It’s raining in Trebetherick. There are ten of us staying by the sea in a house attached to a hotel. Currently three are in the indoor swimming pool, one is playing ‘Civilisation’ (he is Saladin of the Arabs), one is reading ‘Cracked’, one is playing ‘Pet Rescue’, one reading ‘Catch your Death,’ another reading ‘The Sunday Times’ magazine, another watching ‘Pimp my Ride’ and then there’s me. My slot came round rather quickly this month so I’ve done a survey of my companions’ favourite books, and why. If you’re interested in methodology I made them say the first thing that came to mind, and wrote their comments verbatim. (The exception was a 52 year old, whose first response was ‘no’ but softened.) I was going to record their gender and age but then though it might be more amusing to guess, so scroll down for the answers.
1 The Magus – John Fowles.
"Very fantastic, yet very real, but unfathomable."
2 The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
"A mixture of absurdity, genius and an unspoken disregard for plots makes this a good book."
3 Ottoline and the Yellow Cat – Chris Liddell
“Mr Munro is a dog that doesn’t speak with really long hair, who’s funny and he tricks the yellow cat into finding what happens.”
4 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert. M. Pirsig
“A mad mix of a guy and his son, how bikes work and odd talk of rhetoric.”
5 Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel.
“The research was such that I believed myself to be living in that time.”
6 East End Murders, Death by Drowning – Anne Cassidy
“Because I can literally (ha ha) read it a million times and it never gets boring.”
7 The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
“Because I loved Henry, and I like crying, and the scene when he’s stuck in the cage in the library is harrowing and (spoiler coming up) I really didn’t want him to die. When he did I was desperate for Clare to see him again in the future. It’s even better on repeat readings as the crying starts earlier and earlier in anticipation of what’s coming.”
8 On Dancing Hill – Sarah Challis
“I liked it because it was believable and seemed to apply to things that occurred through my life. Her interests were similar to mine. It was very memorable, whereas a lot of books I forget I’ve read.”
9 Kids Survival Handbook – Scholastic
“It has helped me with survival. I’ve had it a long time and I’ve taken it lots of places. It has funny elastic on the edges. The last bit has many camping tips like how to use a pen knife and make a fire.”
10 Dork Diaries – Rachel Renee Russell
“Easy to read and funny.”
Off to Wadebridge with the 46, 18, 16, 14, 12 and 9 year olds to see Monsters University. The 88 year old's not coming. "Why would I want to watch telly?"
1 male 46
2 male 16
3 female 8
4 male 49
5 female 52
6 female 14
7 female 49
8 female 88
9 male 18
10 female 12
10 female 12