Saturday, February 12, 2011

My favourite books from A to Z

I've borrowed this idea from Emily @ The Wanderings of a Dreamer. It just looked like too much fun. :-)
In true Sesame Street fashion - the letter of today of the day is. . .


Such an elegant letter, I've always thought. Right. Just get started already, Elise. (Oh, and thank goodness for Goodreads! Otherwise I'd never be able to remember all the books I've read and enjoyed that begin with the letter "A".)


Agnes Grey. A lesser-known masterpiece from the "forgotten" Bronte sister, Anne. See my review here.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I didn't get round to reading the full, unabridged version of Lewis Carroll's classic until relatively recently - but when I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do love a bit of nonsense - Edward Lear, The Phantom Tollbooth. . . Alice. Though I actually prefer the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, the first Alice book is wonderful in its own way, too. I love every crazy character and situation. The dialogue is divine - witty, satirical, full of puns. And the illustrations by Tenniel are amazing - Alice in Wonderland wouldn't be what it is without them.

Anne of Green Gables.

Anne of Avonlea.

Anne of the Island.

Anne of Windy Willows/Poplars.

Anne's House of Dreams.

Anne of Ingleside. - I can think of few books that have meant as much to me as the Anne books during my growing-up years. They really have become a part of who I am, in a way! Anne, Diana, Priscilla, Phillipa, and so many others have been true "kindred spirits" to me! And Avonlea feels like home. And Gil is such a sweetheart. :-)

Around the World in Eighty Days. I read and re-read this when I was about 12 or so. I'm actually not sure why I liked it so much (and I've a feeling I wouldn't enjoy it quite so much if I were to read it again now) - but like it I did! I suppose I must have liked the characters - especially Phineas Fogg - and the sense of adventure, and the descriptions of various places across the earth.

Asterix books. Many of our family members (myself included) like to take a book with us when we go to the loo. . . for this reason, our nickname for "toilet" is "the library". Ahem. Anyway, Asterix comics (along with old National Geographics!) are prime toilet-reading material in our house. I'm not a great comic-reader in general, but I LOVE Asterix comics. The stories by Rene Goscinny are always witty and well-constructed, chock-full of puns and classical references. And I love all the quirky and affectionate details in the illustrations by Albert Uderzo. Both author and artist were very fond of the characters in these books, and it shows. Oh, and for the record - my favourite Asterix title of them all is Asterix the Gladiator.


Enbrethiliel said...


I agree that "A" is a very elegant letter! =)

At first, I smiled at all the Anne titles in your list, but they're obviously not just padding and really have meant a lot to you. I don't remember how far I read in grade school (the one in which Anne "thrashes" a difficult student and feels guilty, only to discover that he liked her more afterwards), but I've yet to read through the series properly.

I had a chance to get into Asterix when I was younger, thanks to a friend who loved the comics. Of course, I squandered that, too. =P The characters names alone make me realise how silly I was to have preferred Sweet Valley Twins. *rolls eyes at self*

This is a great list, Elise, and I think you should feel proud of yourself for having one that is so dominated by the classics! (Which makes me wonder now: Do you ever read anything "new"?)

The Editrix said...

Enbrithiliel - do try reading the Anne books again sometime. :-) The series weakens a little towards the middle, but IMO it's worth it all to get to the last book - Rilla of Ingleside - which I will feature when I get to the letter "R", LOL.

Do I ever read anything new. . . yes, I do! Though I generally don't like them as much as the classics! Let me see. . . I like a bit of historical fiction sometimes. Most Christian historical fiction is pretty cheesy, but there are some authors - like Francine Rivers - who are genuinely good.

I've recently been enjoying Regina Doman's Fairytale novels - have you heard of them?

Oh, and I like Narnia and LOTR - they're relatively recent, right? :-)

Enbrethiliel said...


Yes, I've heard of Regina Doman, although I've not read any of her books yet. (This year, I signed up for a Fairytale Retellings reading challenge, and this will be a good excuse to start.) I know her because she has a lovely blog about homemaking and homeschooling in a rural setting. (It's not updated very often, though.)

Most of my own reading is, sadly, very new. =P Early this year, though, I came across C.S. Lewis' recommendation that we read one old book for every new book--or at least one old book for every three new books. (I have a friend who thinks it should be one new book for every three old books. LOL!) It has made me more aware of my old/new reading ratios. Although I don't think I'll approach Lewis' ideal--much less my friend's--I am trying to read at least one classic a month.

But this leads us to the question of "How old is old?" Someone has suggested fifty years to me. And I decided to complicate what should be perfectly straightforward by making it fifty years before the year I was born. =P But I'm sure your reading of the classics gives you a better perspective of time. How old is old to you, Elise?

The Editrix said...

I don't know! I suppose I think of "old" books as being. . . well, perhaps pre-WWI-ish? Before the modernist movement took off in literature. . . but then there are a lot of vintage titles published from the '20s to the '50s that I like, and it's easy to think of them as being "old", too! I really don't know; it's a hard question to answer, isn't it?! How old is old.

Enbrethiliel said...


Maybe you could do a post on it in the future? ;-)

(No pressure, of course!)

The Editrix said...

LOL! Hm, maybe. ;-)

OldFashionedCharm said...

What a great idea! You have a good list of books here!
I've never read Agnes Grey but it's one of the books I hope to read some time.
I loved reading Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass! My dad had me read both in high school and also memorize the Jabberwocky poem. I really enjoyed reading Anne of Green Gables, but I must confess that when I got to the second book I gave up reading a few chapters through. I don't remember why I stopped reading but I did. I do plan one day to read through the whole series. There's so many books I want to read and so little time! :)
I can't wait to see your list for letter B!

~Miss Laurie
Old-Fashioned Charm

The Editrix said...

There's so many books I want to read and so little time!

I so often feel exactly the same way!!

I might try and do "B" tomorrow afternoon. . .

Amelia Colleen said...

I like the idea of an alphabetical list of books--and I really like your list. Agnes Grey sounds like such a good book. What about "A Christmas Carol"? Does that count as "A" or would it be classified under "C"?
Interested to see what you do with "X" and "Z"... :)

Emily said...

Now I'm going to have to edit some of mine! I tried to remember all my favourites, but of course I completely forgot about Asterix (I grew up with those!) and I forgot some of the others because we don't own them.
Alice in Wonderland used to scare me, though.
I have a feeling I'm going to be using your list as a 'did I get this one...' reference as well when I'm reading your posts hehe

Emily said...

By the way, I love the new font on your blog! How did you do that?!

The Editrix said...

Amelia, yes, I'll put it under "C". And I have no idea what I'm going to do about X or Z!!

Emily, I remember looking through (not reading) AiW when I was little, and the illustrations scared me, LOL!

Blogger now has a heap of new fonts that you can try - go to "Template Designer" then "Advanced".

Vellvin said...

I love the Asterix comics!!!
One of my favorite Asterix comic would be Asterix in Britain.
I should try and read Anne of Green Gables again. *sigh* but i've got a HUGE list !!

Emily said...

Thank you :) I hope you don't mind, but I copied you; I just happen to like the exact same font you picked best LOL!

The Editrix said...

I should try and read Anne of Green Gables again. *sigh* but i've got a HUGE list !!

I'm in exactly the same boat, Vellvin!!

Emily - cool, I'll have to go and take a look! :-)