What’s your favourite book of all time?

I’m really curious to see what everyone’s favourite book is and have been meaning to ask this question for ages. What is the one and only book you couldn’t live without? You know, the whole desert island thing. If anyone is like me, I can imagine the answers will be pretty eclectic!

My favourite book isn’t one of those popular old classics like Pride and Prejudice, To Kill A Mocking Bird or… The Bible. Neither is it a ‘trendy’ novel you’d chance upon on The New York Times Best Seller List. Looking at you Crazy Rich Asians and The Woman in Cabin 10.

My desert island book is Spare Partsa new adult science fiction novel written by a little known Australian author, Sally Rogers-Davidson. First published by Penguin Books in 1999, Spare Parts was short listed for the Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in the same year.

I still remember the day (sometime in 2004??) that I found the book in my school library one rainy afternoon and was struck by the unusual cover. A woman in a metal womb? What the hell does that mean??

From the first page I was immediately transported into a dystopian world set in futuristic Melbourne where the privileged few (A-graders) live in luxurious skyscrapers above the cloud line. Kelty, an intelligent C-grade citizen, lives in the streets below and is determined to get into university so she can advance to B-Grade citizenship – and a better life. But of course… nothing goes according to plan (does it ever??) Brain transplants, telepathy and interstellar space travel quickly ensue.

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I think Spare Parts made such a distinct impression because there were so few other new adult dystopian novels around that time. I’m pretty certain the term ‘New Adult’ didn’t even exist back in 1999, and if it did, it was nothing but a thought bubble above the head of an industry leader.

Spare Parts was definitely ahead of its time. It wasn’t until a decade later that the hungry new adult masses were given a dystopian novel to rival Harry Potter. Yes, I’m talking about The Hunger Games – of which followed a boom in traditionally published dystopian novels. Although, I’m not sure if Spare Parts can be classified as dystopian in the traditional sense, a sentiment also echoed by Tsana Dolichva in her 2012 book review. There’s probably already a word for it, but I’ll take a stab and call Kelty’s world a mellotopia – ‘future place’ or perhaps even emporitopia – ‘commercialised place’.

For me, Spare Parts will always be the one that came first. A book filled with strong female characters well before the #metoo movement. There is also another abnormality that only enriches the story – there is not a whisper of an angsty, teenage love triangle, a ommision that teaches us a valuable lesson: a love triangle is not a compulsory ingredient in the creation of a mouth-watering New Adult novel.

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No surprise, for my birthday that year I asked my parents to buy me a paperback version of Spare Parts. But they couldn’t find it. Anywhere.

Thankfully, when my birthday finally rolled around, there it was, sitting in my lap, my very own copy.

Somehow, by luck, my parents (ever the resourceful couple) found some obscure online second-hand bookstore that had a single copy in stock. And so I finally got my book – a first edition copy that I still have today and would not give up for anything.

Funnily enough, I was not the only person searching high and low for a copy of Spare Parts. Like many others before me, I emailed Sally Odgers in an attempt to get into contact with Sally Rogers-Davidson to let her know how much I loved her book – and to please tell me if there’s a sequel???

Luckily, Sally Rogers-Davidson turned out to be the nicest author in the history of the world, and she sent me a free advanced copy of Cybomorph, the next book in the series. And boy was it lush. The Star Trek Discovery like twist at the end was mind-blowing and made my heart ache (once again, Rogers-Davidson proves to be ahead of the curve!)

If anyone else wants to read Spare Parts, you can find her books on Lulu. Penny pinching? Head over to her Facebook Author Page and introduce yourself!

Much love, Milly

 

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74 thoughts

  1. Oh, it’s so hard to choose! It changes depending on the latest great novel I’ve found, but right now I’d have to say I couldn’t choose between Red Rising by Pierce Brown, and A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab. I know, I’m bad with rules. 😦

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  2. I’ll break the rules and pick a series, not a particular book. The Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini 😍 I read his series in middle school and it has been my favourite read ever since. No matter what great books I come by, his series also has some sort of sentimental value. What I mean is that reading his books inspired me to write my own stories, and that is probably my greatest passion at this moment in time.
    Also, he is now publishing a 5th book and I’m extremely excited about it! It comes out on New Year’s Eve, but that seems too far away since I want to read it now 😭

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  3. The Name of the Wind and The Wise Mans Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. An incomplete trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicles. The third book is still being written, but this series has become my favorite of all time. Replacing Lord of The Rings.

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    1. I read The Name of the Wind recently actually, thanks to my boyfriend’s recommendation! I absolutely adored it and am looking forward to getting my hands on the 2nd book. I suppose it’s just as amazing the the first, maybe even better.

