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Hello! Welcome to Nurgish's Top Ten Books!


Time to sing praises to some of my favourite reads.



Nurgish’s Top Ten Desert Island Books.

Books! Don’t you just love ’em? They can lead you anywhere in the world or even beyond this world into others. What riches. So here I am, on this desert island...

My first choice is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.

Not only is it a three in one (oooh, I love a bargain!!) but it is also epic storytelling. Although I did hear it once described as, a tale about four short blokes, searching for a way to destroy a bit of jewellery. Look at my battered copy of The Fellowship of the Ring, shows how well loved it is.

My second choice is Oystercatchers by Susan Fletcher.

The writing is magical and this book is our absolute go to book when we need some inspiration. The story of a troubled Moira and the fragile bond with her younger sister, Amy.

Next up is I am the Great Horse by Katherine Roberts.

It is written for children and is about Bucephalus, who is the horse of Alexander the Great. This is a surprising choice for me as I do not, normally, like historical novels and I have no special fondness for horses.

I think the appeal is Bucephalus himself. He carries us into battles that changed the world. Boastful and arrogant, the stallion allows only two people to ride him. His groom, a girl in disguise, and Alexander, Crown Prince of Macedonia. You should know right away that I’m no Black Beauty, he says. I do appreciate plain speaking, even from a horse.

Another choice is The Faber Book of Children’s Verse, which contains such beauties as The Pied Piper, The Fairies, The Owl and the Pussycat, and my little favourite The Common Cormorant by Christopher Isherwood.


“The common cormorant or shag,

Lays eggs inside a paper bag.

The reason you will see no doubt

It is to keep the lightening out.”


High flying stuff! Maybe I could learn a few poems by heart—stuck on my desert island.

Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott. A gem of a book and such a satisfying read. Gentle lessons of life are shown to four sisters by their wise and loving Marmee. Who doesn’t want to be the wild, fearless Jo?

Mordants Need: Volume 1. The Mirror of her Dreams and Volume 2. A Man Rides Through By Stephen Donaldson.

I do love these—buy one, then buy another—deals, don’t I?

Terisa Morgan is plucked from a life of wealthy weariness in New York by the accidental magic of a rather inept apprentice Imager, Geraden. She is whisked to the Kingdom of Mordant where the use of mirrors is a powerful magical tool. Terisa is an unlikely heroine. Passive and unaware about what is going on around her and the power that lies within her.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

This book kept me reading even though for a good portion of the novel I didn’t have a clue what was going on, which is a huge testament to Atwood’s writing calibre. It is only looking back on it that I could see the intricate writing hid quite a simple tale.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson. It’s fresh, it’s witty and unbearably sad. Fabulous. I LOVE this woman’s writing. She takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions from the unlikely setting of a flat above a pet shop. Ruby Lennox tells the story from the moment of her conception to a terrible revelation that had me reeling with shock and sympathising with characters I had previously disliked. Wonderful.

Finally Perfume by Patrick Suskind.

The story of a murderer. From the moment of his birth Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is an abomination. He also has the finest nose in Paris. Suskind takes the sense of smell to heights undreamed of. The scents of dirt and decay to perfume exquisite and fragile are explored in rich and wonderful depth. A bouquet of a novel. Sorry couldn’t resist the pun!

And if I had to choose just one I would go for Behind the Scenes at the Museum. The humour in the writing would keep me going through the tough times of playing solitaire on the desert island.

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