Your Library is Your Portrait

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I found this quote on Sputnitsa’s blog; its by Holbrook Johnson.

Coincidentally, a friend of mine posted a meme about fifteen books that have really stuck with you. I decided to participate, so here are my books.

1. Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian:  I read this book and was hooked on the time period; I think I’ve read it five or six times.
2. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: I had one of my senior portraits taken with the giant, red bound edition of this book.
3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: One of my favorites; it makes me happy every time I read it.
4. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells: Finally read it this summer, but I’ve been enthralled with the story for years.
5. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux: Read it before I saw the movie. I adore this book; it is so brilliantly written. I need to get my copy back.
6. Watery Grave by Bruce Alexander: Mystery+Royal Navy=right up my alley.
7. Moon by Tony Fletcher: The best biography I’ve read, hands down. I laughed, I cried, I’ve read the book twice.
8. Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose: Just read it this summer, but…ah! It really sticks with you; it has the perfect ending.
9. The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Hawthorne+Italy. Two of my favorite nouns together! Not his best work, but my favorite.
10. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors: Best love story I have ever read.
11. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith: The characters are all so wonderfully realized; it feels like I know them personally.
12. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson: Not my favorite RLS story (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde ranks higher) but I’ve always wanted to make a really good movie based on this; I often joke that this is where my first Oscar will come from.
13. Macbeth by William Shakespeare: My favorite Shakespeare play; Julius Caesar oddly comes close.
14. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I’ve become even more observant, if that’s hard to believe.
15. The Irregulars by Jennet Conant: I’ve become obsessed with Roald Dahl’s early work, and it piqued my interest in Leslie Howard and David Ogilvy.

Strangely, a third of the list are books that I read this summer.

11 thoughts on “Your Library is Your Portrait

  1. The movie is ‘based on’ the book. ie not a lot to do with it.

    The book is set in late Victorian era England as well.

    I must admit to having a soft spot for the HMS Thunder Child (and have borrowed the name a few times) for its Crowning Moment of Awesome in the story.


  2. It’s not easy to pick 15 books out of a library of close to 1,000. Most of the books I buy are for reference rather than reading cover to cover although many times that is mandatory to find what I need. The best reference books I own are a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, including every yearbook from the mid 30s to date. I can’t begin to tell you how useful they are especially when you hit a writer’s block. Of course you know I’m 7 books into Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series. I just received a new one yesterday and am looking forward to it. I’m finishing up a history of the German battleship Bismark. I think I have about 40 pages to go. Anyway, thanks for an interesting post.


    1. I’m inspired to read more about topics that interest me, my favorite books have common themes (crime, historical and/or war setting), and I probably should read more girly books. 🙂


  3. Nah. History and crime are full of love, relationships, cuddling, everything women enjoy. Look at Jack and Sophie, or even Steven and what’s her name. Without the romantic interludes the whole series would be at a loss.


  4. Yes, that’s her! She’s gone off in the last book and I don’t think she comes in again until “Desolation Island” And I couldn’t remember her name because it isn’t in the present book I’m reading. (No short term memory here). Yes, for a bloke writing about 19th century sea war novels, O’Brian handles his female characters very well. I can’t wait to see how all the relationships evolve toward the end of the series. They’re as interesting to me as the fighting scenes and the travel sections.


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