There’s nothing better than a pyramid of cushions, a pile of blankets and doonas and a good book on a cold day. Today is that day, sans book, plus laptop.

It is raining. It is cold. The kids are in their rooms having a quiet moment and I get to thinking, what books do I adore? I’m a very picky reader. My bookclub chose Barbara Kingsolver’s book Lacuna, this month and sorry Barbs but no can do. Mexico and I just do not click. Didn’t like it. Too slow, depressing and lacking action. I need characters to love, to care about.

So here are my favourite, yummy, addictive books. Please feel free to share your own. I’d love to add more to my list.

  1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Oh my word, do I love this book. It’s a little strange and sad but ultimately yummy. I always say that reading John Irving is like reading twice sieved custard; smooth. It is a pleasure to read. Though some of his other books are a little ick and disturbing, this is a classic.
  2. Monster Blood Tattoo 1&2 by D.M Cornish. I have to have this one. Not only is the author my friend but they are INCREDIBLE books. It’s always nerve wracking when a friend asks you to read his/her stuff because I believe in honesty. But honestly! These books are amazing. I love the adventure, the characters, the world, the illustrations, the twists!
  3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery. This is a nostalgic choice. I have read through all the books in this series countless times. A couple of them I read while walking home from school in the days of yore. I just love Anne and all her imperfections and Gilbert and the town. One day, Avonlea, I will come to meet you face to face.
  4. Various books by Marion Keyes. I cannot pick one because they are all pretty much the same. What I love about them is the humour, honesty and characters. She gets a bit deep sometimes too which often catches me off guard. But it is always a welcome surprise.
  5. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. Mwwa, mwwa, mwwa. I love this book. It’s so Australian. The characters, the writing, the house. And I am such a big fan I put my poor bottom through all 6 hours of the play. Two intervals! Great stuff.
  6. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein. One summer I sat in my garden and forced myself to read this trilogy. What a mammoth effort. It was incredible. I got so into it that I couldn’t read it fast enough. Now, I’m not the biggest fantasy genre lover, but this tale is addictive and frightening. Love it! And it will keep you going if the rain persists. Log fire, open chunky book, glass of red wine!
  7. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly. Talk about on the edge of my seat. Mystery, mistaken identity, killer whales in the lonely arctic… spooky. Being of the more romantic-comedy bent, this was a new and most welcome experience for me. These novels aren’t just for the boys!!
  8. The Riders by Tim Winton. Mr Winton has done it again. This book kept me guessing until the end. Who, what, where, what, what WHAT? I hate not knowing what is going on or what is going to happen but I’ve never read a book so fast!
  9. The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Have a break from the blood and guts, disturbing, sad novels and go on a light adventure with Precious Ramotswe. There’s nothing gross or uncouth about these lovely tales. And it’s not boring either. It takes me back to the simple days where kids had manners and respected their elders. There is a dark side of course, but ultimately good prevails over evil. What is more satisfying than that?
  10. Stephanie Plum novels (One for the money, Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly etc) by Janet Evanovich. I feel sheepish adding this series but I just love them. Fluff, pop, girly, bounty hunter, light violence and love, love, love. Like Marion Keyes, Evanovich has used her sharp wit to create lovable characters who somehow survive some dicey moments. Stephanie Plum is the kind of bounty hunter I would be; scared of guns, bombs and out of her depth. Coolness.

Well, there’s a very diverse top 10. I’m not a literary genius. I’m not too cool for school with my favourites but all I want out of a book is a great adventure, lovable characters and a bit of intelligent writing. I’d love to know your favourite authors / books and perhaps they will become mine.

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