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Oh I so agree with the panel - but I am a huge admirer of Kit de Waal anyway so the sense they make shouldn't surprise me.
So many books shaped me that the list would go on and on but I have another vote for the magic of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen which I re-read so many times and my readings of Jane Eyre will forever link me with the great-grandmother I never knew but who was the first owner of my copy.
Top of my list though has to be The Little White Horse (which I hope you enjoyed) and The Children of Green Knowe - a psychologist would probably have a field day as to why a shy only child would have loved those books!

Glad to see you back!


Thank you, Liz - I loved The Little White Horse!

Dark Puss

The role of all art is "change us, move us, and give us a different view of something" and books are one part of that (an important one I would agree). I would also offer someone a book saying "I didn't like this but I think it is well worth trying, see how you feel". On "well written", while my heart agrees completely, I wonder how that might be defined and I suspect that it moves with the times.

Books that shaped me? Colette's writing of course, earlier in my life I am less sure what "shaped" me, though I share with others a great fondness for The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. Possibly the following and I include some recent shape-shifting books, (but what they most obviously gave me was a love of C20 and C21 novels many in translation!):

Herzog, The Tin Drum, Slaughterhouse 5, The Periodic Table, Invisible Cities, If on a Winters Night, Kafka on the Shore


An interesting list, thank you, DP.
The panel didn't dwell on or attempt to define 'well written', but as a benchmark they did give an example of the opposite. It's a book I haven't read so I can't comment.

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