Monday, December 19, 2005


Over the years I have compiled a list of my top ten books. So far I have only found three that made the grade.

To qualify, a book needs to appeal to certain unspecified criteria. Unspecified because I, myself, am not sure what they are. All I know is that a book has "IT" - or at least had "IT" at the time when it was read.

The thing about this top ten (three), is that a book doesn't necessarily have to appeal to me now. My tastes have probably changed and what once appealed may no longer interest me in the slightest.

Well, after that preamble - the books.

1)Dune by Frank Herbert.
I read this some time around 1976 and immediately after I'd finished it, I started reading it again. I was thrilled to find there were sequels and looked forward to continuing the story through the subsequent volumes. However, despite several attempts I never was able to get all the way through the second, Dune Messiah - despite it being the smallest of the series.

2) That Eye The Sky by Tim Winton.
I read this some time in the 80s. I enjoyed its Australianness and the use of Australianesque narrative voice. I've tried to read this again, but have never managed to stick with it. Maybe it's like that first cup of coffee. It's always better than the second.

3) Dracula by Bram Stoker.
A relatively late entry, read some time in the early 90s. I'm not sure whether I saw the Coppola film first and that led me to stick with the book after several failed attempts in earlier years. However, I finally succeeded and felt the book was worthy of addition to this list.

What do these three different novels have in common? The only thing I can see is a type of spiritual content. Each deals with spirituality in a different way, yet it's a dominant feature of all three. They don't necessarily contain spiritual ideals worthy of aspiration - but they spoke to a hunger for that "something more" that we all experience at some times in our lives. Even if they were fictionalised explorations - they at least gave that vicarious satisfaction that great fiction can give us during the time we immerse ourselves in it.

Maybe others don't see them as great fiction - that's fine. You can all compile your own top ten books, and maybe you'll be able to include more than the three that made my list.

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