No I mean a favourite, all-time book, that fascinates me enough to have read it about once a year (at least) since I first read it in 1971. I can remember finding this gem in King's School library (Gutersloh, Germany) on a dark winters day. I have been a bookaholic as long as I can remember, which I don't intend on changing anytime soon.
I picked it up, tired old rag-eared book, from the shelves - Katherine, Anya Seton - and it caught my imagination right from the word go. It tells the story of Katherine Roet who had a long lived affair with John of Gaunt and bore him a number of children, and it is from these get that ended up on the throne of England.
It wasn't just the topic, to a young teenage girl, that was fascinating. Anya Seton had a way of telling the story in a way that the characters who existed in real life, mingled with some more fictional characters in a blend that captured my attention and I love books that do this artfully. Michener, Rutherford, Follett have the same creative ability; I labelled them as faction (the blend of fact and fiction).
My own paperback copy is battered and falling apart, and I purchased a second-hand hardback edition from ebay to replace it, but I can't bring myself to send it to bookcrossing, bookswap or even to a charity shop because it holds such wonderful memories of my last excursion to the lancastrian history vaults.
My bookshelves groan, but they will have to continue doing so as my old favourite is here until the end.