Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I’m going to borrow an idea that came to me via Guy Gavriel Kay:

“My youngest brother had a wonderful schtick from some time in high school, through to graduating medicine. He had a card in his wallet that read, ‘If I am found with amnesia, please give me the following books to read …’ And it listed half a dozen books where he longed to recapture that first glorious sense of needing to find out ‘what happens next’ … the feeling that keeps you up half the night. The feeling that comes before the plot’s been learned.”

So here’s my ten… Consider this an order if I am ever found with amnesia!

  1. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper. Well duh.
  2. The Earthsea Quartet, Ursula Le Guin. I’m curious as to how I’d feel about The Furthest Shore and Tehanu, reading them for the first time as an adult — originally I read them when I was quite young.
  3. The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay. I was torn between this and Tigana, but this was my first experience of Guy Gavriel Kay’s work, and I’d love to come to it fresh. Especially because it’s so influenced by prior fantasy.
  4. Whose Body, Dorothy L. Sayers. Well, all of the Peter Wimsey books really.
  5. Anything non-Arthurian by Mary Stewart. I’m not such a fan of her Arthurian books, but her other books are pure comfort to me. I might need that, if I’ve lost my memory!
  6. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien. And Lord of the Rings, obviously.
  7. Among Others, Jo Walton. My first book by Walton was actually Farthing, but that’s less personal. It’d be interesting how much Among Others would resonate with me if I didn’t have the memories I do. (Mind you, neuroscience probably supports the idea that I’d still feel a sense of recognition, even without conscious memory.)
  8. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith. An absolute must — I can’t go without knowing the opening and closing lines.
  9. Something by Patricia McKillip. Just don’t start me on Winter Rose unless you’re willing to take notes about my experience, compare them to my old reviews, and publish a study on unconscious memories of reading in amnesiacs.
  10. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Obviously a whole course of Arthurian literature would be essential — you could start by giving me my own essays on Guinevere and Gawain — including Steinbeck’s unfinished work. But this would make a good starting point, and you could check if I retained my knowledge of Middle English too.

Now I almost want that to happen, so I can study the neuroscience of reading and memory from within! It’d also be interesting to see how I reacted to the Harry Potter books if I couldn’t remember a) reading them as a child and b) the hype surrounding them. And —

Yeah, I’ll stop. Looking forward to seeing what themes other people have gone with this week!

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10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. Love your idea this week!

    For me, a couple of books I’d love to read fresh again are To Kill A Mockingbird and Lake Wobegon Days.

    Of course, being a TV nut, I’d love to experience classic Star Trek again for the first time.

    • Guy Gavriel Kay (or rather, his brother) have to take the credit for the idea! But it’s something I love to think about. Experiencing some books for the first time is magical, after all. To get to do it a second time would be amazing.

  2. Ahh, I think this is the best list this week! Such a great idea!
    I’d put Pride and Prejudice on such a list, as well as The Hobbit, of course, and then perhaps Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind, as well as Harry Potter 🙂 Now I’ll spend my evening making this list, that’s for sure 😀

  3. This is an interesting concept! I love The Dark is Rising. Such an amazing series! I think for me I’d have to add Pride and Prejudice, Gone With the Wind, and of course Harry Potter 😉 Oh and maybe Hunger Games and LoTR.

  4. I love this topic. I have so many books that I wish I could experience all over again, sadly my memory just won’t let me be surprised. I would be interested in the Harry Potter experiment. I think the hype helped make a seven book long series manageable and kept the interest up.

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