Top Ten Books I would save if…

This week, The Broke and the Bookish asks which books we would save if the house was being abducted by aliens, or on fire, or something similarly horrible.

I’m a sentimental person, but I hate hoarding. So I do not, as a rule, own books that are simply reading books.

All of the choices bare some sentimental history (and often they’re just plain expensive too!).

PostSecret by Frank Warren: I have professed my love for PostSecret so much, I should get royalties. I will definitely save this book.

Life and Soul by Karina Turok: It’s about wonderful South African women and I bought it with school prizegiving money – sentiment right there.

28 Stories of AIDS in Africa: A gift from my mom and the reason I came to med school.

Romantic Charm of Unique Mountains at Zhangjiajie by Zhou Mingfa: reminiscent of my wonderful trip to China and absolutely beautiful photographs. Also, it is a signed copy.

Baofeng Lake at Zhanjiajie. The photos in the book are even better.

A Century of Sundays: an expensive book bought with my first ever waitressing earnings. I hated waitressing. It is a lovely South African book with lots of history (my other love).

The Roald Dahl Treasury: I really wanted this for Christmas and my parents and siblings got it for me without being asked (maybe they read my blog). Dahl has played a significant role in my life. And it is colour-illustrated.

English Alive Anthologies 2004-2011: published by the South African Council for English Education annually, I always look forward to the excellent poetry and prose written by South African high school learners. My own work was published in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions.

Mark Twain Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches & Essays 1891-1910: this book was given to me by Steve and Jackie from Youth Journalism International during my visit to them in 2010. They took me on lovely trips through West-Hartford, Connecticut – and to Mark Twain’s house. They also wrote messages in the book, which is irreplacable.

Matric Book: at the end of high school, I bought a beautifully-bound notebook in which my friends and teachers wrote. These messages are genuine and remind me of who I am and what I can achieve. These people believe in me. When I feel down and uninspired, this notebook is the cure.

Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine: an absolute necessity and very expensive in ZA (I had to apply for a book bursary to afford it). C’mon, you didn’t expect me not to have a medical book in there somewhere did you?


  1. I’m excited to have found your blog! Once upon a time I started college pre-med and then ended up becoming a high school English teacher. I definitely regret my choice, so I love finding blogs I can live vicariously through.

    1. Aah, that’s quite interesting 🙂 Funny thing, I always wanted to be an English teacher, or a lawyer. Medicine kind of happened unexpectedly. I look forward to seeing you around 🙂
      Btw, loooove the golden retriever on your about-page!

  2. That is a gorgeous photo! If I had a book with photos that gorgeous I think I’d save it too

    1. Thanks 🙂 I wish I could take photos like that.

  3. That photo is so beautiful, wow. If I had a book with photo’s like that in, it would definitely be on my list!

    1. Yep, it’s one of the few books that I think justifies a hard copy rather than an e-book… thanks for visiting!

    1. Thanks! I wasn’t really exposed to him as a child, but I am really enjoying his sketches.

  4. Your matric book sounds really precious. Definitely need to take something like that with you, since it can never be replaced. Great list…

    Thanks for visiting my blog today!

  5. I think your matric book is my favorite entry on this list. It sounds deeply personal and I think it’s wonderful you have something that has that many memories within it.

  6. Thanks Jen and Cathy – I think it is one of my most cherished posessions. I’ve been thinking of starting a weekly post with excerpts from the book… but that might be terribly narcissistic or maybe just silly.

  7. Raine says:

    Thanks for checking out my Top ten. Congrats on getting your own work published! I haven’t read any of Ronald Dahl’s books but I’m aware of the author thanks to a friend who introduced me to one of his fave books. Wow, that’s indeed one of the treasure to keep, Mark Twains Collected Works, Sketches, Speeches & Essays 1891 -1910 and the accompanying memory of visiting his house too.

    1. You should definitely read him, his children’s books are amazing and so are the biographies!

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