My dear Twitter pal, KD Rush, threw down the gauntlet and challenged his friends to name their top ten books and give their reasons why. Never one to refuse a challenge, here are my top ten and why they are special to me:
10) Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild: I started dancing when I was 5-years old and it’s been a huge part of my life ever since. My parents were dancers and I followed in their footsteps. As a child I wanted to be a ballerina too, but was told I was too tall so never got the opportunity to find out if I would have been any good at it. I really related to this book in a big way and although I haven’t read it for more years than I care to remember, the enjoyment of it has always stayed with me.
9) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty: As a teenager, I was into horror and anything paranormal and this book gave me both. I read it when I was in my early teens and it scared the crap out of me, so much so I wore a cross to bed for the next month! Funnily enough, I had the same reaction when I saw the film (under age of course, lol). But whatever way you slice it, this book is powerfully written and scary as hell.
8) Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: Ahhh, my first encounter with vampires. This book drew me in to a new world and was responsible for my burgeoning fascination with vampires. Since reading Salem’s Lot, I’ve read a whole host of other vampire novels since (The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice is another favourite, but didn’t quite make my top ten) and still do for that matter; I even write about them!
7) Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer: This, along with the sequels The Prodigal Daughter and Shall We Tell The President (2nd version) are firm favourites. The stories are very well written and I really enjoyed them.
6) The Rats by James Herbert: (Along with Lair, Domain and The City, the rest of the books in the series). There are several reasons why I like this series, but the main two are, they had a ring of believability to them, and I knew some of the places mentioned. As I’m British and my first job when I left school was in the city of London, I used the Underground on a daily basis. These books fed my love of horror/fantasy!
5) Wit’ch Fire by James Clemens (The Banned and The Banished series): For me, this is a great fantasy series. I found myself rooting for the main protagonist all the way through. It contained most of the elements you find in a great fantasy series and I didn’t want to put them down once I’d started them!
4) Lightning by Dean Koontz: I haven’t enjoyed all of Dean Koontz’s books, but there were a few memorable ones. Lightning was, for me, the best of them. I think it contained a great concept, was gripping and I enjoyed it so much I’ve read it several times over the years!
3) The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by C S Lewis: It’s funny, but for some reason I never actually got around to reading the rest of the books in the series, something I still plan to rectify! Although my love of fantasy ultimately began with the fairy stories of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm, this amazing story further fuelled that love and remains a firm favourite even now.
2) Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the US) by J K Rowling: With great characters, Hogwarts and the wonderful creatures she created, what’s not love to love about this series. It’s fabulous escapism, the stories are great and the climax is amazing.
1) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: I don’t care if I hear a few groans from the audience, this is my favourite book! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the Twilight books, but this final one gripped me more than any other book I’ve read and I didn’t want to put it down until I’d finished it. The other big plus for me was it had vampires in it. I enjoyed Stephenie’s new take on vampires and the humanity she gave them. I enjoyed the back story of how the wolf pack came to be and how the synergy changed between them and the vampires throughout the four books. I think the saga will stand the test of time; they may never become ‘classics’, but I don’t care – it’s still my No. 1!
I have to admit, narrowing my huge list of favourite books down to just ten was a major task and one that’s taken me several days. Just outside of my top ten were books by Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown, Alison DeLuca, Anne Rice, Terry Brooks, Raymond E Feist and David Eddings.
Ok, now it’s your turn. What are your top ten books and why? Care to share?