#Listography: My Life in Books

Reading has always been a favourite pastime of mine, I was quite the bookworm as a child and was often found with my nose buried deep within the magical pages of a book. How wonderful to follow in the adventures of others, to travel to mystical faraway lands, all the while curled up under the comfy bedclothes or wrapped up in a favourite chair. My books of choice were not the genius, intellectual kind I'm afraid. Apologies if I offend your literary sensitivities! However I did persevere with some classics such as Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women' and Charles Dicken's 'Oliver Twist' (the dancer in me preferred the musical!) and I  really was intrigued by 'What Katy Did'.... and what she did next too. 

These days I mainly immerse myself  in the dark, intriguing world of psychological thrillers, although I do steal myself away from this genre from time to time to enjoy other interesting reads. 

I will now attempt to list my 'Life in (5) Books' while steering away from my preferred genre....

 1. My life-long love of reading began with a present of a 'Rupert the Bear' annual when I was a very young child in hospital for a tonsillectomy. How I loved that book, I read it from cover-to-cover many, many times. It had a distinctive scent, a faint wisp of which still comes to mind whenever I think of it.

 And how I adored that yellow-tartan trousered bear, who ultimately led me to other literary wonders.

2. The wonders of the Enid Blyton kind to begin with, with The Famous Five being my absolute treasured favourite. I do believe that 'Five on a Treasure Island' was my first read, or one of the first anyway.

I was 'George', of course. Although I did like the girly 'Anne' too, mainly because I always wanted an older brother. The complete facts of the birds and the bees story hadn't quite registered with me back then!
As I grew older my interest switched to the Swallows and Amazons series.
Although my interest was to ultimately grow into the more gritty and psychological kind, I do believe that through both of these series the seeds of my love for thrillers was born. Like I say, the intellectual kind of reader I was not!

3. 'Cry Freedom' by John Briley. As much of my young adulthood was spent dancing in many shows on many stages, there wasn't much time for reading. However, this book really broke through the myriad of rehearsals and dance bags of lycra and legwarmers to grab my attention.  I was totally absorbed by this inspirational story of Steve Biko and it really sparked my interest in Nelson Mandela too. Of course the movie had to be watched also. This book came to mind recently when the Nelson Mandela movie 'Long Walk To Freedom' was released and I was delighted to see that finally a copy of the book of the same name had miraculously found its way into my Christmas stocking this year! I absolutely devoured that book too. It gave such insight into the fascinating character of that legendary man.

4. 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. This was such a wonderful read. The thought provoking and powerful tale of two young friends in Afghanistan, beautifully written and interwoven with historical facts. I struggled with the betrayal of one of the boys, yet ultimately felt sorry for him too.

5. 'The Dancer Upstairs' by Nicholas Shakespeare. This wonder I found quite by accident. One of my 'lucky dip' choices when I go to the library and  pick a book that is outside my thriller comfort zone. I guess it was the title that appealed to me, although the blurb on the cover left me in no doubt that it was more than just about a dancer. The story is woven around the capture of the elusive Peruvian guerilla leader Ezekiel by a determined policeman. It is an intriguing tale of subversion, betrayal and adultery laced with horror and...... ballet. Fantastic read.
And a far cry from 'Rupert the Bear'!

This is for Kate Takes 5 Listography . I really enjoyed doing it; the memories it has sparked and the determination to read more from Khaled, Nicholas and many others. I am definitely off to check some others choices in this week's Listography.

Happy reading.....



  1. Umm..... SORRY FOR SHOUTING in this post! Font sizing mechanisms totally uncontrollable in this time for some reason ??!!

  2. I was also a Swallows and Amazons and Famous Five girl. I've been avoiding tis listography althuogh I really want to do it - how can you get your life into 5 books!!! Well done.

  3. @Midlife Singlemum: It is so good to hear that you liked the same books as me as a child, given your linguistic profession now! It is VERY difficult to chose only 5 books. You will notice however that I squeeze in a couple in the setting of my tale and stay far clear of my preferred genre! My 'tale of the thrillers' is a whole other blog post...

    xx Jazzy

  4. I also own The Long Walk to Freedom but unlike you I haven't read it yet, naughty me. Great list :)

  5. I loved Swallows and Amazons too, and still have the complete series upstairs :) I was a bit sad that I couldn't interest my kids in them - or Enid Blyton for that matter! xx

  6. @Gailann Houston: The size of the book is a bit daunting but definitely worth reading! You will be sucked in....

    @Looking for Blue Sky: I'm amazed at the number of you who have kept your childhood books, and confounded that I, the self-confessed serial hoarder, has not! I can't get my teen to read a book, of any description! Unless gaming related, that is.

    xx Jazzy

  7. I think I had that very Rupert annual, passed down from my cousins! Memories...

    I also had the Famous Fives and Swallows and Amazons. Of course.

  8. @Maud: Oh, I am SO delighted to receive your comment. And very relieved to know that I'm not quite the literary delinquent I thought I was!! I'm in good company :-)

    xx Jazzy

  9. Oooh, great list! I never read any of Enid Blyton! (don't quite know how that happened!) so think it might be time for me to get round to it ;-)

  10. I've been meaning to read the Kite Runner for a long time.... and I grew up with so many of the same books as you, Rupert the Bear - and The Famous Five (George was my favourite). X

  11. I adored The Kite Runner and remember my brothers having all the Rupert the Bear books. Actually thinking back I found them quite creepy....didn't he get attacked by a roomful of angry bouncy balls some time?

  12. @a mental mum's little world: Never too late to read Enid Blyton....having your own children to read to is the perfect excuse!

    @Older Mum: Oh, you should. The next one 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' is excellent too. I'm determined to get his latest one also .... 'Echoes of the Mountains', or something like that!

    @Kate Gunn: I actually can't remember any of the stories but now that you mention it I do recall
    feeling a little bit scared at times!

    Thanks for all your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy


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