Wallpapers for "secret garden korean drama official wallpapers"Click images to download wallpaper. As my childhood memories become foggier and less reliable, there are several book moments that stand out from the murk. The moment I discovered Herge’s The Red Sea Sharks (a graphic novel in a small rural library!) was like tripping over a gold nugget. Ivan replied with a beautiful letter putting the onus on my imagination to complete the tale. Many years later I met Ivan and he presented me with the sequel he’d reluctantly written for To The Wild Sky.
Hidden somewhere in one of the cupboards, I have a small cross-stitched sampler hand-embroidered (and designed) by a friend when we were both 14 or so. LOTR was a perfect fit for the teenage me: a fey budding poet obsessed with ancient languages and Faery, a misfit in one of the roughest High Schools in the Hunter Valley, where surfies ruled and netball was brutal.
The power to elicit a physical reaction in the reader, be it goosebumps, tears or laughter, is the mark of a great novel. The last time I looked, this Pulitzer Prize winning book was one of the biggest selling novels of all time, so I’m not exactly Robinson Crusoe in loving it. Like a lot of kids who grew up to become writers, I was a voracious reader from a very early age.* My parents loved books too, and I remember going through their shelves in search of something, anything to try next. Somewhere in mid-primary (and I can’t remember exactly when, as I’m now in my 40s and my memory is on the downhill slide :-)) a book club program was introduced.
You see, it turned out that I didn’t dislike reading… rather it was simply a case of not having found the right material to interest me.

The thrall induced by JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was such that I would climb high into a tree where I could read without interruption by younger siblings. This was a proudly Australian story and the first novel to utterly confound me by denying the usual happy-ever-after. An icy, grief-stricken story overshadowed by the twilight feel of Celtic myth, it was a short sharp shock after the cosiness of the Narnia tales I knew and loved.
I started reading it as a 19-year old boy, sitting in a hotel lobby after my first literary festival. The trilogy has (almost) everything: humour, deep history, high drama, languages, mysterious forms of magic, romance (albeit rather chaste), relentless villains, flawed heroes – even dragons and Elves. Elidor was the first book to shatter my childhood expectations of happy endings, to unsettle me with the power of elision and loss.
This gentle, wise and poignant account of racism in 1930s Alabama is a monument to human decency.
Both ways, I discovered a wealth of wonderful writing: my mother’s collection of Agatha Christie’s novels was an early obsession, my growing collection of Doctor Who Target novelisations another.
The school readers we had to take home were dry and dull and they put me off even trying to find other material. I didn’t grow up in a house full of books, but I often got a book for my birthday, and one for Christmas. And John Wyndham’s novels (such as The Midwich Cuckoos & The Chrysalids) struck a chord that still resounds today. The conclusion of A City Out of Sight is even more audacious than that of the prequel.  I like that a lot.

Garner, an elusive writer considered among the greatest fantasy writers, experiments with how much of plot and character he can pare away and still have a story standing.
I love Siren by Tara Moss, and Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg, and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I was so deeply moved by this true story of a troubled boy, Dibs, and his psychologist, Virginia Axline, that when I finished reading it, I had some sort of nervous break down of my own! I went on to read the sequel, Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet, and then moved on to Jack Williamson’s Trapped in Space.
I can certainly still dredge obscure Middle-Earth facts out of long-unused areas of my memory – for example, that Elrond is Galadriel’s son-in-law. My childhood copy of Elidor, (the Fontana Lions edition illustrated by Charles Keeping) which I still own and treasure clocks in at a bare 160 pages.
It wasn’t long before I was reading Andre Norton, Robert A Heinlein, HG Wells, John Wyndham and John Christopher.
Christopher’s Tripods trilogy had a huge impact on me, and these books remain favourites to this day.
For those not familiar with Rupert, he is not one of your cuddly bears that you might snuggle up to on a cold night.

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