for writers and readers….

MY BOOKS from Winnie the Pooh to Nine Billion Names for God…First lines, first books, first literary loves….and more

books drawingBY Pat Burt, retired graphologist. She now has a team of seeing eye cats to help and hinder her.  (Dictated to Bridget)

What’s the first book you remember reading (or being read to you)?

winnie the pooh 1

Winnie the Pooh

What’s the first book that made a big impact on you?

Winnie the Pooh

What book are you reading right now?

I’m really a headline only reader now as I have vision problems. Audio books send me to sleep and I’m only allowed to read on my computer or tablet for 10 minutes at a time. That makes it hard to concentrate on a story and I’ve lost the lovely spontaneity of turning a page…

We all know burning books is wrong on every level. What contemporary novel (and by contemporary I mean one published in the last 30 years or so) would you put your hand in the fire to save.
Dalai Lama's Cat

The Dala Lama’s Cat by David Michie

First Line:
I have a defecating bull to thank for the event that was to change my very young life – and without which, dear reader, you would not be reading this book.

Same question but this time what classic would you save from the bonfire? (And you can work out your own definition of classic.)

Wind in the Willows

Favourite poetry book?

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S.Eliot

And a short story that has lived with you ever since you first read it?

I’m pretty sure it was a Daphne Du Maurier story about a woman who is being treated in hospital. She wakes up and sees the people around her as animals.

* Note from Bridget: Pat’s right it is a Du Maurier story. It is The Blue Lenses and was published in 1959 in a collection called The Breaking Point. You can read it online HERE.

I also love the Ray Bradbury story* set in Tibet where people run a computer programme that lists all the names of God.
*Note from Bridget: I think this must be the The Nine Billion Names of God but the author is Arthur C. Clarke not Bradbury.

Amazing Stories website says:
“For such a short story…it has a lot to say about faith, fate, and hubris while leaving a lot to the imagination… It has become a staple in not only the art of writing compelling science fiction, but the art of examining critical issues that may well be questioned till the end of time. Well, at least until the stars start to go out.”

You can read the short story HERE
Page Break ClipartWould you like to take part?
This is the start of a new series on the books we remember, the books that have changed our lives and the books we are reading right now…Drop me a line at bridgetwhelan At if you would like to contribute. How much or how little you write is up to you.
Please put MY BOOKS in the subject line.


3 comments on “MY BOOKS from Winnie the Pooh to Nine Billion Names for God…First lines, first books, first literary loves….and more

  1. Rae Longest
    September 3, 2018

    Loved T.S. Elliots Old Possum’s Book of Cats and was crazy about the show, Cats. I have read that little book of poems over and over!

  2. Marek Urbanowicz
    March 20, 2021

    I’ve known Pat for many years so loved her choices especially the T S Eliot. Sadly Pat died this morning. A remarkable woman

    • bridget whelan
      March 21, 2021

      I talked to Pat a week ago shortly after she was admitted to the hospice and heard the news yesterday – a great lady.

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2018 by in My Books and tagged , , , , .


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