A list of my favourite ever books!
I thought long and hard about this list and I decided to write it as so many of the books on the list have been recommended to me by other people. I always take up an offer of reading a book if someone recommends it to me and most of the time it pays off and you get into a really good book you wouldn’t have otherwise picked up. So here are my 5 all- time favourite books:
Tom’s Midnight Garden
By Philippa Pearce
First published in 1958, this book has made it on to my list because it’s an important one to me. I think, if I remember correctly, this is the first book that I chose to read and finish myself – not because I was told too or because I had to read it for school.
A magical story about a garden which appears when an old Grandfather’s clock strikes 13. Tom is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle while his brother recovers from measles and the story is told through the letters of his adventure that he sends to his brother.
A nice gentle tale about a mysterious garden and travel through time, without being too confusing (it is a book for children after all). This one will stick in my head as one of my favourite stories.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
By Khaled Hosseini
This novel is the perfect case of had it not been recommended to me, I never would have chosen it to read. My boyfriend’s mum recommended this one to me and also the Kite Runner which is written by the same author, and what a book this is!
It opened my eyes to how women are treated in other parts of the world and gives the tiniest insight into what I can only imagine is the unbearable experience of living in a war torn country and losing the people you love.
This book made me so immensely sad for the women that live in … but also for the men and children that are caught up in a war that is not their own. It made me cry but also made me hopeful and I couldn’t put it down. I wouldn’t take this one on holiday, but if you ever want to get your teeth suck into a book, this would be the one I would recommend.
By Victoria Hislop
Another book recommendation from a lady called Helen that used to come into the tennis club that I used to work at as a receptionist. One day we got talking about books and this is the book she recommended to me. She brought it in the next time she visited and I started reading it fairly soon after because I wanted to get it back to her quickly.
But it wasn’t a chore, the story in this book is one of the best I have ever read. On a topic that I never would have chosen to read about – leprosy – this book, although lengthy, was so well written. It follows the story of Alexis looking into her mother’s past, something that she never seems to want to talk about. Her mother Sofia gives Alexis a letter to deliver to a friend in Greece. When she arrives the location is just over the water from the desert island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leper colony.
We learn more about Alexis’ Grandmother and her mother’s connection with the island. Another book which opened my eyes to the way in which people were treated because of a disease. Without giving too much away, the book throws up some unexpected twists and is well worth reading.
The Harry Quebert Affair
By Joel Dicker
My favourite book ever. I have lent it to anyone that will take it off me since reading it, I just loved it so much. I love crime stories and this is one of the best I have ever read.
Given to me by a friend who got two copies instead of one when she ordered online (lucky for me!), she told me that her mum had said it was one of the best books she had ever read and despite this it took me a while to get round to reading it, with work and university work, etc. my reading took a back seat.
When I did eventually get round to picking it up, I had finished it within a few days. Even from the opening chapters I found it hard to concentrate on anything else using every spare second I got to dip my nose back into this book.
The Harry Quebert Affair is nothing like I thought it would be, twists around every turn nearly every chapter is a cliff hanger or a new piece of vital information has been discovered and you just have to keep reading! Don’t pick this one up if you have a lot on as you will not be able to put it down and it will keep you up in the evenings just racing through it. It’s so good I’ve read it twice (in between lending it to people because I want them to read it too) and i’ll definitely be reading this one again.
Even better news is that this is only Joel Dicker’s first novel and his next novel ‘The Baltimore Boys’ come out on my birthday (18th May) this year! So we can expect a lot more, hopefully equally amazing books from him.
Me before You
By Jojo Moyes
I first read this book back when it first came out, I was working at Whsmiths and kindly enough my store had a copy of each of the Richard and Judy book club reads in the staff room, free for the staff to take home and return.
Luckily for them I didn’t have it long as I just got so engrossed in the story, it had me in tears at the end. As did the film adaptation – if you haven’t seen if I have included the trailer below.
Right up until the end I was rooting for both the main characters Lou and Will and it left me in tears. It is such a lovely book but also highlights the struggles not only physically, but mentally and emotionally of those with disabilities and Moyes generates enormous amounts of empathy for Will, but also an understanding of how he feels. Very clever and very sad, buy a new box of tissues before you read this one!
At the moment I am yet to read the follow up novel ‘Me after You’, I still feel to traumatised from the first!
As I said, the best books are normally the ones that are recommended by someone else, so please let me know what your favourite books are in the comments!