And... well one of my downsides is that up til my mid-twenties (the cut-off for the first list) I really had pretty awful taste in reading. I read what my mum read - tons of crappy romantic fiction a la Danielle Steel et al, the occasional 'risky' "Flowers in the Attic" type of things, and tons of pretty forgettable fantasy/science fiction. Remember that I didn't go to University as a full-time student until I was nearly 26, and I was already 23 when I met Neil (nearly 24 in fact).
So there aren't a lot of books before 25 years old that I remember much about, let alone feel they shaped me. So why try to do the list?
Well, I love lists, so I'm going to stretch things back a little to take in anything read before 25 years old that feels significant. So nah, nah, nah, as these are all titles I returned to in my teenage years and after.
- Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
- Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
- The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
- The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
- The Collected Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
- The Women's Room - Marilyn French
- The Phantom Tollbooth - Norman Juster
- 1984 - George Orwell
- The Collected Dorothy Parker
- Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers
- Frost in May - Antonia White
I'm quite pleased to see how many women authors there are here.
- The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony - Roberto Calasso
- The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
- House of Leaves - Mark Z Danielewski
- The Sandman - Neil Gaiman
- South Riding - Winifred Holtby
- The Cheese Monkeys - Chip Kidd
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Choderlos de Laclos
- Company of Liars - Karen Maitland
- Beloved - Toni Morrison
- His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
- Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Hmm. that's an odd pair of lists. They're all books that I have read and read again or can recall vividly. So am going with these even if my lists probably go against the grain of the original list sentiment.