Reading lists

Five books that inspired Lesley Pearse

We all have certain books that are special to us, that we’d never give away and often don’t even want to lend out. These are the five books that I’ve drawn inspiration from over the years

The Thornbirds

Colleen McCullock

This is the book that really gave me the will and hunger to write. I was reading it one night 36 years ago, while feeding my baby. All at once I looked up and saw it was morning. I’d been so gripped by the powerful story that I hadn’t noticed that the baby was asleep, that the chair was uncomfortable, or that it was now morning! As I put the baby back in her cot I vowed to myself that I’d write a book equally unputdownable. I never strayed from that resolve, even now I ask myself of the latest book, ‘Would I stay up to read it?’

The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

Rebecca West

I almost didn’t read this because of the cringe worthy title, but I’m very glad I did. It is a story about enduring friendships and how grievances daughters can have about their mothers need to be aired and overcome. It made me realise that I’d been carrying issues about my difficult childhood and step mother around with me. Once I started to look at things which I’d felt until then were neglect and sometimes cruelty, I saw they were in fact character building, giving me far more strength and independence than my friends with loving, sweet natured parents had.

Sun Signs

Linda Goodman

An astrology book might seem an odd choice as an inspirational book, but I have always been interested in Astrology and this book is so well written, to the point, and often spookily accurate that I defy anyone not to enjoy browsing through it.  But it has been inspirational to me, as talking with people about their birth sign can often become a form of therapy. As you go into detail about characteristics of each sign, some people tend to open up and tell you things about themselves. It’s often been said of me that I delve into people’s heads, and I won’t apologise for it. I’m a Pisces, very nosy and I can’t help it. 

Rupert Bear

Yes our little white bear with the red jumper, checked trousers and scarf might not seem inspirational but I was very late in reading. As I understand it now, it was due to mild Dyslexia. Anyway, I was in hospital having my tonsils out and I was given a Rupert Annual. I could just about manage to read the rhyming couplets beneath the pictures, but they didn’t make a lot of sense. A nurse read me a bit of the big paragraph at the bottom of the page, and suddenly I was desperate to read it all. Slowly I managed to decipher it, and soon I was reading everything in sight. So when I think I can’t do something now, I think of Rupert and usually I manage to crack it. 

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