Thursday, January 10, 2008

May I Introduce - Booking Through Thursday




Sometimes I find the Booking Through Thursday questions so easy to answer - but not today's.

How did you come across your favourite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?

Not easy, because first of all I have to decide who are my favourite author(s). On a different day and in a different mood I'd tell you different authors from the ones I'm going to write about now.

In no particular order of preference these authors come to my mind today:

  • Jane Austen - I first saw Pride and Prejudice serialised many years ago (in black and white - Alan Badel was Mr Darcy) and loved it. My mother had a copy and so I read it for the first time. I've read it many times since then and writing about it now I think I'm due to read it again soon.
  • Louisa May Alcott - a childhood favourite. I was given Little Women either for Christmas or a birthday present and went on to read Good Wives, Jo's Boys and Little Men.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson - another present - Treasure Island and then I read Kidnapped a set book for school.
  • Thomas Hardy - I didn't think much of Hardy on first reading - that was The Trumpet Major another set book for school, but later I read The Mayor of Casterbridge and was hooked.
  • Leo Tolstoy - I can't really remember how I came across Tolstoy. He's one of those authors that I've always known about and never read, that is until a few years ago when I bought a cheap edition of Anna Karenina and wondered why I hadn't read it before. I followed this with War and Peace and was bowled over.
  • Carol Shields - I remember this distinctly. I'd never heard of her and picked up Happenstance at Gatwick Airport, whilst waiting for a plane to Tunisia, read it in the departure lounge, on the plane and round the hotel pool, then passed it on to my husband. If you don't know it, it's written in two halves - one by the wife, then turn the book round and upside down and there is the second half by the husband. Both tell their stories of a certain period in their lives from their own point of view. I read the wife's side first. I didn't talk about it to my husband just gave him the book and he read the husband's side first. Then we discussed it and of course we both had different views on it.
  • Barbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood Bible another airport buy and another book we've both read. This is about an evangelical Baptist missionary who takes his family to the Belgian Congo. I started reading it on the plane and collapsed at the thought of wearing many layers of clothes on the plane like the family have to as they are over the luggage allowance. This is a great book.
  • Margaret Atwood - this one is thanks to my son and daughter-in-law who gave me Cat's Eye. I read as many of hers as I can find.
  • Ian McEwan - the first one was Enduring Love. I bought it because I liked the cover and the title, which is not normally how I choose books, but I'm glad I did. I think it's still my favourite of his books.
  • Penelope Lively - I can't remember, I think I must have seen one of her books in the library. The last one I've just read is The Photograph - loved it. I'll write more about it soon.

Once I started writing this it was easy after all and I could go on and on. Looking back, it was love at first sight for all these authors, apart from Thomas Hardy, but he's a firm favourite now.

21 comments:

kat said...

Louisa May Alcott is also a favorite of mine... even if I have issues with Jo and Laurie not ending up together ahaha. Oh well, if they did, I suppose Little Men would be very different! Cheers!

Julia said...

I saw the movie "Little Women" first before reading the books. Love the movies (there are two different version, I think)!

Happy BTTs!

Marg said...

That's an interesting list. I read Anna Karenina because it was chosen for Oprah's book club. I am yet to get to War and Peace. I am hoping to get the new translation that is out eventually!

cj said...

What a great list and your listing Austen first is another little poke to me to put her on my list.

cjh

ravenous reader said...

i remember that movie version of Persuasion, too, and it sparked my interest in Austen. Are you planning to watch the Austen Masterpiece Series beginning this week?

I also like Carol Shields, and I'm looking for her Collected Stories to read for the short story challenge.

Great post :)

gautami tripathy said...

Various people introduce us to books at different times. It also depends on how receptive we are.

Once I devoured Mills and Boon/Harlequins. Now I wouldn't touch those with a barge pole!

Barbara H. said...

Louisa May Alcott has been a long-time favorite of mine, too.

Table Talk said...

My problem was deciding on favourite authors because I don't think I really have any, I read to eclectically for that. Lots of those on your list are people I do love though, with the exception of Hardy, but we won't go there.

Amy said...

I read and enjoyed P & P for the first time last year. I also intend to red "Moon Tiger" by Penelope Lively soon.

Happy Thursday!

Jaimie said...

I cannot believe I forgot about Jane Austen. Probably because she is so much a part of me I can't consider her just another author. Happy BTT!

Geranium Cat said...

The hardest thing about this question was narrowing down the list of favourites! At one time I would definitely have included Hardy, too.

Lesley said...

I found 'Enduring Love' by accident as well. I picked it up in a bookshop and read the back cover, where one blurbist raved about the novel's opening chapter. He said it was so riveting that by the end of it he realised he'd been holding his breath. Well! I had to buy it! And by the end of chapter one, I felt exactly the same way. That was my first McEwan, and he hasn't disappointed me since.

BookGal said...

Your list contains some of my recent favorites. The Poisonwood Bible was my favorite read of last year and I recently discovered both Shields and McEwan.

KreativeMix said...

I agree with Jane Austen being not just another author. She's phenomenal.

Chris said...

Shields is on my list too. I also received Little Women for Christmas as a kid.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm not sure I could do this meme, because in most cases I really don't remember! And choosing your favorite authors is very hard. I liked your list though!

Jeane said...

Barbara Kingsolver was love at first sight for me, too.

Yolanda said...

Really good list . Thanks for sharing it.

Literary Feline said...

Jane Austen has become one of my favorite authors. I am slowly working my way through all her novels.

I am currently reading War and Peace. I read Anna Karenina last year and loved it.

I'll be reading my first Atwood book this year and am really looking forward to it.

Nithin said...

I read Kidnapped many years ago and liked it very much. But since then I haven't read any of Stevenson's books. Apart from him, the only authors I've read from your list are Jane Austen and Ian McEwan.

Danielle said...

I didn't do this one, but I should try it. I'm not sure I can pinpoint where I discovered my favorites. Sometimes it is so serendipitously! I really like Hardy, too. I shouldn't have waited so long to try him. And I am definitely going to try Penelope Lively this year!