Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jayne Joso's Favourite Books of All Time (in no particular order)

Todays, guest blogger, telling us all about her favourite 5 books of all time (in no particular order) is the brilliant Jayne Joso, author of the the rather superb novel Soothing Music For Stray Cats. A modern day tale based firmly in London, it follows narrator Mark as he comes to terms with his life following the death of an old school friend. It's sad, funny and ultimately life affirming. Hurrah for Jayne.

Greetings you fine Big Green Bookshop folk, Simon, Tim, Mark, readers, all!
Well, having damn near faced homelessness just recently, I have to say a whole ton of books have found themselves moved from my bookshelves to charity shops and perhaps this is no bad thing, someone will get to pick up a great read or two for cheap, and I, less encumbered by ‘stuff’, am therefore more able to move. Ironic to be left without a roof over my head while trying to finish the next novel which is all about architecture and trying to find a place to call ‘home’… all grist to the mill, I guess.
Anyway, enough of that, I am ‘homed’ again, humbled again, and can now indulge in a line or two here about my top five favourite books! Five I didn’t give away…

Gradiva by Wilhelm Jensen - for its capacity to fill my heart. Description: Norbert Hanold is transported to Pompeii on the day Vesuvius erupts and attempts to warn Gradiva of her fate… and is he dreaming ?
The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis - for its consummate prose and a story that damn near broke my heart. Set in 16th Century France it is based on a collection of ‘Famous Cases of Circumstantial Evidence’.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville - for the sea, the sea, the sea! And one of my all-time favourite characters, Queequeg.
Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco - for its humour, and Baricco’s heart-warming lightness of touch…
Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe - for the most evocative prose. When I slept in-between reading this I dreamt that I was covered in sand, and when I woke I felt I had to dust sand from my eyelids (must stop sleeping on beaches…).

If you’re looking for great reads to give at Christmas, along with checking out other folk’s top fives and Big Green Advice, I recommend ‘Gradiva’ and ‘Ocean Sea’ – for their life-affirming qualities… I guess that’s the kind of read folk might want to hunker down with over the colder months.
Warm wishes
Jayne Joso

Thanks Jayne, and hey readers, if you haven't emailed us your top 5 books by now, it would make me smile just a little bit more if you did. And that's a good thing, yeah?

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