Fifteen in fifteen minutes

I’ve seen this meme around on quite a few blogs, and thought I’d give it a try. The idea is to take just fifteen minutes to think of fifteen books that will always stay with you – listing the first ones that come to mind. So, my time starts now…

1. Mister God This is Anna – Fynn
2. Little House series – Laura Ingalls Wilder
3. A Many-Splendoured Thing – Han Suyin
4. Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaman
5. The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin
6. The Dispossessed – Ursula Le Guin
7. Call Me When the Cross Turns Over – D’Arcy Niland
8. Brother Cadfael’s Penance – Ellis Peters
9. When Was Wales? – Gwyn Williams
10. The Eagle and the Raven – Pauline Gedge
11. The Shiralee – D’Arcy Niland
12. The Shattered Rose – Jo Beverley
13. Summer of the Red Wolf – Morris West
14. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
15. The Year of Living Dangerously – CJ Koch

Done – in 14 minutes. Looking over that list, it’s quite a mix. There’s one non-fiction there: Gwyn Williams’ superb ‘When Was Wales?’, a passionate, poetic and grittily realistic history of Wales. The rest are fiction, with probably only one or two of them counting as ‘literary’ fiction. (I’m assuming Mockingbird is part of the literary canon; Koch’s The Year of Living Dangerously is probably part of the Australian literary canon – the book is much better than the film.) Koch and Niland are both Australian authors, so those titles may not be familiar to some.

When I look at that list, it’s mostly characters that stand out for me, more so than ideas or themes or language. The challenging ideas are there – especially in the Le Guin books – and there is some beautiful writing in all of them – but it’s the characters, and the emotion of them facing the various situations, that resonate for me.

2 thoughts on “Fifteen in fifteen minutes

  1. Bronwyn, Good list however I’m sure mine would be a little different. I’m story focused ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ would definitely make my list along with ‘As Darkness Fulls’ —- Eric

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