12 August 2008

I have a favourite book...

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.


Tash said...

Sold - gonna have to go look for it. Thanks. Always looking for a great read!

Janet said...

I'll have to look for it too. I love historical fiction (faction is an excellent description). Currently I'm reading Edward Rutherford's "Sarum" which I've owned for years and never got around to. It's basically a history of the Salisbury area of Britain. If I ever finish it (it's 1000 pages) I'll let you know.

A. said...

This was one of my favourite books too! I must have first read it at a similar sort of age, and then went on to all the rest of Anya Seton's books, not very many as I recall, but I didn't feel quite the same about them.

I've started to have a problem with "faction" because of being unsure where the facts end and the fiction starts. I'd love to find an historian who can write as engagingly as a novelist.

Sage said...

Sarum is Good, if you enjoy it, try Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett as it is a different take on events.

One of my personal factional favourites was Chesapeake by James Mitchener. He made me want to visit (though it hasn't happened yet) I live in hope.

Nicey said...

Whe I go to someones house the bookshelf is the first thing that I take a look at, its usually a good insight in to the person !

May have trouble with you though !

The W.O.W. factor said...

You sold me! I'll have to find it for my Winter reading time.
"...it caught my imagination right from the word go" I love a book to do that for me!
Unfortunately, if you saw my bookshelves, they'd be weighted down with years of National Geographics which I dearly love,a lot of botanical books, Pioneer days books of small communities, yet; two fav's are ~1) The "Training of the Human Plant" by Luther Burbank; circa 1907 and ~2) "Longfellow's Complete Poetical Works" by gues who?? :) circa 1922
They came fom my Grandparents...I love them

Sage said...


I read National Geographic when I visit the dentist, can't afford to get my own copies as too many demands on my purse.

I picked up a tatty 1897 copy of Tennyson's poetry and paid a large amount for it to be re-bound in 1997 so I could keep it.. my favourite is the charge of the light brigade.

The W.O.W. factor said...

Sage, my Great Aunt & Uncle gave me that Ntl Geo. Magazine subcription until they passed. I can't afford them either, I went 2 yrs without & "hinted" to my folks...so have been getting it ever since. Of Poetry ... Longfellows "Children's Hour" has been my fav since I was 6 & could read & learn to recite it.