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 Kate, one half of Essex-based book bloggers Adventures With Words.
Kate is a secondary school teacher who reads almost anything but particularly loves literary fiction, cold crime, good-quality sci-fi and fantasy, and young adult fiction. She is also interested in illustration and picture books.
Kate studied English Literature at Durham University, where she wrote her dissertation on girls and women in children’s fiction.
When she's not reading, she loves watching sport, such as rugby and athletics, watching TV dramas such as Mad Men, The Killing, Buffy and Smallville, and hoarding stationery.
Without further ado, here's Kate's Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
Yes, technically I know it’s three books but it’s the novel I come back to again and again, for comfort, for adventure, for horror, for friendship… This book has everything. I read this as an early teen, having ploughed through all of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and then The Hobbit (in year 5 and again in year 7 at school). I wanted a fantasy adventure on a bigger, more serious scale and The Lord of the Rings delivers that in buckets.
Its main characters are hugely endearing, though eminently flawed — whether it’s a lack of foresight, taking on too much, their pride or greed — and yet all striving to do their best against overwhelming odds. It’s written in what could be seen as quite an archaic style but, to me, that just helps to evoke the magical, almost mythical time and place of Middle Earth.
This book opened my eyes to the possibilities of contemporary poetry. Duffy’s tone is by turns acerbic, ironic, witty and tender, as she looks again at so many well known literary figures, stories and characters by giving a voice to the women involved. I loved this idea of seeing another side to each story, recognising the voice and contribution of women who had been left as silent bystanders previously. As a lover of “literature”, it certainly made me re-evaluate the established versions of events with a new perspective.
Often, people dismiss books written for young adults or children as easy, basic or of lesser literary merit than those written with adults in mind. Sometimes they’re right, but in the case of Tall Tales from Pitch End, they couldn’t be more wrong.
I requested a copy of Tall Tales last year from publisher Hot Key Books because I liked the blurb and the cover art was great, and I’m so glad that I did. It’s one of the most enjoyable, unusual books I’ve read for years, with an incredible lyrical descriptive prose style, bringing to mind folk songs, combined with great characters and a fantastical, twisting, turning plot line. Nigel McDowell deserves to be read by many more people, children and adults alike.
Thank you, Kate, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
This may possibly be the most eclectic mix of books ever chosen by a Triple Choice Tuesday participant — fantasy, poetry and young adult!
What do you think of Kate's choices? Have you read any of these books?