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A road trip via books 1

  • Submitted: 27th November 2012

The UK’s Guardian newspaper recently ran an article on 100 cultural figures as they reveal what books are most meaningful to them – the books that shaped their outlook on life and which mean the most to them.

Then the article posed a question: If you had to choose just 12 or fewer books that mean the most to you, the ones you’d have on your “ideal bookshelf” – what would they be, and why?

Well, ever the one to love a challenge, I have had a serious thought as to my list and have come up with the following for a little road trip via books.

World map

Here’s my first 6:

1.        Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – because it was a book recommended to me when I was young by an English teacher and although it was hard to start with, I have read this several times during my lifetime and read it differently each time. A true classic.

Jules Verne, road trip via books

2.      Around the world in 80 days by  Jules Verne. Long before my interest in learning French began, I discovered the cartoon version of this book about a character and his side kick who travel around  the world. And so began my love of travel and languages – I wanted to be able to travel like Willy Fog but to speak the language of the country I was in. I have since read the book in all the languages I have learnt – as a gauge and also as an excuse to read the book again. I love the fact that it is by a French author and my favourite language to this day is still French.

3    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – what happens when the imagination knows no bounds. The writing is as captivating as the images it creates. This is the circus I so long to visit and everytime I open this book, I am transported right to the heart of it.

Motorcycle diaries

4.       Margaret Atwood –  The Handmaid’s Tale – interesting to read of what can happen if we lived in a totalitarian world and how language can be a tool of power. One of the first books I read whilst living in Canada and still a favourite as I remember all the places I visited and the lovely seat on the beaches where I finished the book.

5.       Diarios de Motocicleta – Motorcycle diaries by Che Guevara – One of the most amazing roadtrips ever and as a fellow traveller, I identified with the feeling of space and the great unknown.

6.       Pippi Långstrump – or Pippi Longstocking – my textbook for learning Swedish – and who can resist the cute stories about Nine-year-old Pippi  who is unconventional, assertive and  who frequently mocks and dupes adults she encounters?

I had a hard time narrowing the rest of the list down…..so the thinking continues. The next six in another post..Ahh decisions decisions………

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