I think I am a perfectly normal reader. So I enjoy reading all the good popular books, which people have introduced to me, and which were suitable for my age. So I have enjoyed reading the various: “Biggles” books, “Just William” books, Enid Blyton, Conan Doyle, Rider Haggard, RL Stevenson and Agatha Christie. Reading has always filled in my time, when I have had nothing else better to do.
In this webpage I will say just a little about my favourite books – all of which I have re-read many times. The order of the books is in terms of the first time I read the book.
This book was a favourite with the Allen family well before I was born. So naturally these were my first stories. And I have continued to happily re-read these stories again all through my life.
This Golden Island story relates the elephant wars between the North and South of Sri Lanka. I thought it was a terrific story. So this is the first full length story that I can remember.
I also loved this Good Master story.
This was first bit of “good literature” that I really liked. Again I have re-read it many times.
This Drums of Mer story made a big impression on me. Whether for good or evil I do not know.
The K-Zarkle character still fascinates me.
PG Wodehouse is my personal hero. So he, like me, is a Stoic and he actually knows the Stoic literature, which I don’t. (For example he actually sometimes quotes Marcus Aurallus.) And, if you read any of his history, his contempt for money incredible. I think I am quite good about not worrying about money – but I am nothing in comparison with Wodehouse. And Wodehouse could act in a just manner when all the rest of the world is going crazy – as you can find out if you read about his life during WW2. So he is my hero.
But he is not my favourite author. He wrote far too many books and this means that one never knows the same incidents to discuss with other people.
The following two books are my favourites.
This is my favourite Wodehouse novel. This is one of his later books
This is a collection of some of his early short stories. Several people agree that “Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend” and “Honeysuckle Cottage” are, in their different ways, the best of his short stories. But my personal favourite short story of his is “The Romance of the Ugly Policeman”. And this story is included in this book. So this is why I include this particular book.
Evelyn Waugh is my favourite author. All his novels I have read many times. But I think this book is his best, because the plot is so tight. And, there are some indications in the book itself, that this is what he felt himself.
I am afraid that all the laws and assertions, that Parkinson makes in this short book of his, are horriblely true.
In all my work, I have had to remember these true facets of life.
Let me compare Wodehouse and Waugh as writers (a dangerous thing to do). Wodehouse, like me, is a Stoic. So he views the world with detached amusement. He worked very hard to become a very funny writer. (He learnt a whole book of quotations by heart, so that he could trot them out at any convenient point in a story.) I love his stories.
Waugh was quite different. He lived life to the full in all its many different ways. He fought in the Second World War, at an old age, simply to gain this unique experience. He spent his life to be able to become a better writer. This gives an emotional truth to all his novels. He sensibly did not write too much. So I think he is the better writer.
Nancy Mitford was closely associated with Evelyn Waugh. I like her writings almost as much as his. Most people prefer her popular 4 post war popular novels. Originally I felt the same. But now I prefer this novel. (The book also reminds us of the communistic feelings that existed before the war – but which are non-existent now.)
At one stage I possessed almost all these Peanuts comic books (I read them many times). This is the only one now that I re-read.
Pride and Prejudice is, of course, a superb novel and truly deserves to be the world’s novel. I came to this novel fairly late in life, because someone persuaded me to read “Sense and Sensibility” first. I didn’t think much of this book at all. Hence my delay in my reading of this number-one story.
But at the moment, I am not spending my time re-reading Pride and Prejudice. No – I vastly prefer to watch the 1995 visual version. So I first watched this twice on TV. Then I watched it twice on DVD. And now I have watched it 9-times via iTunes on my computer. I watch it for half-an-hour every afternoon (as a break from my writing).
It is infinitely more fun to watch the story in the visual form. It is wonderful to see the English country side and the horses and carriages are magnificent. Then the music they add is wonderful. And I of course have done playford dances myself and I have even played some of the playford tunes. It is a joy to watch.
But, if people can do such a perfect job with Pride and Prejudice, why can’t other groups do something similar with our other great classics. It would be wonderful for old people like me, to regularly enjoy the classic stories, in the best and easiest possible form.
This story also means a huge amount to me. I integrated this story into a future story of mine called “Aberants in the Outer Asteroids”. But I have had to delete this story. This story could give people false ideas about the nature of life in space.
This is my favourite Mortimer story.
I think Mortimer is almost of the same standard as Wodehouse or Waugh. I can’t really distinguish between them.
The Utopia, described in this book, by modern standards would be absolutely horrible. But, never-the-less, there are aspects of this society, which we should all try to appreciate. So this book is not the easiest of reads.
This ancient book is also a favourite of mine.
I like all the Pongwiffy books. I can re-read them all again many times.
These poems are fantastic.
This story is rather similar to Pride and Prejudice. So it deals with the same era and the main male character has a lot of pride. But the plot is quite different and, in some ways, this plot is more realist. I think it would be wonderful, if this story could made into a film of several episodes (like Pride and Prejudice). This film could be called “Pride and Predicament”. I am sure that a very large number of people would enjoy such a film.
(One small gripe as regards the novel. Georgette Heyer can’t resist the temptation of showing off her knowledge of that past era. This is a common failing – I suffer from it myself.)
This book covers the activities of Napoleon in great detail. The book also gives a good picture of the society of the time. It is a long book. But I have read it several times
We should all read this book, if we wish to understand the nature of communities from which we have developed. I have just read the book and I appreciated it very much. I have a rule which says that I only keep a book, if I definitely intend to re-read the book. But I don’t intend to read this book again. So anyone can have this book of mine (for nothing).
As a good Stoic, I re-read a page of the Bible every Sunday. Mostly I restrict myself to Luke. The Bible contains many good stories – my favourites are: Joseph, David, Job, Jesus’s Birth, the Prodigal Son, the Dishonest Steward and the Rich Man and Lazarus. And the death of Jesus reminds about all the important facts of life, which we all do our best to ignore.
We all feel we should re-read our favourite poems – but mostly we forget. I overcome this problem by re-reading some of my favourite poems on Sunday (after reading the Bible).
In my old age, I have joined my local book club. And I also like to watch “the Book Cub” on TV. I immensely enjoy the discussion of the various books being read. But it is very rare that I want to read these books myself.
It usually takes me about 8 hours to read a book. This is a long time. It is rare that a book is worth spending this amount of time on.
You might now also like to look back at:
either my “Home Page” (which introduces this whole website and lists all my webpages),
or “My Life” (which introduces this major set of webpages).
My next normal webpage is “Philosophy, Beliefs and Purpose of Life”.
Updated on 14/11/2016.