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Thursday, June 23, 2005

I've made a new friend!!

I've just finished reading The Time Traveller's Wife byAudrey Niffenegger. Reading this book made me feel very happy - and I will probably spend the next few days daydreaming about it.

I have favourite books and Favourite Books. To me, a novel is truly exceptional (not just 'good' or 'enjoyable' or 'interesting' or 'cool') when I get so absorbed by it, that even the words on the page seem to disappear and I am watching the scenes through the author's eyes - as if I too am a part of the story. The characters are real to me, and I love them.

I start to associate the book with places I have been and events in my life, each page brings with it a certain scent, a certain taste, a certain piece of music (
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, for example, always evokes the taste of toffee fondant icing and the smell of pastry crust). The book sits on my bedside table for weeks and travels with me in my haversack.

I read the book over and over again, and every perusal is like a reunion with old chums. The cover becomes cracked along its spine from being loved too much and shallow indentations on the pages from being held too tightly on bumpy busrides. It becomes a Favourite Book.

There are many other books that are really excellent, penned by geniuses (
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene springs to mind), but the characters they write about make me feel so ill - they torture me, make me nauseous, even give me headaches - and I can't bear to read them again. These novels do not make it to the status of Favourite Books, or favourite books. I put them on my shelf but in inconspicuous positions (I don't like throwing books away, and I can't give them away either because I don't want to make anyone else suffer). I probably won't recommend them to friends; although if asked, I'd say 'it's really good but borrow it from the library'.

Every time I find another Favourite Book, I feel like I've made a new best friend. And the best thing to do is share a Favourite Book with a friend.

Some of my Favourite Books that are reserved a place of honour on the shelves (in no particular order):
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Aura by Carlos Fuentes
Anne of Windy Willows by L.M. Montgomery
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Complete Short Stories by Saki

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Blogger wahj said...

My wife read "The Time Traveller's Wife" some time back, and she has been absolutely pestering me to read it. I fear it will be the book equivalent of a chick-flix, given that it brought my dear wife to tears ...

12:11 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

I think there's enough in the book to cater to both sexes. It is a love story, but there's enough in it to give it kick and substance.

4:34 pm  

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