Here is my magnum opus, that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, and have held off from posting, since it was Too Long, and too self-indulgent. Still, I might as well post it, so here it is.
I've never attempted to create a Top Ten list of my favourite books or films, because I find it impossible to judge between current favourites, and those were dear to me in the past. So I've decided instead to produce a list of Books That Have Made Me What I Am (whatever that is)
It's arranged more or less chronologically. Also, me being me, it is looong...
so what you see here is the executive summary, with the self-indulgent memories in the cuts. 1. Swallows and Amazons series, by Arthur Ransome
Reason: My first ever major obsession. There would be many more( Read more... ) 2. Children of the New Forest, by Captain Marryat
Reason: First historical novel. Started a love of history. Had me writing fan fiction, 15 years before I knew there was word for what I was doing, and that other people did it, too.( Read more... )3. The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
Reason: Well, you have to, don't you? The second of the Three Overwhelming Obsessions that I have had in my life. Started me on fantasy, on legends… and ultimately showed me that reading can be a sociable thing, not just a private matter.( Read more... )4. Roger Lancelyn Green's retellings of myths and legends
Reason: Got me interested in legends, and in King Arthur. And King Arthur has led to many happy memories…( Read more... )5. Waterland, by Graham Swift
Reason: Showed me that there was more to literature than nineteenth century historical novels and fantasy. ( Read more... )6. The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper
Reason: Caused me to return to children's books, some ten years after I'd "grown out" of them. Directly led, therefore, to my choice of career. ( Read more... )7. The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones
Reason: Because I refuse to do any top ten list that doesn't include DWJ( Read more... )8. The Stand, by Stephen King
Reason: Taught me not to be so snobby about popular books. Should have taught me not to start reading long-running fantasy series until they're finished, but I've spectacularly failed to learn that lesson. ( Read more... )9. The Farseer series, by Robin Hobb
Reason: Re-introduced me to adult fantasy novels, after years of reading nothing but children's books and X-Files fanfic. ( Read more... )10. A Song of Ice and Fire, by George RR Martin
Reason: Because I refuse to do any top ten list that doesn't include GRRM( Read more... )
So that's it, for now. I expect I'll suddenly remember things I've missed, and this 10 will grow to 11, or 12, or 13. I also intend to write a similar list for films, TV series, games etc. (one combined list for them all) but that's something for another day.