Monday 11 March 2013

World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day on March 7th we have each chosen our favourite childhood book, teenage book and adult book. So to find out what each of us liked best as a child, a teenager and now as adults, read on.

And we'd love to hear what your favourite book was when you were a child, a teenager and an adult, and what you think of our choices.

Claire Merle - Here are my book picks:

Claire Merle
As a child: The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton.
I can't wait to read this again with my boys. The story had such a big impact on me that the children's adventures became entangled with my own memories and it's as though I actually went to that magical place. 

I read this book at school and I've never fallen out of love with it. 

It's almost impossible to just pick one book from so many years of reading and so many amazing books, but 'The Sky is Everywhere' definitely deserves more attention! Reading this book is like taking a bath in starlight. For my goodreads review go here:

Teri Terry
Teri Terry - I was really stumped with this at first. I love so many books: how do you choose? But then I realized that as far as childhood and teenage favourites, it was easy: I have The Shelf. I’ve moved a million times (nearly), sometimes literally from one end of the earth to the other, and these are the only books that made it through every single space-challenged move from where I first started reading, Canada:

Going by broken spines, it’d have to be Tolkien’s Lord ofthe Rings when I was a child (I first read it at 11), and Heilein’s Stranger ina Strange Land as a teen. The latter was dated when I read it (first published in the 60's) and yes, it shows in the sexist attitudes of the time. But I loved the whole idea of someone raised by Martians and returning to earth, knowing nothing of where he finds himself, and the magic of how he changes the world he finds. I guess I often felt like a Martian at that age.

Favourite book now that I’m ‘grown up’? I can’t pick. Honestly, I’ve tried, but my favourites change all the time. There isn’t a rational answer. Though one thing is true: the revolving list is all not meant for grown ups. David Almond's Skellig will always hold a very special place as it was reading it and seeing the magic that children's books still hold for me that made me desperate to write them.

Julienne Durber
Julienne Durber -  I have to admit that, like Teri, my childhood choice is really The Lord of the Rings and it still counts as the story I've read the most. But as Teri has bagged that one, here are my choices:

My childhood book, bought from a jumble sale because it had a dog on the front is Fluke by James Herbert. No horror, sex or violence just a facinating take on a simple idea - especially when you are 11!

My teen book is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Chosen off my grammar school library's bookshelves in a crass attempt to look intelectual (it's Russian, but really short!) it is the first novel I read from cover to cover in one go, then reread two days later.

And like Teri and Claire, my adult choice changes all the time. But discounting anything I have read in the last couple of years, or books by friends (and as there was no Tolkien in my first choice) I'll say Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle - a tiny gem entirely devoid of elves, orcs, dwarves or rings.

Julie Bertagna
Julie Bertagna - Never thought of Heidi as dystopian fiction? Well, it was for me, aged four. I was fascinated by this tale of a young girl ripped from the world she knows after her parents’ deaths and transported to an alien landscape where all the adults are harsh tyrants. But little Heidi changes her cruel new world and reclaims her destiny by sheer wit and will.  

In my teens I hurtled into sci-fi but (shock-horror) since YA was not yet invented, I trawled the adult shelves of my library and had my mind blown by Three Go Back, a 1930s time travel love story where a crashed airship plunges the survivors into a pre-historic world of the first humans. Beautiful and strange, it's stayed with me ever since.

I can’t choose just one favourite book but the story that’s been most powerful for me all my adult life, and as a writer, is actually a poem - Tennyson’s Ulysses. Read it and you'll see why...

Now tell us your choices - we'd love to know whay they are.

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