Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Favourite Books Just As I Threatened

I'm sitting in my 'library'. It should be a spare bedroom but we're old and only occasionally get a grandkid or visiting rellie needing a mattress on the floor. So it's my 'study' or 'library'. Wow, how cultured can you get? But there I was blogging on yesterday about favourite books, surrounded by them on all sides except the desk and window, and too lazy to get up and jog my ageing memory by looking around the shelves.

I adore ALL Georgette Heyer's 18th century and Regency romances. In fact, though there's few books I want to read more than once, I re-read Georgette completely every ten years.

Then there's "Clan Of The Cave Bear" and "The Valley Of Horses" by Jean M. Auel. They both kept me awake till 2 a.m. for several mornings while I experienced the adventure of reading them. My ambition as a writer is to keep other writers awake reading my books until the small hours.

Rudyard Kipling - maybe out of fashion but "The Jungle Books", "Rewards & Fairies", "KIM" etc. were a marvellous discovery when I stumbled across them. He's still a great writer and one of the masters of the short story. And do you know, I read in his biography that he wrote all his life to the column width of the first newspaper he worked on? His editors must have loved him.

"The Desert Column" by Ion Idriess. If you're not Australian you've probably never heard of him, or his books. It's a superb account of his days as a Lighthorseman in the Middle East in World War I.

"Softly Tread The Brave" by Ivan Southall. Another Australian, this time from World War II. This is the true account of the incredible service of two Aussie mine-disposal officers in England during those dark years. Leavened by dry humour.

"Joan Of Arc - Self-Portrait", compiled by Willard Trask from the Maid's own words at her trial. Rivetting. Read a good biography of her first, like Edward Lucie-Smith's "Joan of Arc."

"Seven Pillars Of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Brilliantly written, a great adventure, occasionally harrowing. And if you can find a copy, read in tandem with Lowell Thomas's "With Lawrence In Arabia".

"Bugles And A Tiger" by John Masters. The experience of a British Gurkha officer in India before World War II. Another excellent writer, never wastes a word.

The stove is calling again...

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