Monday 3 September 2018

Ten books from my teens

I have always enjoyed reading. My local library, Westcliff was a mere five minute walk from my home and I was a regular visitor there.

My mind turned recently to the works of fiction I have tackled over the years, and particularly to those that I tackled in my formative years.

Here are ten books that I feel had this biggest influence on me as a teenager.

Robert Heinlein – Stranger In A Strange Land
Anatole France – Penguin Island
Mikhail Bulgakov – The Master And Margarita
John Wyndham – The Chrysalids
Charles Dickens – David Copperfield
George Orwell – Animal Farm
Lewis Carroll – Alice In Wonderland
Perseus and other Greek myths
William Golding – The Lord Of The Flies
John Steinbeck – The Grapes Of Wrath

These are in no particular order, and represent a fraction of what I read in my teenage years.

My recollection of some of these stories is fuzzy, for others they are still quite vivid.

I recall the hot summer of ‘76, and hours spent in Chalkwell Park tackling Stranger In A Strange Land. I remember stumbling across Animal Farm during the fag end of my school days; it was revelatory. In my bedsit days I tackled the likes of David Copperfield and The Grapes Of Wrath.

Greek myths was an early read, and I still remember the tales of Theseus and Jason.

Much of my reading was driven by the demands of my schooling, but I was also curious.

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