I assume some of you are enduring heavy rain this weekend but here in Northern Ireland we had about -4C last night and its still very cold so I'm not going very far. After Annie's great music blog I thought I'd do a books one along the same lines. Which 8 books would you want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
Here are mine.
1. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
I grew up with this book. There are probably aspects of it that would be considered very politically incorrect now but I still think passages such as the description of Badger's kitchen and Mole's rediscovery of Mole End are to be treasured.
2. Emma. Jane Austen
I re-read Jane Austen from time to time and Emma is always the first one I turn to.
3. Shakespeare's Sonnets
I'd have to have some poetry. I love the sonnet form for the way it encapsulates an idea and I admire the discipline it demands from the poet. And Shakespeare was never bettered.
4. The Name of the Rose. Umberto Eco
When this came out in the 1980s, it was one of those books that everybody had bought but nobody had read. I think it's a wonderful detective story with so much more thrown in. The historical detail, the theological and philosophical debate. And of course it has a labyrinthine library at its heart!
5. Possession. A.S. Byatt
I haven't read this for a long time but I remember how totally absorbing I found it and I really must read it again.
6. A Prayer for Owen Meany. John Irving
John Irving's work can be very uneven but this is a masterpiece with characterisation and a plot to take your breath away.
7. In Another Light. Andrew Greig
For me, Andrew Greig is the greatest Scottish writer working today. He writes wonderful novels (this is one) as well as poetry and non-fiction. I've read books by him that are ostensibly about golf, mountaineering, and fishing, none of which I am interested in, But I've really enjoyed them all. It's hard to choose a favourite among his novels but this is certainly up there.
8. Nice Work. David Lodge
I'd need something that would make me laugh and this would do it. A funny and very clever novel in which academia and industry clash head on.
I'd love to hear what the rest of you would choose.