Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Simon from Stuck in a Book.
Simon is 25 and lives in Oxford, where he has been studying English Literature most of the time since 2004. He describes himself as the only Christian-vegetarian-twin he knows, and when he’s not blogging, studying, or working part-time at the Bodleian library, he’s probably reading a book, baking a cake, or visiting a donkey sanctuary somewhere.
Without further ado, here’s Simon’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
I wanted to be a little controversial in making my choices, but I find that I cannot do it. Anyone who knows my blog will have heard me champion this book so often, but… I’m going to pick Miss Hargreaves (1940) by Frank Baker. This indomitable old lady is accidentally conjured into life, and wreaks havoc in a small cathedral town. I re-read it every year – it really does make me laugh and cry, and not least because the lady who told me about it died a year or so ago. Her legacy to me has been invaluable.
Obviously the Bible comes first to my mind here, but I’m going to take that as read, and pick Family Roundabout (1948) by Richmal Crompton. Having loved her William stories as a child, I picked this up at random in Hay on Wye in 2002 – when, I suppose, I was still technically a child. I loved this fairly insightful tale of family life – sometimes amusing, sometimes sombre – but the reason I’ve chosen it as a book which changed my life is because of the path it set me on. Through this novel I discovered Persephone Books (despite reading a 1950s edition) and an online reading-group which helped shape which books I would love, and thus my degree, Masters, doctorate… so much.
Books that deserve a wider audience is rather my speciality, since most of my much-loved books aren’t in print. In The Love Child (1927), by Edith Olivier, a lonely spinster conjures her childhood friend into life (yes… sensing a theme here?!) and, after a period of happiness, a gentle power struggle evolves. This novella is slight in size, but beautifully memorable and not the slightest bit fey. Virago republished it in the 1980s, but it has sadly been left in obscurity now – I had the good fortune to buy it in a charity shop, on a whim, and I think it is something of a modern classic – and an aberration, since Olivier’s other novels aren’t very good. This gem was her first book, and is another I re-read often – always charmed and dazzled and a little saddened.
Thanks, Simon, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
I’ve not read any of them, probably because my tastes tend towards the latter half of the 20th century. But these all sound like terrific reads, and I really do like the sound of Edith Olivier’s novella.
What do you think of Simon’s choices? Have you read any of these books?