…and truth be told I’m a bit nervous about it. But hey, here goes!
I never tire of reading or of hearing about what other people are reading either. What better place to start for my very first post then, than a list of a few of my own favourite books? I say ‘books’ of course, because it is pretty much impossible for me to pick just one. Ask any other bookworm and they will definitely tell you the same. Either that or they will think so hard about it they will go all cross-eyed and frowny. I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember so it seemed only right that I pick a few books that have been memorable to me throughout my life, including a couple of favourites from when I was younger. So, in no particular order;
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver- this for me was a surprising page turner because I never expected to love it quite as much as I do. From the outset the plot seems bleak: an American missionary family move to a village in the Congo at a time of political uprising in the 1960’s- but believe me it is so much more, this is just an astonishing, moving read with incredibly memorable characters.
The Harry Potter series, JK Rowling- who hasn’t been captivated by the utterly magical world of Harry and his friends? I actually read these books as an adult- I don’t buy the notion that they’re just for kids. I read them, then I read them again- and then I read them aloud to my boyfriend, Andrew, who loved them too. I adore all of the characters but Hermione and Snape are my favourites. If I was sorted by the hat, I’d like to think I’d be in Gryffindor, but I get the sneaking suspicion I’d probably be in Slytherin…
Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn- this novel stands out for me because of its sheer cleverness. A novel told in letters, this actually becomes a novel of missing letters sent between inhabitants on the fictional island of Nollup. It’s difficult to say too much without giving anything away, but it’s a very clever study of freedom of speech and also totalitarianism.
Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume- undoubtedly my favourite Blume book. I just love Judy Blume. She can write about divorce, periods, wet dreams and complex childhood issues in a way that is not only non-embarrassing to children, but also reassuring. This book sees Davey Wexler heading to New Mexico with her mother and brother to stay with relatives after her father is killed. It is a book about coming to terms with grief and is just beautifully written and poignant.
The No1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, Alexander McCall Smith- Mma Ramotswe is one of my favourite female characters EVER and I adore her abrupt sidekick and fellow lady Detective, Mma Matsuki as well. These books set in Botswana, are my favourite detective series.
Where it stops, nobody knows, Amy Erlich – a book I read over and over in secondary school and re-bought a couple of years ago. It didn’t let me down on the re-read! It’s the story of a young girl and her mother who are always moving from place to place across the United States, but for a very good reason…
Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks-a fictionalised account of the plague’s arrival in the small Derbyshire village of Eyam in the 17th Century, and the true story of how the village inhabitants’ made the brave decision to cut themselves off from the outside world.
Alphabet Cousins, Catherine Robinson- I don’t think this book is in print anymore, which is such a shame- I’m hanging onto my copy forever! It sees newly orphaned Kate going to live in Devon with her estranged aunt and uncle and her vast array of cousins: Augustus, Benedict, Charlotte… so on and so forth. It is another book about loss, but also fitting in. A lovely little gem of a children’s novel.
There are so many other books that stand out in my life, but these are just a few that I can turn to again and again like pulling on a pair of cosy, fluffy slippers- particularly the children’s books. There’s something so comforting about re-reading children’s books, even as an adult.
What are your favourite books and why?