What do you read about?

As usual I seem to gain my inspiration from fellow bloggers. Over on Stuck-in-a-Book’s most recent blogpost, Simon has put up a list of one person’s favourite books. I couldn’t sleep at 0330 this morning so left my bed and started to read my usual blogs. I couldn’t resist putting Simon’s list of books that the late Mary Ann Shaffer, author of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” had considered her favourites, into a spreadsheet and seeing what sort of book she read. My first thought was that I hadn’t read many of them and indeed had never even heard of quite a few. So here is the list re-ordered into 4 groups (see final column A,B, C, D) with one odd-man-out at the end.


[this table is also available as a pdf file here]

Mary Ann appeared to have an interest in novels set in the First & Second World Wars. However, on reflection I would say that the greatest number of books on the list show an interest in pioneers, settlers, immigrants, those who leave one culture/race and attempt to make their way in another. Some of the books, of course, should be included in at least two of the categories.

Other than “My Antonia”, which was published in 1918, all the books were published in 1945 or afterwards.

There are thirty-one books on Mary Ann’s list. If we saw your thirty favourites what would we summise about you?


One Response to “What do you read about?”

  1. Simon T Says:

    Wow, Ruth, how interesting! I was surprised, when I read the list, how late they were all published, given the time setting of the Guernsey book. But your analysis, esp Group C, explains quite a lot.

    I’d only read four of them, including some treasured books and one I really didn’t like at all (Captain Corelli).

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