Friday, October 16, 2020


Our Round Robin Blog for October 17, 2020 asks: What is/are your favorite book(s) of all time in your favorite genre(s) including children’s books, non-fiction books or magazines?


Hmm. Let me see. Have you got time? This is so difficult to answer. There are so many good books out there. Going into a bookstore is an adventure. I never know what I will come across. Never mind the title and story, what will the pages be like to smell or touch?

As Helene Hanff says in 84 Charing Cross Road of one of the books she received, ‘I’m almost afraid to handle such soft vellum and heavy cream-coloured pages. Being used to the dead-white paper and stiff cardboardy covers of American books, I never knew a book could be such a joy to the touch.’

Like Helene, I still have books that are a joy to touch. An old, first edition copy Kipling’s Thy Servant a Dog, an illustrated copy of The Wind in the Willows and Nicolas Bentley’s Tales from Shakespeare, are just a few that I pull out from time to time not only to read but to smell and touch.

Quite apart from their tactile properties, what about the content? Horses have always been a passion of mine, so from my childhood reading my favourite book is Anna Sewell’s classic Black Beauty. I don’t know how many times I have read it. Close behind it is Rumer Godden’s The Dark Horse, set in 1930’s India and based on a true story.

Reading came first and foremost in my family and I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have books around me. My mother collected Mazo de la Roche’s Jalna books while my dad was a fan of the Brother Cadfael books. I discovered Regency romance with the publication of Georgette Heyer’s Frederica in 1965 and have been a fan of that genre ever since. Frederica remains a firm favourite as I still find it as fresh and funny as the first time I read it.

I enjoy reading thrillers too, and at one time owned all the Dick Francis racing thrillers. Out of all his titles Smokescreen, set in South Africa, was my favourite. More recently I’ve become a fan of   Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels and am working my way through his titles. There’s the law and then there’s justice and I can’t help liking Reacher’s sometime rough take on that.

Non-fiction is not at the top of my list, but I have recently become reacquainted with Stevie Cameron’s Blue Trust: the Author, the Lawyer, the Wife, and Her Money, which reads like a novel and is the story of tax lawyer Bruce Verchere who included amongst his clients the author Arthur Hailey. I found this an intriguing as any thriller, loaned it to a friend and never saw it again. If I really enjoy a book, I will read it again and again, so I am very happy to have this one back in my collection.

As far as magazines are concerned, any edition of National Geographic will keep me happy. I think the most iconic cover for me, and for many people, is the image of the young Afghan girl with green eyes. I don’t often buy magazines, but if I am going to indulge these days I will always buy the Hello! Magazine, either the U.K. or Canadian edition. If I am visiting the U.K., I will always bring back with me a copy of The Lady Magazine which has been in continuous publication since 1885 and was a
favourite of my grandmother’s.

I’m off now to check on my fellow bloggers’ favourites and don’t mind betting that several will end up on my wish list.


Anne Stenhouse
Skye Taylor
Diane Bator
Connie Vines
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier
Helena Fairfax
Beverley Bateman
Rhobin L Courtright