Recently I was asked by Better Reading to share my love of books. Here are twelve out of a too-long list. What are your favourites? Four Classics 1. The Man from Snowy River – A.B. Patterson: Iconic Australia. Our much-loved copy arrived at the homestead by horse (wrapped in brown paper in a saddle-bag) in the late 1890s and has been read and re-read by four generations of Alexanders (Banjo was pre-empted however by the Count of Monte Christo which arrived by the same method in 1893). 2. Gone with the wind – Margaret Mitchell: slavery, war, survival and loss combines with a love story… a beautiful, wilful woman named Scarlett and her emotional attachment to the family property Tara. Unfortunately for Rhett, by the end of the novel, she didn’t give much of a damn either. 3. To Kill A Mocking Bird – Harper Lee: Ultimately a story about the loss of childhood innocence, everyone who reads To Kill A Mockingbird will take something different and undoubtedly inspirational from it – The innate goodness of Atticus Finch, the mind of a nine year old girl, the depression years in America’s south. Transporting us to the origins of human behaviour, for me, Harper Lee shows us what a moral society actually means. 4. The Shiralee – D’arcy Niland: The outback, populated with the rough and ready characters of a barren landscape forms the background of this 1950s story of a father burdened with his young daughter Recent Favourites  5. All the light we cannot see – Anthony Doerr: Set during WWII this mesmerising narrative captivates in sublime detail fate, love and history through the eyes of the young.  6. The White Queen – Phillipa Gregory: The quest for power during the tumultuous War of the Roses. Historical fiction that enthrals.  7. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn – Henry Kingsley: A colourful account of early Australian squatter life. Fascinating and controversial.  8. Black kettle and full moon – Geoffrey Blainey: History was never so fascinating as Blainey describes life in a vanished Australia. Past Loves 9. Atonement – Ian McEwan: A romantic drama that chronicles the consequences of a crime over six decades. 10. Dirt Music – Tim Winton: A smuggler, a local fishing legend and a woman disillusioned by love. The Australian coastal landscape shimmers with beauty and hostility.  11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows: Loyalty, courage, danger and a dash of friendship on the island of Guernsey.  12. People of the Book– Geraldine Brooks: The journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war. shi