Write Stuff : Favourite Books



This week’s Write Stuff topic is your favourite books.

Every Monday I pop up a topic for Write Stuff, and invite bloggers to link up a post, or for Facebook friends to leave me a blog or Facebook comment. The link is open all week so there’s lots of time.  I’d love for you to join me!




I love reading and I love books.  I am very eclectic in my reading tastes and will read pretty much any genre.  Sometimes, I will read one author’s books one after the other, like my recent Jane Austen binge.  Then I might read a cheesy action thriller followed by something a little more highbrow.

I could read when I started primary school, and I remember reading to the class “I am Joe’s Heart“, from the Reader’s Digest series, aged 6.  And I wonder why I got teased.

I’ve kept my love of reading over the years, but am pleased to report that my tastes have changed somewhat.

Narrowing down my list of favourites was a tremendously onerous task, so I’ve cheated somewhat and named my favourite book series.



Colleen McCullough – Masters of Rome series

Truly top notch and impeccably researched historical fiction set in the dying days of the Roman Republic.  I find this period so much more interesting than the Roman Empire.  This series piqued my interest in Ancient Rome, and I went on to read Suetonius and Plutarch.   My favourite characters are Julius Caesar and his uncle, the tortured Lucius Cornelius Sulla.  I re-read these enthralling books every couple of years, and love them anew every time.  The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Fortune’s Favourites, Caesar’s Women, Caesar, The October House and Antony and Cleopatra.



Diana Gabaldon – Outlander series

Historical time travel fiction featuring the love story of Claire Beauchamp and Jamie Fraser.  My friend Rachel from Redcliffe Style has a soft spot for Mr Fraser too.  The books are Cross Stitch (also known as Outlander), Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone.  Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is the title of the forthcoming novel, continuing the series.



Jilly Cooper – Rutshire Chronicles series

The original and the best bonkbusters featuring a fabulous cast of characters, including her most famous character, Rupert Campbell-Black.  Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata, Score!, Pandora, Wicked! and Jump!  The older ones are better than the newer ones, but are still lots of fun.



David Eddings – Belgarian Universe series

The first fantasy fiction series I ever read, featuring the adventures of Belgarath and his magical family.  This series takes me back to a long hot Melbourne summer, and whet my appetite for epic fantasy novels.  Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician’s Gambit, Castle of Wizardry and Enchanters’ End Game.



Sharon Kay Penman – The Welsh Princes series and the Plantagenet series

Fabulously detailed historical fiction about the medieval Princes of Gwynedd – Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning.  I also adore the fascinating story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine of the Plantagenet series – When Christ and his Saints Slept, Time and Chance and Devil’s Brood.



Hilary Mantel – Thomas Cromwell series

Oh, how I adore Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize winner about Thomas Cromwell.  I bought it at the airport and tried propping my eyelids open so I could continue reading for as long as possible on the flight to London.  A really interesting writing style, which switches perspective, and assumes the reader has some level of intelligence.  The follow up novel Bring Up the Bodies was equally fantastic, and I found myself reading a novel in between chapters to try and eke out the experience.  I’m eagerly awaiting the final book to complete the trilogy.



George R R Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire

Otherwise known as Game of Thrones, these epic fantasy novels are a great read, focusing more on battles and political scheming than on the more usual magic.  I adore the HBO series too, and the TV series is remarkably faithful to the books.  A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance of Dragons are currently published, with The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring in the works.




I have to give honourable mentions to some more favourite books and authors:

  • The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Jane Austen
  • Marian Keyes
  • Maggie Alderson
  • Iain Banks
  • Ian McEwan

There are many, many more books that I simply just can’t squeeze in.  Books are like friends and I really don’t want to hurt their feelings, but a line must be drawn!



All book cover images sourced from Booktopia.com.au


What are your favourite books?  I’d love to hear all about them!  Please do share with me by linking up a post and leaving a comment on the blog or Facebook.  Now, let’s get reading!



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