Over on that scourge of social media a friend challenged me
to name 10 books from my youth of some significance – or words to that effect.
It’s amazing, the second I’m asked that the first thing is I can’t remember
any. But with a little coaxing the mist cleared slightly and out came some
jumbled thoughts. Here I explain why I picked the titles I did, but I’ve not
mentioned very much regarding content of these stories.
Ten books that have stuck in my mind for one reason or the
other. In no particular order, the books that have survived the memory wipe to
be recalled here are:
|My first book review|
The Secret of Moon Castle
By Enid Blyton
This appears to be part of a series that I never knew at
the time. I think the combination of the words Moon Castle must have been the
trigger for me. I have a some memories of this, particularly an L shaped room.
The book itself by the time I no longer owned it was falling appart, I do
Interestingly I just looked this up on Wikipedia, it
states it is part of a series of 5 books then goes on to list 6 titles in the
series. Certainly was a mysterious series of books.
Doctor Who and the Cybermen
By Gerry Davis
I've limited myself to just two Doctor Who titles in this
list, and I've a different reason for selecting the two I have done. This was
one of the first Doctor Who novelizations I owned and in the end I actually
knew the backcover blurb off by heart. One day our school library obtained three
Doctor Who titles, this being one of them. A mate and I stunned the school's
librarian by performing a 'mind reading' act where as he read the back cover in
front of her, with my back turned I recited what it was they were looking at.
The Belgariad (series)
By David Eddings
One of my first forays into sets of fantasy fiction. This
epic series set me on my path for fantasy.
Silly Verses for Kids
By Spike Milligan
There is no way I could leave this book off the list. My
copy had the orange cover, I've seen it online with a blue one since. It was
just bonkers, and so many of them stuck in my mind to the extent that it
doesn't take much to set me off quoting it even today. 'String is a very
Doctor Who and the Horror of Fang Rock
By Terrance Dicks
My second Doctor Who of this list. TV series and novel
both by Terrance Dicks and the edition that stands out for me is the original
with art work by Jeff Cummins. I remember reading a library copy of this whilst
off sick from school. It was hard going, since all my body wanted to do was
sleep, but I wanted to read it. I remember the GP calling back round to see how
I was a couple of days after his first visit even now, but I had no memory of
his first visit even then.
I could quite so
easily have filled this list with Doctor Who books, but I made sure I allowed
other titles to get a look in. I had to include a Terrance Dicks since he wrote
so many of the Doctor Who novels and it really was these books that made the
young me want to read. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Terrance at several
Doctor Who conventions and having the opportunity of thanking him for these
books that got me enthusiastic about reading which has had a massive impact on
me. I’ve also got several prints of the
covers from artist Jeff Cummins who also attends these events and every time I
see this artwork it gives me a buzz and happy memories.
The Servants of Ark (trilogy)
By Jonathan Wylie
Another collection of fantasy and prophecy that caught me
and I remember reading quite obsessively.
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
By C.S. Lewis
I first encountered the wonderful world of Narnia during
story time at school. Could even have been the start of my love of fantasy. Enough said...
Fantastic Mr Fox
By Roald Dahl
This book is as old as I am. Although the edition I had
was from the Puffin print a few years later. We had the Puffin book club at
school where parents were encouraged to buy books from a small leaflet which we
brought home every few months. I think that was where my Spike Milligan Silly
Verses also came from. There were a few Roald Dahl books, I also have fond
memories of 'The Magic Finger' as well.
Twentieth-Century Short Stories
By various authors
The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster, Odour of
Chrysanthemums by D.H Lawrence. The Destructors by Graham Greene and The Lumber
Room by Saki are the stories I recall in this collection which was part of our
'O' Level English course. There was beauty in the bleakness that Lawrence
wrote, but just do not get me started on the farce that was our English
Literature class. That is another story in itself.
Another point to mention, was that my next-door neighbor also grew Chrysanthemums and so as I child I knew their scent every year when they bloomed.
By Barbara Sleigh
A young boy goes to bed, but rather than count sheep he
counts dragons. Just my sort of thing and something I could imagine doing on
those summer nights during the summer holidays as a child when I couldn't get
At the end of the assignment I’m supposed to nominate
other friends to do the same. But I’m challenging you my reader, if you made it
this far try for yourself to think over those books that have some significance