Want to enter to win the complete set of Angus & Robertson’s Top 100 books but don’t know where to start? It just takes 300-500 words telling us your favourite book from the A&R Top 100 list and why. The comments below from authors Fiona McIntosh and Lia Weston should help with some ideas to get you started.
Fiona McIntosh – The Power of One and The Pillars of the Earth
In terms of the A&R Top 100 I think I have two huge favourites in there. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay should be on the school curriculum in terms of a great book especially for boys perhaps but one that can inspire any individual to strive and never feel cowed by others. And then of course, the wonderful The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It’s a book I have recommended time and again to people of all ages. My 80+ dad read it a couple of months ago when I bought it for him as a gift and he loved it. I can’t imagine anyone could not get entirely carried away in the grand romp of a story whose backdrop is the building of a cathedral. Enjoy!
Lia Weston – Little Women
Forget comfort food—this is comfort reading. A childhood favourite, it’s always a pleasure to go back and visit the March girls; each has their own particular flaw (at one point I wondered if Beth had Asperger’s Syndrome) and each battles the expectations of society in different ways, particularly Jo. I like troublesome heroines when the trouble comes from their character rather than their situation, and always identify with Jo’s battle to fit into a mould she doesn’t really want to occupy. Jo is an unique character in fiction of this period because she displays such complexity; she wants to be a boy, she swears, she loves physicality and violence, but she’s still unmistakeably female. The fact she’s a writer (albeit one who writes pieces such as Constantine The Avenger) is a bonus, of course. Even though all four girls submit to domesticity at the end, Little Women is a fascinating exploration of both male and female gender roles of the time and the struggle to overcome them. Plus it’s a lot funnier than people expect. Pickled limes, anyone? *crickets chirping*
The Top 100 list is available at www.angusrobertson.com.au/top-100.
The Top 100 video is available here.
The Australian Literature Review