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  4. If I were stranded on a desert Island, I would be trying to get off, and that is an apt metaphor for my life. The book I always return to for strength and encouragement is “Carry On! Mr Bowditch”. It’s an old book, a Newberry Award book, and I can’t remember the author at this moment. It deals with darkness, grief, thoughts of suicide, hard work, and ultimately triumph. Not particularly jaw dropping writing, but it speaks to my heart, so it doesn’t matter.

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  5. Choosing a favorite book is like choosing a favorite child, only harder. My 3 favorites (I have 3 children so that’s the number I’m going with) in alphabetical order are:
    Charolotte’s Web, The Great Gatsby, The Secret Life of Bees.

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    1. I was just talking to a coworker the other day about how The Secret Life of Bees changed my life! It was recommended to me by my mother when I was about 13 and it was one of the first stories that really reached down and touched me somewhere deep. I’ll always love that book

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    1. It’s indeed really amazing! I also fell in love with The Hobbit, and especially the online game made after Tolkien’s books: LOTRO 💖 It’s simply breathtaking to wander around (mostly freely, assuming you can survive) around Middle-Earth. I particularly enjoy roaming around Moria because it’s such an amazing and huge place!

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  6. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will definitely check this out. Sadly the last SF book I read let me down a little.
    Which book is my desert island pick? That’s a hard one. There are only a few books that I have read more than once–and I tend to read them every 5 or ten years (The Sun Also Rises, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). Some I dip into more frequently though not completely re-read (Sushi Daze).
    If I knew I was going to be on the desert Island, I would probably take all five books of the Three Musketeers (edited with notes by David Coward–despite the fact that he gives away the ending). I haven’t read them all, but if I had the time…..
    Currently I want to re-read Barney’s Version and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

    Hmmm, sorry Milly. I suppose I am not really answering your question.

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  7. I don’t really have a favorite book, as my likes fluctuate wildly. But I do have a favorite author, Terry Pratchett, and I think “Monstrous Regiment” is one of his best, and one that is quite relevant today.

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  8. Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks. The writing is beautifully poetic, dark and tragic, at times uncomfortably sensuous, and simply masterful. The narrative voice (a 13-year-old girl) rings true to life. This is the book that convinced me to give indie novels a chance.

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  9. I got sick on a summer vacation trip over fifty years ago and my Mum said I could have any book I wanted from the rack in the drugstore. No question, my very first science fiction book is still my favorite, The Quest of Three Worlds by Cordwainer Smith. I remember someone saying at a convention when I told them this. “You started with Smith? You jumped in at the deep end of the pool!”

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  10. It may be a bit cliched but I have to say “The Lord of the Rings” because it inspired my love of the Fantasy Genre. However, I’m reading “The Dark Tower” series and it is a very close second.

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  11. The Fright by Cornell Woolrich. The ending is truly jaw dropping, You will never see it coming and when you read the final chapter it makes you rethink the entire story and tell yourself, ‘if only he knew, how much difference his life would have been.’ Still haunts me year later.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. For me, it would be the book that put Andrew Chaikin on the map. A Man On The Moon is crammed with so much info you can read it three times and still find something new. It’s also a great reference book. I’m on my third paperback copy.

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  13. Hmmm, for fiction?

    First, this is a cruel exercise.

    Second, pick a Terry Pratchett novel and I guess I’ll be happy.

    If we’re talking a deep spiritual work I’d bring my Bible.

    >

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  14. Hmm difficult but I think, for me, it would be The Other Boleyn Girl However, my kindle is the same size as a book so would it be cheating to take that to the island because then I’d have the choice of almost 500 :O)

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  15. Wizard and the Glass by Stephen King. Its actually the third book in the Dark Tower series but it’s an amazing book all on it’s own. Or Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind, which was the first fantasy book I read.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Practical Demon Keeping by Christopher Moore. Moore is not only the best humorist alive, but in this novel he offers several very practical tips on how to best manage the demonic overlord who might pop up in our lives from time to time.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. You know, this is the one question I dread answering. If anyone asks me that, I’ll have to counter with “May I please take a dozen?” But if I’m tortured to the point of near death, I’ll take “Guards! Guards!” It’s not the best book I’ve ever read, it’s not even the best Terry Pratchett book I’ve read, objectively speaking, but… I very subjectively love it.

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  18. I was running a D&D campaign (1st edition) when I was 13. I impressed the high school senior in my group (a very proud moment, even if he might have been easily impressed) 🙂 so much that he gave me a series of books and threatened physical harm (typical high school crap) if I did not read them over the summer. I am so glad he gave me those books. I was introduced to Raymond Feist and his Riftwar Saga. The first book, Magician (split into two books), was just incredible. Over 30 years later I still open up a copy of that book (I’ve have purchased a couple copies over the years) and read some or all of it. It is an epic fantasy tale. Swords and sorcery at its finest. Needless to say that I have read all the books in his ongoing saga and many books he wrote that were part of that universe. But if I had to choose, I would beg to get that first book, at least, and be trying to get that first series in general. I’d be set on my desert island 🙂

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