books from their childhood.
So here are the seven books that sprang into my mind.
What can I say about them? They seem distinctly 'girly' to me, but that could be to do with the era in which I was a child. There's a clear progression in when I took up each as 'my favourite book'. But somehow even when I championed a new one, all the others still remained 'my favourite'. The order is:
So I thought, instead of just showing you covers, I'd tell you why I love these books. I've already written about most of them on this blog. You can click on the titles above to see what I had to say. The rest I'll write over the course of the next few weeks. There isn't after all anything much pressing to do at the moment.