January 15, 2013

These Are A Few of My Favourite Reads...

Today is Top Ten Tuesday; a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. However, this week's Top Ten Tuesday is about the top ten 2013 debut books that we are most looking forward to read. To be honest, I am quite ignorant of authors to make their debut in 2013. Actually, I've just read in the Guardian that Carlos Acosta, principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet, is making his debut as novelist. Even though I was lucky enough to be able to admire Acosta's dancing skills in a performance at the Royal Opera House in 2011, I'm not sure I want to read his book. Anyway, I am simply ill informed as regards 2013 debut books. Hence, I am not able to compile this weeks top ten list.

On the other hand, Wallace from Unputdownables shared with us today her current top 5 favourite books and asked us about ours. So, I thought I skip today's Top Ten Tuesday question and share with you my Top Ten Favourite Books of All Time instead. These are books that I've read three times at least and have been re-reading from my teenage years until now. Hence, these are the books I consider classics.

  1. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
  2. I think it's pretty obvious to everybody that L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables is one of my all-time favourite books (or rather series). However, I especially like the third instalment of the series, that is Anne of the Island, because this is where Anne goes to university, believes herself to be in love, and recognises her love for Gilbert at last. The story is so much better than that ridiculous Kingsport Sequel produced by Sullivan Entertainment.

  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. It's a truth universally acknowledged, that a reader in want of a good book must read Jane Austen in general and Pride and Prejudice in particular. This is especially true, if the reader is a person with a great sense of humour and/or with a romantic heart. And, even if the reader happens to be a man, trust me, he will immensely enjoy this work by Austen. At least, that's what happened to my father and a good male friend of mine.

  5. Abigél [Abigail]  by Magda Szabó
  6. Maybe you have heard of Magda Szabó because, recently, another novel by her, The Door, has been turned into a motion picture with Helen Mirren in the leading role. I don't really like Magda Szabó's adult novels, because they are too tragic for my taste. However, Szabó's young adult novels are among my favourites and I especially love Abigél. It is set in a protestant boarding school for girls right before the outbreak of Second World War. A young half-orphan girl (about 14 years old) is being sent to this school by her father, who is an army officer. Georgina has difficulties to understand her father's motives in doing so and to fit in with her new fellows; hence, she tries to escape from the prison-like school. Later she learns her father's secret, helps the mysterious Abigél to rescue some families from the Holocaust, and understands the difference between true love and treachery. I am really unhappy about the fact that this book hasn't yet appeared in English translation.

  7. Vilma doktorasszony [Ms. Dr. med. Vilma] by Erzsébet Kertész
  8. This is a Hungarian historical fiction that is regrettably not available in English either. It is based on the true-life story of the first Hungarian medicine woman, i.e. Vilma Hugonnai. The first part of the novel tells her life from young adulthood till her admission to and graduation at the University of Zurich, which was the first university in Europe to open its doors for women. The second part of the novel is about Hugonnai's battle for getting her degree accredited in Hungary, which actually takes twenty-five years... Hugonnai's story always reminds me how lucky I am to be able to study anywhere, anything and anytime...

  9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  10. Now, that's classic. It has often been considered a children's classic; but believe me, you should read and regularly re-read this "philosophical treatise" in your adulthood. The little Prince and his friend the Fox will teach you important things about true friendship, commitment, and love.

  11. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
  12. This historical religious fiction earned a Nobel Prize for his author, and it was no coincidence... It tells the love of Lygia, a young Christian woman, and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero and during the time of the persecution of the Early Christians. What I truly love about this book is that it inspires me to reflect on and to recognise the difference between being religious and having genuine faith and to try to behave accordingly.

  13. Ben Hur  by Lew Wallace
  14. This is another historical religious fiction, which is set in Judea and Rome around the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The book tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur and his family, and their dealing with problems such as jealousy, intrigue, false accusation and imprisonment, and leprosy. Of course, Ben-Hur finds love and happiness at the end, but what is more, he recognises Jesus's love for humanity and becomes a true Christian. If you are a kindred spirit, you simply can't ignore this book, as this was one of Anne's favourites.

  15. Fadette by George Sand
  16. It's a mystery why publishers keep overlooking this wonderful classic by the French author George Sand. You can read my complete review of Fadette here.

  17. The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
  18. Do you love P.G. Wodehouse? Do you love crimes? Do you love humour? Do you love love stories? Than this is the book, you should read. I think it's hilarious, excellent, and fascinating. And, if you are a newbie to Agatha Christie, this book is good to start with.

  19. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
  20. Maybe it's because I'm a thirty-something spinster. Or, maybe it's because I still believe that Mr. Darcy is waiting for me somewhere and will ask me out someday. Or, maybe it's because, until then, I prefer laughing at my situation to crying about it. Anyway, I love this book and recommend you to read it before, after, or in lieu of the movie.
And what about you? What are your favourite books? What books do you consider classics?

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