This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a chance for us to catch up on a previous topic we may have missed out on. As only an occasional participant in TTT, there is a whole list of previous subjects I can coose from, but in the end I decided to go for the old favourite - my top ten all-time favourite books. These are the ones I just keep re-reading, sometimes for the gripping story, sometimes for the beautiful language and emotion and sometimes just for a bit of comfort.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullogh
I know it's cheesy romantic pap but I just can't help loving this story of forbidden passion between a catholic priest and the fiesty girl he takes under his wing. I loved the mini-series, but when I read the book, which had so much more description and emotion, it kept me nailed to my sofa until the last page was turned.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Probably my favourite of all the classics. I love Mr Rochester (I'd take him over Darcy any day!), and the scene where he confesses his love for Jane is one of the sweetest moments in literature. Of course, that makes it all the more dramatic and heartbreaking when the lovers are torn apart. Wonderful stuff.
It by Stephen King
It's a hard choice between this and The Stand when picking a favourite King novel, but this has the edge for me if only because of the blood-pumping fear I remember feeling the first time I read it. I also love the way the author manages to perfectly capture the feeling of being young and out having fun with your friends.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I feel like I'm completely inhabiting the mind of the second Mrs de Winter when I start to read Rebecca. Though I've read it many times, as the mystery unfolds it always feels fresh and new.
After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
By far the most moving, heart-wrenching book I have ever read. I wept buckets over this - great heaving sobs of woe - and I am definitely not a cryer! Beautifully written and brutally honest, this is a book I know I'm going to keep coming back to over the years.
Adam Bede by George Eliot
This is a slow and gentle read in many ways, and an old-fashioned morality tale. I love the language - it's told with some humour as well as pathos - and I adore the beautifully detailed descriptions of village life.
Lightning by Dean Koontz
I always enjoy Dean Koontz's books, but this is the only one I've re-read more than once. It's a fantastic page-turning story of a girl whose life has suffered great tragedies, but who finds each major turning point is accompanied by the appearance of a mysterious stranger who tries to help her.
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
I'm not usually a fan of Anne Rice's books, but this book, and the two remaining volumes in the Mayfair Witches trilogy, are an exception. It's a gloriously complex story, spanning 14 generations of a very strange family, and is the only book which has inspired me to sketch out a family tree as I'm reading!
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
When I was twelve I loved this book above all others, and it still holds a special place in my heart.
Emma by Jane Austem
Emma just sparkles with humour and wry observation. I think it's the best thing Jane Austen ever wrote and every time I read it I feel new admiration for just how clever and sharp-witted she was.