What I like reading and why.
My parents had a strong influence on my choice of reading matter. They were both avid readers, but had very different tastes. Dad read two or three newspapers most days (The Herald, The Sun (when they were two separate newspapers) and The Argus until it ceased publication. After that I think he read The Age. The only magazine I can remember him reading was a monthly mag. devoted to classical and church music.
He had eclectic taste in books, and I was glad to be able to bring some of them home with me when he died a few years ago. Here are just a few of them on my shelves at the moment:
'Horrie The Wog Dog' by Ion L. Idriess
'No Room In The Ark' by Alan Moorehead
'Born Free' by Joy Adamson
'The Trials Of Life' by David Attenborough
'A Fortunate Life' by A.B. Facey
'They're A Weird Mob' by Nino Culotta (and all the books that followed)
'Atlantis: The Antediluvean World' by Egerton Sykes.
You can see by that where Dad's interests lie - natural history, biographies,etc.
Mum liked fiction and she borrowed books regularly from the library. She also read several womens' magazines a week - Women's Weekly, New Idea, Woman's Day, and some English magazines as well. They were vastly different from the magazines of today. Back in the fifties they were full of recipes, craft patterns, helpful advice on many subjects, and short stories. None of the trashy gossip like today's mags. Here are some of my mother's books that I have on my shelves and still enjoy reading:
'Harley Street Hypnotist' by Alan Mitchell
'Scalpel - Men Who Made Surgery' by Agatha Young
'Men With Golden Hands - A Book of Surgical Miracles' by E.H.G. Lutz
'Harry Price - The Biography of A Ghost Hunter' by Paul Tabori
'The Andromeda Strain' by Michael Crichton.
I don't buy books of fiction as once I've read a story, I rarely go back and read it again. Not because I don't enjoy them - I do! In fact I still have a lot of books from my childhood, such as Enid Blyton's books, classics like Pollyanna, Anne Of Green Gables and Little Women. But there are so many more books to read without repeating the ones already read! So I borrow most of them from the library, or from friends. Some of my favorite authors nowadays are Patricia Cornwell, Danielle Steel, Di Morrisey, Catherine Gaskin, Rosemunde Pilcher, Charlotte Bingham, and several others whose names escape me as I write this. The kind of books that I buy and have on my shelf to read and dip into again over time are these:
'Why Things Bite Back' by Edward Tenner
'Asleep At The Wheel' by John Nieuwenhuizen
'Minutes Of The Lead Pencil Club' by Bill Henderson
'Boomers, Xers, and Other Strangers' by Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks
'Down Under' by Bill Bryson
'Doing Up Buttons' by Christine Durham
'The Heart's Code' by Paul Pearsall.
I'd be surprised if anyone reading this would have heard of (let alone read) many of these titles, but please post a comment if you have. I'd love to hear your opinion of them. If you are wondering what any (or all) of them are about, leave a comment and I will reply here.