1. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery.
My mother once, and only once, suggested that I was named after the fictional Anne. I also have freckles and felt much the same about them as a child as Anne does! And like her I was a bit of a rough and tumble type girl. To my great regret I didn't get her gorgeous hair to go with the freckles though. (F)
2. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome.
At the moment my life seems consumed by boats, with the America's Cup being raced, quite different from the boat in this book mind you. I have 3 kids and we read to them every night - this book was one I was read as a child and I remember it very fondly. I have plans to read it to my kids in the next year or so. (NF)
3. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd.
I grew up in an urban family that made it's own soap (the very traditional way with lye and rendered fat off meat) and bread, and had a vege garden as well as growing 15+ types of fruit (on a 1/4 acre section), as well as having a beehive or two for honey. One day I will have a beehive as well, although since the varroa mite made it to New Zealand this is much more problematic than it used to be. This book is really there mostly because of the title and it is one I have wanted to read for a while. (F)
4. Penguin History of New Zealand - Michael King.
Michael King died in a car accident not long after this was published and I don't think knew how completely well received it was. I am a New Zealander and belong nowhere else in the world. I have an interest in our history and this book has been on my to read list for a long time. (NF)
5. Baden-Powell by Tim Jeal - The definitive biography of Baden-Powell the man who founded Scouting and Guiding. I am a guide leader and have been for around 20 years. I have read this biography before but not for a while, but remember it as a warts and all version of B-P's life, and as I would prefer to read an honest account about a real individual, rather than one about a man set on a pedestal, I want to read it again. Even with his quirks he was a remarkable man and his legacy has impacted on my life in a huge way. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Guiding in New Zealand so it seems like a good time to re-visit. (NF)
Just for interest - other books I considered:
Scoop - Evelyn Waugh
Under the Mountain - Maurice Gee
In search of Van Gogh - Kenneth Wilkie
Tulip fever- Deborah Moggach
Walter: The Story of a Rat - Barbara Wersba
The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart
The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II - Greg King
Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. Williams