Monday, 14 September 2015

Blogtember Day 14 Five Books That Changed My Life

Hi honeys

Back again for Day Fourteen of Blogtember Challenge linking up with the lovely Bailey Jean at Brave Love Blog.  Today's prompt is: the top five books that have impacted your life the most.  
Blogtember Challenge Day 14 Books that changed my life
A prompt about books! I adore books! Today's post is going to be such fun! Without further ado then honeys, onto my list :)

1. The Bible

One of my most treasured possessions is a little blue bible, given to me by my Dad when I was nine. Now, many years later, it means as much, if not more, to me than it did then. Like most children of my generation I went to Sunday School every week.  I wasn't raised in an overly religious family, we didn't go to Church every week, although I attended with the other members of my Brownie/Girl Guides troop. We also went to Sunday school too, where we were all taught far more than stories from the bible.  Children who attended Sunday school were taught right from wrong, responsibility, respect and compassion for others.  I can't be alone in thinking that increased secularisation and ever growing consumerism in society has robbed us of the very basic framework that used to mould young people into citizens eager to contribute to their communities.

As a child of the 1960s there are so many things about modern life that disturb me.  Society seems dysfunctional honeys.  People are being used and things, stuff, is being loved. That's just so wrong.  People should be loved and cared for and our relationships with other people should be far more important than owning the latest model of car or the most up to date tablet or whatever it is that the media tell us we have to own in order to be happy.  Not for the first time I feel like I don't belong in the modern world.  Growing up we may not have owned very much but we had, and were taught, what was important.

2. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

My favourite novel since I first read it as a child and it remains so, having been read countless times over the years.  Even thinking about it makes me smile :)  Does anyone remember those boxsets of books that would appear every year in the run up to Christmas? They would be made up of a slipcase which would contain three or four books and would bear titles along the lines of  "Adventure Books For Boys."  There would, of course, be an accompanying set for girls.  It always annoyed me terribly that Kidnapped would always be part of the book set for boys.  Even at the age of nine or ten I felt acutely the injustice of the presumption that girls shouldn't want to read my favourite book :)

Who decided that girls didn't long to run through the Highlands of Scotland having adventures with Alan Breck Stewart? This girl did :) I can clearly remember running home from school every week to watch the next episode of the TV adaptation which starred David McCallum.  As you might have read elsewhere on this blog Hubby and I are in the midst of a marathon downsizing and de-cluttering programme in our home and a few days ago, while rummaging through some long ago packed boxes, I found my much loved, slightly worse for wear, childhood copy of Kidnapped!  Such joy! Now I can read it again :)

3. Sherlock Homes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A wonderful thing happened to me at the age of twelve.  Along with my classmates from Primary school I moved up to "the big school" :) Our then local Secondary school.  On our first day we were split into classes.  We were then taken up to our registration class by our designated registration teacher. Once there we were issued with a study/homework diary, into which we copied our timetable of classes.  Once that was done we were taken to the school library and each issued with a library card!

I'd had my own card for our local Council run library from the age of nine but it hadn't even occurred to me that my new school should have a library of it's own :) It got even better when I discovered that included in our weekly timetable we were allotted a "free period."  This was one hour whose use was entirely left to us! Mine was the hour after lunch on a Tuesday afternoon. 

I spent so many happy hours in that school library honeys.  Since I was there every single week, and any other spare time I had, the school librarian, a very sweet elderly lady, told me I would be permitted to bring my sandwiches and eat lunch in the library while I read :)  During the course of that first year at Secondary school I read all fifty six short stories and four novels which make up the Sherlock Holmes canon of stories  written by Conan Doyle.  I completely lost my heart all over again to the enigmatic, aloof and World's First Consulting Detective, having adored Basil Rathbone's Holmes movies which I watched with my Gramma every time they appeared on TV :) 

This passion for Holmes, and Victoriana, has endured to the present day.  My fondness for puzzles and detective fiction led to my reading the works of Agatha Christie and of other much loved favourite authors, Dorothy L Sayers and Colin Dexter.  I was lucky enough to meet dear Mr Dexter once and he was sweet enough to sign a photograph for me to hang above my desk, as well as a copy of his last Inspector Morse book.  I absolutely treasure them both.

4. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

A play not a book I know but life changing none the less :) Early in fourth year of Secondary school, during the run up to our O Level English (oh my I'm old! O & A Levels haven't existed for years) my English teacher, the wonderful Mr Allison, came into our class room laden down with paperback copies of Macbeth which he proceeded to pass to each of us, amid the groans of displeasure.

Studying "the Scottish play" directly led to my love for all things Shakespeare.  Oh the joy to be found in a lovely cup of tea, a spare afternoon and his Sonnets for company!  Had we not studied Macbeth that year in English class though, I might never have discovered the joy and wit of Much Ado About Nothing, the thrilling (and heart breaking) drama of Henry IV and V and the countless smiles to be found in Twelfth Night.  Thank you Mr Allison, wherever you are, you opened the door to my love Shakespeare.

5. The Dairy Book of Household Management

Blogtember Challenge Day 14 Five Books That Changed My Life

This wonderful book, which I still have (photo above is mine) was written and produced on behalf of the Milk Marketing Board and was a gift,  given to me shortly after Hubby & I married.  It was my go to book in the early years of our marriage with advice on everything from how to remove stains to decorating and gardening tips.  It was published in 1980 (we married in the mid 80s) so it's a little dated but it makes me smile every time I see it on our bookcase :)

So there we have it honeys.  This prompt was such fun today :) Thank you Bailey Jean x  I can't wait to see what everyone else wrote!  Till next time dear ones, hugs always xx

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