Childhood : Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner: Published 1898
I was given a copy of this at primary school. It's beautifully written, and gloriously stmospheric- a real swashbuckling adventure of smugglers and contraband, secret passges, and ghostly crypts. Whenever I went on holiday to North Wales, I would imagine that I was in Moonfleet village, and on my way to the smuggler's caves.
Adolescence : Shabby Tiger by Howard Spring : Published 1934
I read this when I was 15, and had watched the series on Granada Television in 1973. I loved the fact that it was set in a northern town, and fell in love with the characters. I had a spell of reading this type of gritty, realism -mostly books set in the North of England - Rachel Rosing, Love on the Dole,The Road to Wigan Pier...but Shabby Tiger was my favourite.
Adulthood : A Thousand Spendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini : Published 2008
I was completely unaware of the effect that this book would have on me - I was stunned when I got to the end of it, and immediately re read the whole thing. It opened my eyes to the fear and oppression suffered by women, and made me appreciate all that I have....
My Guilty Pleasure: The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon : Cross Stitch (UK) - Published 1991
I fell in love with Jamie Fraser 20 years ago.
As long as Ms Gabalon writes - I will read ...my tatty copy of the original Cross Stitch is one of the books I would save if the house was on fire. And my personally signed copy of The Exile is a treasure..and was sent to me from the US by a very dear friend.
It's been really difficult to narrow down my reading life to just these few books, and sometimes my favourites can change on a whim.....but these are the ones that really do "stay with me "....