This Week's Topic:
What were your top five favourite books of 2011?
1) The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
This book is exactly why I want to write about ghosts in the future for YA. The market needs a book like this - eerie, tense with a terrifying villain who can even scare you with her presence when she's not even around. There are scenes in the book where Arthur Kipps hears a ghostly carriage and then screaming and crying but he never sees it. He just hears it close by, hidden by the fog and I found that frightening because it's never seen. We know the presence is there but where exactly? Is it happening right next to you or far away?
2) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This has to be a favourite purely for how much it surprised me. I'll admit I'm not really a fan of classics. I've tried to make my way through Austen's books before and others like Wuthering Heights but I've never been able to get into them. I'm ashamed to say I just gave up on them after a few pages. Then we had to read Austen as part of our 19th Century module earlier this year when I was at university. I began reading it and found myself enjoying it. I appreciated the satire Austen used and I loved Lizzie as a heroine with her sharp, cheeky tongue. The girl knew how to banter. Although I still don't see the appeal of Mr Darcy I liked the novel nonetheless. May give Austen a second chance in the future. :)
3) Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
The witches are my favourite characters in the Discworld and I liked how he used fairy folklore with A Midsummer Night's Dream. I have a book on the folklore he's used in Discworld and I was reading how he went back to old tales of fairies and elves etc where they weren't mischievous but downright dangerous and threatening. I'm a sucker for the old stuff so this book only increased my admiration for Pratchett, not just with his humour but with his research and how he used legends and actual texts to create something so original. Totally in awe of this guy.
4) The Time Machine by HG Wells
Wells also popped up in my 19th Century module and last year during the first semester we had to read The Island of Dr Moreau. The book actually gave me nightmares. I wanted to read more of his work so I got The Time Machine to see what that was like. And I loved seeing what the future had become yet that simple fear of what the night brought had still stuck. The ending was great even though I wanted more from it. I won't spoil it but it's left to your imagination to decide what has happened.
5) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I just liked the general silliness of the story sometimes with the answer to the meaning of life and Marvin the depressed robot. It was fun without feeling like I was reading a hardcore sci-fi book full of terms and slang I didn't really understand. And I do love the trip to the pub just as the earth is about to be destroyed. When there's a crisis, find the nearest drinking place!
What are your top five books of 2011?