few months ago, I wrote a little post talking about the books that I love
more than anything else: this post isn’t entirely dissimilar to that but
more of a desperate “which books could I absolutely not live without?” kind of
list. Narrowing it down to five books did actually prove difficult, although I
doubt anyone’s particularly surprised by that.
DAME DE PARIS BY VICTOR HUGO
is one of those books that takes a pretty large amount of investment. The
writing style is complicated yet intricately beautiful and it’s one of those
that you just fall in love with. Obviously I’m incredibly biased towards the
French language (and I MIGHT have included another one originally written in
French further down in this post…) but if you haven’t read the novel behind
Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame then honestly, you’re missing out.
LIGHTS BY PHILIP PULLMAN
this one MIGHT have been included in my favourites list, but it’s probably the
first trilogy that I read as a child that really ignited that reading spark
into me. It was one that my granddad introduced to me and since then I’ve had a
certain love for it that hasn’t quite been met by any other book or series. The
entire His Dark Materials series is magical beyond words, dark yet romantic and
everything that I could possibly ask for in a book.
THÉRÈSE RAQUIN BY EMILE ZOLA
you’re interested in European Literature, or French Lit in particular, then
this one is the one for you. Not quite as heavy as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary
(although please read this, too!), this book introduces the gothic amongst
naturalism and tells the tale of Therese, a woman forced to marry her sickly
cousin who embarks on a passionate love affair with one of his friends. It’s
not for the faint hearted – the ending is particularly shocking but it’s THE
book that, honestly, made me fall completely and utterly in love with the
French language. I’m still searching for a beautifully bound copy of this in
French, but for now my cheap 2-euro copy will have to do.
BY GEORGE ORWELL
is another I studied at college and probably didn’t appreciate as much as I
should have. I’ve reread it recently and found that if nothing else, it reminds
me that things really could be a lot worse.
books would you have with you on a desert island? Why? Let me know, I’m always