Welcome to a new feature I plan on running on my blog every Tuesday called, appropriately enough, Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers and other bookish bods to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them.
I’m hoping it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce
readers to titles they might not otherwise have heard of before. And who knows, you might get introduced to a blogger you’ve not yet discovered!
My first “guest” is the lovely Annabel Gaskell who runs Gaskella, a wonderful book blog, concentrating mainly on contemporary novels. (Her blog name is her surname, plus first initial, if you haven’t already worked it out.)
I’ve been following Annabel’s blog for about six months, but we share a mutual love of Paul Auster, and I’m always amazed at the diverse range of books she reviews. You can always be assured of discovering something interesting on Gaskella.
Annabel hails from Purley, Surrey, here in old Blighty. She studied materials science and worked in the chemical industry before having her daughter nine years ago. Annabel now works as a part-time lab technician in an Oxfordshire prep school.
She says she has always been a bookworm and book-hoarder and her blog grew out of the reviews she started writing for herself as an aide memoire for books she had read. A year-and-a-half in and she says she’s loving it and reading more books that ever before. “I concentrate on contemporary novels but I used to have a big science fiction habit. I will have a go at reading almost anything,” she says.
I first read this just a few years ago, and it really, really affected me. It’s had me recommending it every chance I get, and I was delighted when Jackie from Farm Lane Books Blog chose it for the Riverside Readers book group. Written in the 1960s, it’s about a young man of low IQ, who becomes the first human (after Algernon the mouse) to receive mind-altering treatment to increase his IQ. We go on a journey with Charlie as he experiences the ups and downs of the experiment. This book has so many interesting things to say about the human condition, emotional intelligence and its relation to IQ – I can’t recommend it enough, but you might need a hanky or two.
First published in 1870 and now in its 18th edition, this is the one reference book (apart from a good dictionary and thesaurus) that I could not live without. It pulls together an eclectic mixture – from the origins of all sorts of phrases and clichés in the English language, to all the key figures of history, myth and legend, artefacts and more that get alluded to in literature. Since the day I looked something up in my Dad’s trusty copy when I was a teenager, I’ve spent many an hour browsing its 1,500-plus pages, leapfrogging through cross-references, revelling in all the wonderful stories within. I still use it all the time.
Kate Westbrook, the pseudonym of Samantha Weinberg, has written three thrilling volumes of The Moneypenny Diaries, starting with Guardian Angel. We find out that Moneypenny (who was the secretary of James Bond’s boss, M) was much, much more than a body behind a desk flirting with 007. She has her own past, she’s an accomplished agent in her own right – saving Bond, and getting into an adventure with him set during the Cuban Missiles Crisis. Book One is set after Bond’s wife’s death in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. These books fill in the gaps around the Bond novels admirably, serious yet with tongue still in cheek – anyone who enjoys Bond, in any incarnation or format, will also enjoy these books.
Thanks, Annabel, for taking part in my inaugural Triple Choice Tuesday!
I can certainly vouch for Flowers For Algernon which I read last year and loved.
What do you think of Annabel’s choices? Have you read any of these books?