So far this morning I’ve been answering a Dymocks quiz about one’s top five books, and also reading this post on whipup, where people are asked to list their top five guilty pleasures.
I haven’t quite got to my list of guilty pleasures (of which there are many) but I idly started writing my top five books, which of course couldn’t be restricted to five. They include:
- The Neverending Story, Michael Ende
- The Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis
- Ozma of Oz, L. Frank Baum
- Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins
- Tea From An Empty Cup, Pat Cadigan
- Curse of the Blue Figurine, John Bellairs
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
- The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
- Little House on the Prairie (series), Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
- Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
- Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac
- The Earthsea Trilogy, Ursula K Le Guin
- Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
I like a lot of classic fantasy (though not for its own sake) as well as fiction that has a bit of a twist to it. I don’t mean a surprise ending, I mean the presence of the weird found in the everyday. Anything from the devil coming to town (M&M) to strange, everyday observances (like the very excellent Box of Matches by Nicholson Baker). I also really enjoy reading stories of survival, but not so much of the mountain-climbing, extreme whatever… more about how people can survive in the wilderness by creating everything by hand, like Robinson Crusoe or the Little House series. (Actually, I still really love these books, the way she describes the way they made everything by hand. Maybe it’s one of the things that has influenced my love of things made from scratch.) And generally, I love everything Murakami has written, and though it is hard to pick just one, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was the first of his books that I read, and I can still remember the awe and thrill that I felt reading it. Same with John Bellairs. I love all of his books. I wish they were easier to find in New Zealand. The Neverending Story and The Magician’s Nephew touched me in a primal sort of way when I read them as a child. Just mention of those titles gives me goosebumps.
Anyway, onward: five guilty pleasures. Hm.
- shopping on the internet. (I’m not usually one for “shopping”; clothes buying makes me grouchy and I hate ferreting around for something I want and not being able to find it. But on the internet, cool things just seem to spring out of nowhere…) Main internet purchases include books, t-shirts, fibre for spinning, wool for knitting, music, the odd cosmetic from strawberryNet and the occasional etsy buy. I ADORE getting parcels in the mail.
- reading in the bath (till my fingers and toes get unbearably wrinkled and there’s no more hot water to top the bath up with).
- lying in bed in the morning (weekdays!) while Steve gets up, feeds the cat, and makes me coffee. I feel so bad about it but it’s so wonderful…
- a sick day, on the couch, reading, while it’s raining outside.
- the Sims 2 (and before that, The Sims). I think it’s been nearly 10 years? (erk!) My families always wind up like trashy rejects from daytime TV: people having affairs with their robots, children being taken away, back yards littered with tombstones of innocent townies…
and I know I’m only meant to list five but:
- walking around libraries. (It just gives me such a weird, but satisfying feeling!)