I wanted to go into detail about some of my favourite books of all time, but that's a topic that's a little too broad for one blog post. I've decided to make it a series, so this will be part one. My current bookshelf set up is five large shelves with two layers each of books. I'm running out of space again, unfortunately. When I move, probably sometimes in 2016, I expect to set up a far more extensive bookshelf arrangement! Without further ado, I'd like to talk about some of my all time favourite books from over the years.
Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
When I was about eleven, I was assigned this book as part of the homeschool curriculum we were using at the time. Normally, once my family finished with a book, my mum would sell it to another homeschool family so they could use it. Once I'd finished reading Mara, I promptly hid our copy so my mum couldn't sell it. I still have that ragged paperback edition on my bookshelf, and I've lost count of how many times I've read it.
I've never been a fan of romantic books. If a relationship is the primary element of a story, the story needs to be incredibly compelling for me to give it a shot, and half the time I still don't enjoy it. Quality characters with intense chemistry will gain my interest, but a romance can't be the focal point of the story. Mara remains one of the only novels I've ever read in which a romance was a central part of the story, and I thoroughly loved every moment of it.
The central story line of Mara focuses on the politically thrilling landscape of Ancient Egypt, one of my favourite time periods. The struggle for power and the dynamics between the vibrant cast of characters gained my interest instantly, and the love I have for the story has not faded over time. It's been more than ten years since I read Mara, Daughter of the Nile for the first time, and I still adore it just as much today as I did then.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
This was another school book I confiscated for myself, also around age eleven. My mum originally intended to read it aloud to my brother and I, though it was my schoolbook, but changed her mind after getting a few chapters in and realizing how bizarre and complicated the story line was. She told me if I wanted to, I could keep reading it, or we could choose another book from the curriculum. I was curious, so I chose to keep reading.
The Westing Game is definitely a weird book, but it's also astonishingly clever. The characters are all very unique and serve a specific purpose in the plot. It may take a two or three readings to catch every single clue implanted in the pages, but I love a book that can entertain me every time I crack it open.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
When I was about twelve, I picked up a copy of And Then There Were None off a shelf in the library, curious about the mystery described on the back cover. My mum mentioned that she had also read Agatha Christie when she was young, so I took the book home to give it a read. Ten years later, and And Then There Were None remains my all time favourite novel.
As a child, I was beyond thrilled with the story's resolution, because I felt shocked and mystified at every turn. I had never been thoroughly surprised by a mystery novel before, and afterwards began to read every Agatha Christie novel I could get my hands on. I've long since traded in my ratty paperback for a collector's edition hardback of the book, and it has a special place on my shelf due to how many times I've read and loved it all over again.
These are just a few stories I read and loved when I was young, but I have many more novels and series that have stuck with me for years, and even some I've discovered recently, so there will be many more installments regarding my favourite books!