Sunday, April 08, 2007

On Books and Irish Girls

I like reading, there's nothing better than immersing oneself in a good novel. Do you find you go through reading binges? I do, and find I leap between gory forensic murder and historical romance with ease. But I think my most comfortable books are those simply about life and my favourite authors on this lean are women that were brought up in Dublin. After joyously savouring every word that Maeve Binchy, Marian Keyes and Cathy Kelly have ever written, I finally realised that they all grew up in the same city. They all write in a way that appeals to me greatly. You know, when a book is about a number of people and each chapter focuses on a different character, each seemingly separate and with a different point of view, until eventually the connections between the characters become clearer as the book progresses.

As far as which are my favourite books by these authors, I can honestly say that I've loved every single one I've read, but I guess the one that stands out in my mind is Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes. All the other books blend into the fondest memories, but this book was one that amazed me with how the point of view changed everything with a jolt.

I just found this website, so my plan is to try out a few more of these authors to see if my theory about Irish female authors being brilliant is right.

Saying all this, I love a lot of non-Irish authors too.
Jodi Picoult writes amazing thought provoking stuff, My Sister's Keeper is one that stayed with me for ages after I read it
Diana Gabaldon - I devoured and adored Cross Stitch (called Outlander in USA) and the next two books in that series (I love fiesty female characters and Claire is most definitely one!). I must confess that I've got a bit bored with the rest of the series though.
Barbara Erskine - I've loved every single book she's written, all historically based with ghosties and more
Michael Connelly- a great detective writer, I love his character Harry Bosch
Jeffrey Deaver - blood and guts and serial killers, he wrote that creepy book The Bone Collector. Books that you can't put down.
Dean Koontz - what can I say, I've read his books for probably 25 years now. Horror, suspense, weirdness, supernatural - cool!
Dennis Lehane - Mystic River and Shutter Island were favourites
Dan Brown and his amazing Da Vinci Code, but I also loved his other 3 books too
Jean M Auel - loved the Clan Of The Cave Bear series about prehistoric life
Jennifer Chiaverini - her novels about the Elm Creek Quilters are just lovely
John Marsden - his books are directed at school age but his Tomorrow series is great reading
JK Rowling - Loved all the Harry Potter books, nothing like sinking into some good old fashioned fantasy.
Gerald Durrell- My Family And Other Animals was a hoot
Mary Stewart - The Moon Spinners and Rose Cottage were favourites from a big list of great books I've read of hers.
Daphne Du Maurier - when I was in high school we were supposed to read "Rebecca" for English, but being 14 and rebellious I didn't. When I finally picked it up 10 years later and found that I loved the suspenseful romance of the book I remember being surprised that I was actually meant to read a COOL book for school and regretted not doing so at the time. That book had a big impact on me and probably steered the course I now follow, that of loving historical/suspenseful/romantic novels.

My goodness, I've gone on and on and on! So many fabulous authors on this earth but I will stop now, except for one final one, from when I was a wee girl -

Enid Blyton - my most absolutely most favouritest book during childhood was The Magic Faraway Tree. I don't know how many times I read it, I loved it sooooo much. Now, my ultimate dream is for Peter Jackson (of Lord Of The Rings fame) to get a hold of this and produce and direct a fantastic movie version of it - that would be something!!


Miss Dot said...

When I was 10 my parents bought me "Storm Boy" which I read in one sitting in bed, I came downstairs at 10pm bawling my eyes out to tell them "it was *sniff* really good *sniff"
Thanks for the list, will have to give them ago. Did you get straight away about the dead husband in "Anyone There" Marion Keys, it took me ages to work it out :-)

Pennie & David said...

'Rachel's Holiday' is one of my very favourite books, it left such a stamp on me so it's great to find I know someone else who enjoyed it as much. I just found at ‘Kmart’... not known for it's literary excellence but the title just grabbed me... ‘Friday Night Knitting Club’ by Kate Jacobs, it’s been a wonderful holiday read for when I needed some time out from all the family who are with us at the moment. I noticed, when I Googled, that Julia Roberts will play the lead in a proposed film. Check it out Dy.
Cheers Pennie

Dy said...

Miss Dot, can't remember exactly but I think it took me me a while too. :-) I don't think I ever read Storm Boy but animal stories are rippers for bringing out the tears eh.

Pennie, likewise, it's nice to know when someone shares a special favourite book. And thanks for the tip about Friday Night Knitting Club, I've just done an online request for it at my local library!

rooruu said...

Diana Gabaldon was back on form in the most recent book in that series (phew!). Lots of good reading on your list! My Irish aunt used to send me Maeve Binchy's weekly columns from the ?Irish Times, and they were lots of fun, that great conversational voice she has.

Ribbonwiz said...

I too loved the "Magic Faraway Tree", I read it so many times.
Mt kids and grand kids loved it too...