I am often asked what I like to read. It's a hard question to answer as
it changes constantly. There are authors who I'll pick up immediately if
I see they have a new book, and if I write a list, someone will be left
out because there are so many that I admire, but here are a few: Eva
Sallis, Gillian Rubinstein, Tim Winton, Michael Gerard Bauer ('Don't
call me Ishmael' is one of the most balanced children's novels I've
read), David Almond ('Skellig'), Catherine Bateson ('Rain May and
Captain Daniel'), Emily Rodda ('Rowan of Rin'), Linda Newbury ('Set in
Stone'), Vikram Seth ('An unequal Music').
I love the language
in Martine Murray's 'The slightly true story of Cedar B. Hartley' and
especially that of Glenda Millard. Her new young adult novel is just as
beautiful as the 'Tishkin Silk' series. Sonya Hartnett is another who
has a way with words as does Ursula Dubosarsky. Janeen Brian's 'Where
does Thursday go' is a special picture book. Phil Cummings' 'Danny
Allen' books bring to mind a Yorke Peninsula childhood; Marianne
Musgrove's 'The Worry Tree' is a wise book, as are Christine Harris'
Audrey books. Philippa Pearce's 'Tom's Midnight Garden' is a classic;
Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the night' is
Carol Wilkinson got me reading fantasy with
'Dragonkeeper'. Sheryll Jordan's 'The Raging Tide' is unforgettable, as
is Helen Dunmore's YA 'Ingo' series set in Cornwall. Helen Dunmore
manages to make you feel you are in Cornwall and uses local culture and
language to support her well crafted stories. Her adult novel, 'Zennor
in Darkness' is another great novel.
I enjoy the subtle
fiction of writers whose art is an expression of their faith. Some are
already mentioned but here's some more: Joy Cowley, Madeleine L'Engle
('A Wrinkle in Time'), Katherine Paterson, Elizabeth Fensham, Marilynne
Robinson, Anne Bartlett and Frederick Buechner. These writers restored
my faith in the Christian as an artist.
I think the most
memorable read of 2008 for me was Azhar Abidi's 'Twilight'. This
beautifully written story is set in Pakistan and explores the emotional
journey of a family when the son marries an Australian girl and chooses
to live in Australia. The effect of this on his widowed mother is
explored with sensitivity and wisdom.
Another book I'd
recommend is Anita Amirrezvani's 'The Blood of Flowers', a novel about a
young carpet maker in historical Iran. I enjoyed Carlos Ruiz Zafon's
'The Shadow of the Wind' and Khalid Hosseini's 'The Kite Runner' too.
Loved Vikas Swarup's 'Q & A', and the film based on it ('Slumdog
Millionaire') has got to be one of the best films I've seen.
like reading novels set in Pakistan and Afghanistan or books written by
authors from those places. I also collect Cornish books, due to being a
4th generation Cornish descendant I guess. I love beautifully written
books meant for children. I still like folktales and fairy tales so I
have collections of tales especially from Cornwall, Pakistan and
I enjoy mystery, history, wisdom and beautiful
language. Linda Newbery's 'Set in Stone' pretty much has the lot.
"Beauty is defined by physicists as having
simplicity, harmony, and brilliance. Those are also the properties that
[Katherine] Paterson feels are crucial to good writing, brilliance being
the 'light that that a book sheds not only on itself but beyond itself
to other stories and other lives.'"
What have you been reading?