My Top 10 Books - The Keepers

My bookshelves are overloaded to the point of collapse with all the reading material my family have collected over the years. With each new purchase, I rearrange them a little. With each house move, I cull a percentage of them but that always makes me want to buy more. My children devour books so quickly that every birthday and Christmas present list includes at least one new book for them.

There are some books though that I will never part with, however full the bookshelves become, because they're tied in with my life journey and soaked with memories. They're keepers.

1. On Writing by Stephen King

As a writer learning the craft, I'm drawn to discovering how successful published authors have arrived at that point in their lives. I don't fare very well with instructive 'how to' books on writing. Sharing a writer's personal journey is the best way for me to learn. I've read several books of this kind but the best I've come across so far has been On Writing by Stephen King.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I came across this book through my studies and it has stayed with me as an example of great writing ever since. More than that, Mary Shelley became an inspiration to me too, not only as a writer, but as a creative pioneer, and an incredibly strong woman.

3. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Along with Stephen King, you'll notice that I mention Gaiman and Pratchett a lot on this blog, so what better book to get my hands on than one that combines the talents of both of those darkly creative minds. A funny, fantasy adventure about the birth of the son of Satan, it throws together angels and demons, witches and witchhunters, and a rather small and friendly hellhound called Dog.

4. The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

My copy of The Elusive Pimpernel belonged to my paternal grandmother, Lydia. Her name and the date 4-11-1916 are notated in the front cover. My father was as much a hoarder of books as me, retaining shelves of old leather bound books from his family home. This book is a dramatic, action-packed, swashbuckler of a ride.

5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks

I don't read a lot of non fiction but this one was recommended to me by a friend and colleague many years ago. It discusses a collection of fascinating cases of neurologist Oliver Sacks. Now, that does sound like it could be boring and clinical but Sacks writes of his patients with such great warmth and understanding that you are easily drawn into their lives and experiences.  

6. Neris and India’s Idiot-Proof Diet by India Knight and Neris Thomas

I bet you didn't expect me to include a diet related book in this list, did you? I found this book, completely by accident, at a time in my life when I needed a jolt. Bad health, ill parents and motherhood had all left me rather damaged physically, nothing life threatening, but definitely worse for wear. This book introduced me to the concept of low carb, low sugar, real food eating. I've tried to keep to that way of eating ever since and my health has improved incredibly. Thanks, Neris and India.

7. Complete Works of Shakespeare

As an only child to older parents, I did a lot of reading and was given free rein to read any book in the house. Both of my parents had big, stout collections of Shakespeare's plays which, as a child, I disappeared into for hours, imagining myself as witty Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, or naughty Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare was my first theatrical inspiration.

8. Time and the Conways and Other Plays by J B Priestley

This was a book that I came to through my studies but I'm so pleased I did because it contains two of my favourite plays by Priestley, The Inspector Calls and I Have Been Here Before. I love to read Priestley's dialogue.

9. A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen

Again, I came to this play and this book through my studies and instantly fell in love with the main female character, Nora, a woman struggling with her own identity and society's idea of what she should be. This is a play that I can read over and over again.

10. Curtain by Agatha Christie

My final book is an old battered copy of the final Hercule Poirot novel. This book belonged to my parents but I didn't read it until a couple of years ago. As a murder mystery playwright, I of course have an interest in the genre but especially older writers such as Agatha Christie and Wilkie Collins. Curtain has to be my favourite Agatha Christie novel.

So there you have it, my ten keepers that will never leave my bookshelves. What about you? Which books will forever have a home with you?


  1. I own three copies of The Great Gatsby. I love Nick, feel for Jay, and pretty much loathe Daisy. It's all the feels.

    1. Great book. I'm hanging onto my copy in case my kids end up studying it.


Post a Comment

Your comment will appear once it has been approved. Thank you for your interest.

Popular posts from this blog

Pinning Inspiration

6 reasons I keep a Bullet Journal

Choice words for April