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Books that changed Elaine Fraser

DSC_7399 Elaine

Meet my dear friend Elaine Fraser from Beautiful Books

Recently my friend Em from Teacupstoo, did a series in August called books that changed me so we decided we would start an online book club of sorts for this summer, asking friends to write their list of books that really impacted them.

Anything that encourages us all to lay down our technology and pick up paper is a brilliant pursuit in my opinion.

Elaine’s List of Favourite Books of all time.


1) L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables:

The Anne books gave me so much pleasure and helped me learn that even if you are a person who seems to get in trouble a lot, you can turn out to be a more understanding person as you get older. Visiting Prince Edward Island and walking along the paths Montgomery did, was one of the highlights of my life. I must admit, a few tears were shed.

2) Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper:

I love Picoult’s writing and have heard her speak a couple of times. I love the way she presents various pints of view about a moral dilemma and wraps it up in an absorbing story.

3) Christy, by Catherine Marshall:

A beautiful story. As a teacher in a difficult, remote school I could relate to the story. Also, the idea of God giving us a ‘bundle’ in the form of a person to look after has stayed with me for a very long time.

4) Little Women, Louisa May Alcott:

Old-fashioned values and character never go out of style. I have read and re-read this book over my lifetime. Jo is one of those heroines I tried to be when I grew up!

5) Tim Winton, Cloudstreet:

I love Winton’s use of language and the way he creates a sense of place, time and soul. I saw the stage adaption and fell in love with it even more.

6) Hamlet and Macbeth, William Shakespeare:

I love a good tragedy. Both of these were on my high school reading list, and I subsequently taught them. So much wisdom and amazing language use.

7) Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird:

My favourite book of all. I read it when I was sixteen and Atticus Finch became the sort of man I admired for his sort of justice and gentle ways. I also love the movie.

8) Markus Zusak, The Book Thief:

This book, by an Australian, is not only a wonderful story, it inspires me to be a better writer. Zusak’s ability to be profound and create beautiful images astounds me.

9) Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre:

As a brooding teenager, I visited Haworth and walked the Yorkshire moors. I loved the darkness of Jane Eyre and the complicated interplay of the characters. I’ve read this book many times and am drawn back into the brooding.

10) Animal Farm, George Orwell:

I also read this book as a teenager and was impacted by the history and political background to the text. I was studying Russian history at the time and it all seemed to work together. This book was part of my political education and an insight into the workings of power.

11) John Steinbeck, The Grapes Of Wrath:

I visited Monterey County and the Cannery Row a couple of years ago and loved seeing the landscape that inspired Steinbeck. This book was also part of my political education. I studied the Depression in History and this book rounded out my perspective of it.

12) Brave New World, Aldous Huxley:

For some reason I loved dystopian fiction as a teenager—similar the teens who love The Hunger Games today. I didn’t understand it fully until I was an adult. I must have been pretty innocent! However, the book stayed with me and, along with 1984, contributed to my suspicion of government control!

13) Lord of the Flies, William Golding:

As a young Christian this impacted me as it showed me the power of unleashed sin. What happens when we don’t have any boundaries? When we are allowed to run free? I found it scary and it served as a warning to me.

14) Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence:

My Dad’s family comes from Northern England mining background. This book gave me an insight into that life. When I finally got to visit the places my family came from, I already had a picture in my mind of the life my dad and his forbears lived. It also explained a lot of family politics and the relationship between my dad and his mother.

15) Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy:

Another brooding book, but this one annoyed me. I felt Tess was stupid and allowed love to ruin her life—not always the accepted interpretation—but I really got angry with her. This book inspired me to be tough when it came to boys in my life. I was determined not to let a boy ruin my life. It’s funny how things influence you isn’t it?

Why don’t you tag a friend with this post on facebook and ask them to write their list of all time favourite books. If you would like your list featured here on this blog, email your list and a photo of yourself to


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