Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Pre-Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules see her blog.

The topic this week is: Books I’d Gladly Throw in the Ocean, but as I’d never throw books into the ocean, my topic is Books I Read Pre-Blog (pre April 2007) and are all books I enjoyed! Some are my own books and others I borrowed from the library. The descriptions are from a number of sources.

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood – the first book of hers I read. Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for 40 years.

The Sea by John Banville – Max Morden visits the seaside town where he spent his summers as a child after the death of his wife. There he remembers the Graces, the family that introduced him to a world of feeling he’d never experienced before. Interwoven with this story are Morden’s memories of his wife, Anna–of their life together, of her death.

Poet in the Gutter by John Baker – Sam Turner has always had a romantic yearning to be Sam Spade. So he tells his men’s group in York that he’s a private eye – it’s better than admitting he’s an unemployed alcoholic. But then one of his friends asks for help in tracking an erring wife. So suddenly Sam is a P.I. And the next thing he knows, he’s on the track of a serial killer – with the help of a street-liver and an ex-English teacher pensioner. . .

March by Geraldine Brooks – I loved the March family in Louisa May Alcott’s books and wondered about Mr March away at war, not knowing as a child which war that was. It was of course the American Civil War, and this book is about his life as an abolitionist and chaplain in the Union Army. During this time, John March writes letters to his family, but he withholds the true extent of the brutality and injustices he witnesses on and off the battlefields.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – when Sir Charles Baskerville is found mysteriously dead in the grounds of Baskerville Hall, everyone remembers the legend of the monstrous creature that haunts the moor. The greatest detective in the world, Sherlock Holmes, knows there must be a more rational explanation — but the difficulty lies in finding it before the hellhound finds him.

Matilda by Roald Dahl – Matilda Wormwood is only five years old, but she is a genius. Unfortunately her parents are too stupid to even notice. Worse, her horrible headmistress Miss Trunchbull is a bully who makes life difficult for Matilda’s teacher, Miss Honey, and her friends. But what Miss Trunchbull doesn’t know is that Matilda has a trick or two up her sleeve… I loved the film too.

The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans – A forty-ton truck hurtles out of control on a snowy country road, a teenage girl on horseback in its path. In a few terrible seconds the life of a family is shattered. And a mother’s quest begins–to save her maimed daughter and a horse driven mad by pain. It is an odyssey that will bring her to The Horse Whisperer. He is the stuff of legend. His voice can calm wild horses and his touch heals broken spirits. For secrets uttered softly into pricked and troubled ears, such men were once called Whisperers. 

Haweswater by Sarah Hall – set in 1936 in a remote dale in the old county of Westmorland, and tells of the flooding of the dale to make way for a reservoir, against the wishes of many of the local hill farmers. It is a story of love, obsession and the destruction of a community.

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler – One hot summer day Maggie and Ira drive from Baltimore towards Pennsylvania, to the funeral of the husband of Maggie’s best friend. During the course of that journey, the author shows all there is to know about a marriage.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. 

19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Pre-Blog

    1. I began blogging thinking I’d write about the books I read as soon as I’d read them – it hasn’t happened! So I still read books that I don’t mention on the blog, except to list them as books I’ve finished reading.


  1. What a clever idea to focus on books that you read before you started blogging, Margaret. It’s a great way to look back, isn’t it? And you’ve got some interesting choices, too. I’ve read Banville as Benjamin Black, but not under his real name – I ought to try his other work.

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  2. Great choices, though I did laugh and have to put the book down in the Horse Whisperer when a guy from the phone company says to someone in, irric, Montana, “The lines are all fitted, Miss.” Too funny–“You’re all set” is more like it. We don’t “fit” things and no one uses “Miss” here in the States even when that book came out. Lesson #1 in writing in a different culture–get Beta readers from the area. I loved March.

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  3. I’m not dramatic enough (or environmentally irresponsible enough) to throw a book into the ocean, no matter how much I disliked it! I just donate them 🙂

    MATILDA is a great book! I’ve also enjoyed several of Evans’ books, THE HORSE WHISPERER among them.

    Happy TTT!


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  4. When my book group read March, we were meeting at the home of a friend in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She told us she’d come home earlier that year after a week away and found dead flowers stuck inside her front door with a card that said, “Congratulations on your Pulitzer!” She called the florist and found out they had been meant for Geraldine Brooks who was renting four doors down the street! She walked over to apologize for not having been home to re-deliver and the charming husband, Tony Horwitz (now deceased) said they were still drinking champagne and invited her in. She was too diffident to accept and regretted it later! I always wondered if the florist made a replacement delivery!

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  5. I bet she was surprised – and Geraldine Brooks was too! I don’t think I’d have gone in either – I’d have felt as though I was intruding.


  6. Always interesting to read these kind of posts. I personally loved The Horse Whisperer, I like AC Doyle and especially this one, as well as Dorian Gray. Love Anne Tyler but have not read this one yet. I can agree with you concerning The Sea. I found it rather boring.


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