> Mrs. O'Neill's Blog: Favourite books

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Favourite books

Neil has tagged me with this book meme.

So here are my responses to the three questions:

1. How many books do you own?

Too many. I have regular book purges because I get nervous that the house will start sinking like Glasgow University Library. Apparently this is an urban myth. See here.

2. What was the last book you read?
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

3.Five Books that mean a lot to me:

In no specific order…

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

This book taught me a painful lesson: don’t get too interested in a book. If you have read it you will know why. Let’s just say I spent a long time searching for part 2.

Emma by Jane Austen

I have been arguing for roughly twenty five years with my brother in law, Tony, about this book. Jane Austen apparently said before writing it that she was ‘going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.’ Tony reckons that she was proved right. I don’t.

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

I’m ashamed to say I started to read this in order to ridicule it… Now it’s become one of my favourite books. Therese lived a completely ‘unremarkable’ and sheltered life dying at the age of 24. Her ideas about love and suffering infuriated and then captivated me. I don’t recommend it –if you are meant to read it, you will.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde (a short story)

I’m not sure why but I always get quite choked when I read this story. I first came across a version of it in ‘The Golden Story Book’ which I got when I was ten. Years later I discovered that it had been written by Wilde. It's a lovely story and very soothing to the nerves of a child who had been traumatised by 'The Singing Ringing Tree'. This was a 1960's TV programme of a fairytale that the BBC bought from 'Eastern Europe'. It was dubbed and presented to children. The story touched on some primal nerve...

Sick Heart River by John Buchan

I love this novel and most of Buchan’s 'shockers'. Sick Heart River is a little different. It's about a dying man, written when Buchan himself was dying. Buchan seems to me to represent the best and the worst of us Scots; filled with a love for humanity yet peculiarly xenophobic in our relationship with certain nations. Buchan's work reminds us of our history, good and bad. I'd love to see a quiz called 'Which Buchan character are you?' If you know of one do tell.

I'm not going to tag anyone -but if you are reading this and fancy writing your answer consider yourself tagged!


Wendy said...

Splendid. I now consider myself to be tagged. :)

Mrs. O'Neill's Blog said...

Go for it Wendy!

Mr W said...

Interesting! Very 18th Century... Do you teach any of these books to your pupils, or do you prefer to keep them for yourself?


Anonymous said...

Just for fun I'm going to reread Emma so we can continue our discussion in the summer.

Mrs. O'Neill's Blog said...

I taught Emma to my advanced Higher class (five boys) and I am afraid they were definitely leaning towards the negative when it came to her character...

Tony - Have you read Persuasion?

Tony said...

No I haven't but maybe I'll try it.

Sirius said...

Helloo Mrs O'Neill, from the boy who's always late for registration. You know the one.

Wonderful blog! Though I must say, I wasn't fond of Emma either. Elizabeth Bennet, on the other hand...

Mrs. O'Neill's Blog said...

Ah... an Elizabeth Bennet fan.

Thanks for your kind comment!

See you at registration. It's at 9 by the way;)

Jem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.