People’s favourite books varied as books were chosen from different stages in life and helped them or resonated with them in different ways. The snow kitten, about a lost kitten had stood out to a person when they were at primary school because they felt a bit lost too. Most people had fond memories of reading Enid Blyton, and for some these adventure stories provided a thrilling escape where life could be quite difficult, maybe the children outsmarting the bad adults was a very desirable fantasy; and some people did admit that Julian or Dick had become very desirable heros and protectors when the reading of these books progressed into early teenage years!
Some read to escape and others read to connect with powerful feelings, ‘Flowers in the Attic’ allowed some people to channel some very sad and difficult feelings and in a way connecting with the sorrow in the books was a carthartic outpouring. The fun of a good ‘whodunnit’ as written by P.D. James however provides a good escape from mundane life and troubles, especially when Dalgleish seems such an attractive character.
‘The Egyptian’ seemed to offer meaningful explanations of life experiences and relationships and the beautiful writing allows one to be utterly transported to another time and place, so powerfully that you can almost smell it. Finally, Michael J Fox’s autobiography of how his life changed dramatically after a diagnosis of Parkinsons and his ability to view this with dignity, strength and gratitude was very inspirational of how to cope with tough situations.
We enjoyed reminiscing about different books and I think we all felt a bit inspired to go and read either something familiar and comforting or something new and inspirational.