Over on The Broke and the Bookish this week, an interesting top 10 indeed. Kimberly shared her top 10 and they’re a good lot to save, even if she does stretch “10” a
- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.
For me, this is where the Discworld found it’s feet. It’s here that Sam Vimes makes his first appearance, along with the rest of the Night Watch. It’s here that Ankh-Morpork crystallises into more or less the form it has now. In previous books, it was a little fluid, everything put where it was most (in)convenient for the story. From here on, you get the impression that it’s a real city, that everything now has a place. That if you started here at the main gates to Unseen University you could navigate a path quite well to the Shades. Though why you’d want to is another question entirely. It’s also the only signed Discworld book I’ve got and it was a present from my girlfriend – now my wife.
- The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – A Trilogy in Four Parts by Douglas Adams.
Not much of a fan of Mostly Harmless, and the less said about the new one the better, my battered copy of The Guide is perfect. It even has You Are Here on the cover, though not the weird smiley-faced green guy.
- A Feast of Floyd, by Keith Floyd.
Yes, it’s a cookbook. But a cookbook by one of the greatest TV chefs the world has known. Long before your Olivers, Fernley-Wassisnames and Ramseys, Keith Floyd was cooking and drinking his way around the world. It was the cookbook I used for my first “proper” dessert and it’s got enough of my own recipes scribbled on blank pages, inside the covers and tucked inside the dustjacket to keep me busy for years.
- Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
A very British Apocalypse with the best Angel/Demon pairing I’ve come across in literature. And the updated Four Horsemen (and the Four Other Horsemen) are wonderful.
- Winterdance, by Gary Paulsen.
Describing the madness of training for and taking part in the Iditarod, a – if not the – dog sled race across the Arctic, this book is one of the most moving and entertaining books I’ve ever read. Equal parts laugh-out-loud funny (like Bill Bryson, Paulsen’s not a man to read in the quiet coach of the train) and move-you-to-tears, it’s a truly magical book. If you read only one book from this list, I’d urge you to make it this one.
- The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland & through the looking glass, by Lewis Carroll, with drawings by Philip Gough
This edition was printed in 1955 and belonged to my mum. I spent many a happy childhood hour lost in the pages of this book, captivated by the illustrations – both black and white and colour plates. Like my copy of The Lord of the Rings, the colour plates stand alone on their pages and are as much anticipated as they are appreciated. It might not be the finest illustrated Alice, or the best copy, but it’s mine now. Mostly because mum doesn’t have that much bookshelf space any more!
- Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Not the dry-as-dust text-only copy made to accompany the movie but a gorgeous A4, full-colour softback illustrated by Charles Vess. Superb story, stunning illustrations, beautiful book.
- The Strand Magazine, Collected Volume 1, 1904.
A hardbound volume my mum spotted in the £5 bin at a second-hand bookshop. It’s got Sherlock Holmes stories, The Phoenix and the Carpet, magic tricks you can do with corks, pins and forks, and much more than I’ve ever had time to explore. I’d save this one mostly because there’s so much of it left to do!
- Our photograph albums and holiday diaries
They’re in the bookshelf. While I was grabbing the above, I’d definitely rescue them. The holiday diaries are the warts-and-all record of the big family holidays we’ve taken. My wife and I each write up every day, from the day of packing through to the unpacking at the end and we’re encouraging the kids to do the same. Everyone should do this, it’s how great travel books are born.
- Dungeons and Dragons – 1st Edition
Not the first printing 1st editions, with the red demon on the Dungeon Master’s Guide, but the 2nd printing with the wizard on the cover of the player’s handbook and the beckoning Dungeon Master on the DMG. The Monster Manual is the 1st printing, tacky cover and all. These books were my first window into the hobby that I’ve pursued, on and off, since I was 10. The Player’s Handbook was the first RPG book I owned.
Of course, I’d save more if I could. One of the advantages of having a Kindle app on my phone is that many of my favourite books now exist electronically on there.
Now, I’ve shared mine. I’d love it if you’d share yours. And don’t forget to link up!