Top Ten Tuesday

Posted May 16, 2017 by Nicky in General / 20 Comments

This week is an [International] Mother’s Day freebie. Now the UK Mother’s Day was quite a while ago, but never mind. The thing with me and my mum is that we’ve always shared books, ever since I finally learnt to read — I went from children’s books to her shelves within a year or two. Rare is the letter or conversation that doesn’t involve books somehow, so here are ten books I’d like my mother to read already.

Cover of My Real Children by Jo Walton Cover of City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett Cover of A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan Cover of Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang Cover of Behind the Shock Machine by Gina Perry

  1. My Real Children, by Jo Walton. You might cry, Mum, sorry. Motherhood is quite important in this one, and it also handles dementia and how it effects families.
  2. City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett. I’m sorry I took my copy back; I’ll get you the ebook or something. It’s a great series, and it’s finished now, too!
  3. A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan. I think you’d enjoy this Victorian pastiche. It’s not as heavy-going as something like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and the lead character is a lot of fun. Plus, dragons!
  4. Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang. Mostly for ‘Stories of Your Life’, which the movie Arrival was based on. (I think you’d like the movie, too.) Warning, this will almost definitely make you cry, knowing you.
  5. Behind the Shock Machine, by Gina Perry. I’ve bought you this, so you have no excuse! It’s a fascinating exploration of Stanley Milgram’s experiments and conclusions, and very relevant to about two dozen conversations we’ve had in the last few years.
  6. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Mostly to find out if you do enjoy it. I’ve been on the fence for years about whether you will. I think it’s very clever and very funny.
  7. The Carpet Makers, by Andreas Eschbach. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this one to you, but it’s a fascinating set of linked short stories. I have a copy, but I’m not sure if Lisa will let me lend it to you indefinitely. Maybe I’ll get you a copy.
  8. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. Rereading it recently, I enjoyed it a lot. People have emphasised the gender aspects of it, but there’s also a fascinating story about AI and individuality.
  9. The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin. I haven’t got round to reading it either, but we really should.
  10. Children of Earth and Sky, by Guy Gavriel Kay. We have the same opinions on most of his books, so you can tell me if I should be shuffling this to the front of my list instead of letting it languish!

Cover of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett Cover of The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach Cover of Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie Cover of The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin Cover of Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

And for those who are not my mother, well, those are all good books anyway.

I love the kind of mother-child relationship I have with my mother, where we can discuss books and psychology experiments and space opera and the accuracy of portrayals of mental illness in books, and just about everything else under the sun. She always treated me as an adult in terms of my formed opinions, and that has undoubtedly enriched our relationship and conversation options greatly. I can recommend it as a mode of parenting pretty unreservedly.

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20 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. I am so sad that I no longer really share books with my Mum. Like you, I grew up reading her books – I’m into SFF because she was when she was young, so she pushed Alan Garner and Lloyd Alexander at me when I was small and had Tolkien on the shelves when I was a little bigger. She has wonderful stories about being caught reading SF under her desk, only for her teacher to recommend John Wyndham. But now she won’t pick up anything SFF, so our tastes are miles apart. I’ll occasionally point her at a crime novel I’ve unexpectedly enjoyed (she reads an awful lot more crime than me) and we’ll very occasionally find a history book we can get excited about, but neither of us read enough non-fiction for this to be regular.

    Love your list though – about half of it is on my TBR and the others I’ve read I really appreciate. I haven’t read any GGK since Tigana – I didn’t get excited about the Chinese setting and somehow I didn’t realise Children wasn’t another one in that series. But Mediterranean pirates?! I need to get on this…
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    • My mum doesn’t get to read often enough anymore, but I’m so glad we share the same taste still! (Honestly I have the same tastes as both my parents, in many ways.) Most of the authors I love I’ve either shared with Mum, or they came from her in the first place!

      Ooh, have you read Andreas Eschbach?

  2. This is such a nice post! I love that you and your mom share a love of reading and enjoy talking about books (and everything else!). It sounds like a great relationship.

    • She is, at least in her taste in books! (And music, actually — we share that too.)

      My wife didn’t love Ancillary Justice, but I really did!

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