This charming anecdote about how a six-year-old reader jealously guarded his favourite book, made me wonder which stories are intensely personal to me.
I recall the wondrous possibilities of reading, discovered as a youngster…how a book could become a portal to another world, making me a traveller in time and space; books became friends.
The book that I’ve re-read the most, and which I feel bonded to, is The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame…ideally with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepherd. It’s classified as a children’s book, but has universal themes of the importance of home and loyalty to friends and the natural world, as well as being prescient about what happens when those principles are abandoned—as shown by the current state of politics, mass extinction of species and global warming.
For modern books, I feel like a champion of a crime novel I read in 2017, which I chose as one of my favourite books of the year. The Ploughmen is a debut novel by Kim Zupan and deserves to be widely-known. Had I the funds, I’d buy the rights and turn it into a film, and the two-hander structure of the plot would be ideal for an up-and-coming actor to prove his skills, as well as revitalising the career of an established but overlooked actor…in the same way as Quentin Tarantino turned the spotlight back onto Pam Grier and Robert Forster with Jackie Brown.
In this way, I’m the opposite of the six-year-old reader, as I want more people to know about one of my favourite books.
What is your go-to story, your eternal favourite?
Which neglected title do you think deserves to be widely known?