Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Random Books from My Shelves

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 The First 10 Books I Randomly Grabbed from My Shelf (And tell us what you thought if you’ve read them!) It was difficult to be random as my bookshelves are mostly double stacked and in different rooms in the house but these are the ones I sort of picked randomly from my bookshelves. I’ve read some of them – see those marked with an * for my thoughts about them:

 * The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, one of my favourite of her books. Set in the village of King’s Abbot, the story begins with the death of Mrs Ferrars, a wealthy widow. The local doctor, Dr Sheppard suspects it is suicide. The following evening Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy widower who it was rumoured would marry Mrs Ferrars, is found murdered in his study. Poirot is asked to investigate the murder and he enlists Dr Sheppard, who lives next door with his sister Caroline, to help him.

Completely Unexpected Tales by Roald Dahl, described on the back cover as a collection of macabre tales of vengeance, surprise and dark delights. I used to enjoy these tales in the TV series, Tales of the Unexpected, years ago. I’ve read some of these.

*The Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin, one of his best Rebus books– a realistic and completely baffling mystery, a complex, multi-layered case, linking back to one of Rebus’s early cases on the force as a young Detective Constable. There are suspicions that Rebus and his colleagues, who called themselves ‘The Saints of the Shadow Bible’ were involved in covering up a crime, allowing a murderer to go free.

*The Way Through the Woods by Colin Dexter. Morse and Sergeant Lewis investigate the case of a beautiful young Swedish tourist who had disappeared on a hot summer’s day somewhere near Oxford twelve months earlier. After unsuccessfully searching the woods of the nearby Blenheim Estate the case was unsolved, and Karin Eriksson had been recorded as a missing person. A year later more evidence comes to light and Morse re-opens the case.

*On Giants’ Shoulders: Great Scientists and Their Discoveries From Archimedes to DNA: by Melvyn Bragg. An excellent book for a non scientist like me. I read it years ago long before I had a blog, so no review. It focuses on 12 scientists and is compiled from a series of interviews with leading scientists and historians in each field, on BBC Radio 4 in 1998.

*Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill, an interesting little book which takes a look at some of the books in Susan’s three storey country house in Gloucestershire. She had decided to take a year off  from buying new books and to read or re-read books from her own collection. It’s full of lots of references to books and authors, some known to me and others not and Susan’s personal anecdotes.

Never Mind the Quantocks:How Country Walking Can Change Your Life by Stuart Maconie, a collection of essays from his monthly column in Country Walking, full of the beautiful places, magical moments and wonderful characters he has encountered on his travels. I haven’t read this yet. It covers a variety of topics – The Walking Bug, The Right to Roam, Oases of Calm and Sea Fever, to name but a few.

The Wood Beyond by Reginald Hill, another book I haven’t read yet. When animal-rights activists uncover a long-dead uniformed body in the grounds of Wanwood House, a research facility, Dalziel is presented with a seemingly insoluble mystery. And he is further perplexed when he’s attracted to one of the campaigners – now implicated in a murderous assault. Meanwhile, the death of his grandmother has led Peter Pascoe to the battlefields of World War 1 and the enigma of who his grandfather was – and why he had to die.

*Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I wasn’t at all sure that I would like this book as I began reading it soon after I bought it (in 2013) and didn’t get very far before I decided to put it to one side for a while. A ‘while’ became years – and then at the end of 2016 I read A God in Ruins about Ursula’s brother Teddy, and loved it and decided to try Life After Life again and this time I loved it. During the book Ursula dies many deaths and there are several different versions that her life takes over the course of the twentieth century.

*Freedom in Exile the Autobiography by The Dalai Lama. He tells his story in English. He fled Tibet in 1959 and since then has lived in exile. This is another book I read years ago, long before I had a blog, so no review. He writes about his childhood, describing what it was like to grow up revered as a deity, and about his escape into India across the Himalayas along with the sense of loss in leaving his country behind.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Random Books from My Shelves

  1. Roald Dahl was one my favorite authors growing up. I admit I was very surprised to come across some of his darker tales for adults, such a different set altogether. Thanks for letting us know that there was a TV series as well, will hunt that up.


  2. I very much like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, too, Margaret . And it’s been far too long since I read The Way Through the Woods; thanks for the reminder of it. I do like Colin Dexter’s work… And Dahl, too. You do have some good choices here!


  3. Your selections do feel random. Howards End is on the Landing and Never Mind the Quantocks are both very appealing. I read Life After Life shortly after it came out and was impressed by it, but I did enjoy A God in Ruins more.


  4. I too gave up on Life after Life – like you I just didn’t get it. So I wasn’t that interested to read A God In Ruins. Maybe I should give Life after Life a second go since I do love Atkinson’s other work


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