There were my choices, and at last I can comment!
They are not in the order I posted them because I can't find the energy to jiggle the pictures about...
I am a member of a local book club, and I have a feeling this was the first book I read after I joined, a year or so ago. It is a most extraordinary read. Dense pages of prose, long sentences, almost 'stream of consciousness, telling the story of two young Irish lads who fled the famine of Ireland to find themselves embroiled in the American Civil war. I'd never read anything like it before, and found it mesmerising.
This was the first 'Miss Read' book I ever came across, when I was about fifteen and was lost for something to read. Hooked. The gentle and compassionate way the various characters are described is so soothing. I prefer the 'Fairacre' stories to the ones set in the neighbouring village of Thrush Green, as the latter are somehow more formulaic. Didn't stop me from reading them all; excellent for getting one in the right frame of mind for going to sleep.
Another first - my introduction to Georgette Heyer's romantic historical fiction - I was given a copy to read by my mother - when? - I don't know. Maybe I was about thirteen at the time? This was the edition - I've still got it, I think, but hardly dare open it in case the pages crumble to dust.
I'm reading this at the moment; it is one of those books, like 'The Morville Hours' by... can't remember... that takes a long time to read. It is a sort of journal and noticings and thinkings about; Kathleen Norris is a poet (I must hunt down her poems) who is studying and teaching at a University in America and at the same time spending time in a Benedictine Monastery. I'm starting it over again; the book begins in October, and I had reached mid-November in the text, but have decided to go back and keep pace with the year, not getting ahead of myself. The book doesn't have a chapter for every day, but there is s much in each section that it bears re-reading.
This is one from my childhood. I love the drawings, and the puns, and the story, and the pies, and the dragon, and the boat, and the sea, and the moon, and everything. I want a purple crayon. When I went looking for this on the internet I found a whole load of modern more or less 'appropriate' cartoons... go and see for yourself.
Another book club choice - a mystery detective ghost fantasy story set in rural Ireland. Loved it.
Lastly, but not leastly, the Little House in the Big Woods series. When I was ten, our family went skiing in Austria and, oh horrors, did not take enough books for me and my brother to read. Luckily we were on holiday with Austrian family friends, and their children went to an English school. They brought a couple of English books with them for us to read - the first two in this series - and I fell in love with the stories and the soft charcoal illustrations. I have the complete set in paperback, acquired over the years, and now in the condition where, once again I hardly dare open them to re-read.