Book Markers.

Candy Gourlay has a wonderful post on her blog about the seven books from the last decade that made her a writer. There is, however, one book not on her list that must be on mine. The book defines her, it should have been an eight book list Candy!

My seven books have all taught me something. They’re ‘good grief’ books, ‘wow’ books, ‘ahh’ books and, in one case, a  ‘for heaven’s sake’ book.

Product DetailsMichael Morpurgo – Private Peaceful. An alround perfect book – character, subject, tone, pace – masterful.

Product DetailsSiobhan Dowd – Bog Child. A cracking story from an author who died too soon. This book taught me not to waste time. If you want to write, write, now, don’t waste time, you don’t know how much you’ve got.

Product DetailsJ K Rowling – The Harry Potter Series. Often overlooked on lists like this  because if its general  popularity, the Harry Potter series reminds me that people are passionate about stories they love. Including me. I nearly hit someone for trying to tell me what happened in Book 5 before I’d read it.

Product DetailsStephenie Meyer – The Twilight Saga. I know what you’re thinking but the truth is thousands of people read these books, including me, and yes, they aren’t brilliantly written but there is some kind of magic in them that kept people turning pages in a way that had them hooked into wanting to read the words on the next page overleaf. Ahem. I read them all and ENJOYED them ( with enjoyment).

Product DetailsMichael Rosen’s Sad Book. When bad things happen, books help. Books are essential to our spiritual well being.

Product DetailsEoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl. I share an agent with this author. He’s brilliant which must  mean I can’t be all that bad. Surely?

Product DetailsCandy Gourlay – Tall Story. The most beautifully crafted book I’ve ever read. This book taught me to work. Harder.  How can this one NOT be on your list Candy?

This blog topic is a mushroom spore, to read more  try:

Candy Gourlay

Nicky Schmidt

Dave Cousins

Vanessa Harbour


15 Comments Add yours

  1. I am expecting Harry Potter to be on many lists because I think JK really did transform the expectations and prospects of many children’s writers. It isn’t on mine because I came very late to it. I had Siobhan Dowd on my original longlist for the blog post – but for Swift Pure Cry … as well as How I Live Now. But I had to pick just one formative coming of age story and that had to be A Gathering Light for me.

    As for Tall Story … aww Kathy, you’re too kind. I’m just a beginner at this game.

  2. V. Kathryn Evans says:

    I had How I Live Now and Gathering Light on my long list :O) and yes – 10 years of practice, you’re just a baby xx

  3. If we’re talking Meg Rosoff, I LOVED ‘What I Was’. So moving and superbly written. I loved the narrative style, redolent of F Scott Fitzgerald or LP Hartley’s ‘The Go Between’.

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      Yes Meg Rossoff – she’s the ultimate ‘pantser’ ( thanks for the phrase Nick -

  4. re-read your list again, Kathy – and I so agree about Siobhan – when she died I too thought, blimey, must get on with it! I miss her so much – what we could be reading now if she hadn’t died!

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      Am spacing her books out – am just about to read Solace of the Road – you were fortunate to know her xx

  5. Have written my list – 11 books… and not all from this decade – will post later. Confining it to seven is just too tall an order.
    And ditto what both you and Candy say about Siobhan O’Dowd. Carpe Diem!

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      Post a link when you’ve done- can’t wait to see it x

  6. >you were fortunate to know her

    i never did meet siobhan! but i still miss her because after reading swift pure cry, i could see she was going to become one of my favourite authors.

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      I know what you mean x

  7. Dave Cousins says:

    Great list Kathy – I heartily agree with you about Tall Story – a masterpiece and an inspiration, one of those books I finished and found myself saying ‘Wow!’ out loud. Private Peaceful had the same effect and I’m not ashamed to say that it made me cry (slightly embarrassing at the time however, as I was on a train.) I read the first four Artemis Fowl books, then started all over again reading them to my youngest who is a huge fan and has the graphic novels and audio CDs to go with the novels. We finished the latest one together a couple of months ago. You share an agent with Mr Colfer? Can’t be bad! I read three of Siobhan Dowd’s novels last year, but could only fit one onto my list (Bog Child is my favourite too). Have you heard about her unfinished novel that Patrick Ness has completed? It’s called A MONSTER CALLS and is out in May – can’t wait. Should be amazing given that both of them are known to be able to scribble a bit.

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      Am a tiny bit scared of A Monster Calls – they have such different writing styles – both writers I like ( though I need to lie down for about a month after reading Ness). Exciting though ;O) Not doubt a debate will ensue – I think he’s a brave man to do it.

  8. i didn’t know about A Monster Calls – very excited now. Though I agree with Kathy about needing a lie down (of a few months) after every Patrick Ness novel I read. My ignorance just goes to show how much I talk to my agent who continues to represent Siobhan.

  9. Dave – thanks for your generous words about Tall Story. Made me squirm. But with pride.

  10. Philippa says:

    Most enjoyable Mrs Bung. I had a go too on

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