Top Ten Favourite Books – Updated
It’s been a while since I did a good old-fashioned Top Ten post so today I thought I would do an update: Top Ten Favourite Books.
I did this post on my old book blog: EllesBellesBookshelf, back when I first started writing it in 2014. It definitely needs a good update! So here goes!
In no particular order – because I cannot choose an ultimately favourite book!
The Reader by Bernard Schmidt
This is one of those books that I read at least once a year, without meaning too. It will pop into my head and I’ll remember how good it is and I will simply pick it up and re-read it. As a fairly short novel, with a massive punch, I can fly through this story and it hits every good thing I like within a story. It’s a historical fiction novel set in Germany from the end of the Second World War until the 1990s, revolving around the perspective of a young man who befriends and has a sexual relationship with an older woman when he is 15, and how their relationship changes as secrets about her past come to light. Such a strong novel, with a really good movie as an adaptation as well.
Apache by Tanya Landman
This is one of the books I know was definitely on my previous Top Ten – I haven’t looked at it yet as I want to see how my opinions have changed – I first read Apache when I was 12 years old. It was shortlisted for a children’s book prize and my school did a read-along. I was so sure it was going to win that I didn’t read any of the others – ironic really as it didn’t win, so I probably missed out on the others. I love this story. It is another historical fiction set in South America/Mexico about a young female warrior Apache who joins her tribesman’s warriors after the death of her little brother. A fantastic read for young girls and one I still thoroughly enjoy!
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
*See all related-Harry Potter blog posts for further details on my love of this book series. Although, not a love of its author.
Spectacles by Sue Perkins
A memoir that I justify as being one of my favourite books of all time because it made me laugh, cry and make me want to call my mother. It is such a touching, well-written memoir! And having seen Sue Perkins perform during her book tour I can personally vouch for its sincerity of voice and story-telling. Fantastic book.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Another one of those books that I always pick up at least once a year; and it’s also historical fiction. This is the beautiful story of a young white girl in 1960s America who runs away to find out her mother and comes across the Boatwright sisters. The Boatwright sisters are black and run a honey business, they take in Lily and the truth comes to light. It covers topics such as civil rights, domestic violence, loss, and love. It is an entirely beautiful, well-written story.
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
I remember reading this and thinking that nothing could be more brutally visceral and beautiful. Set a little before and during the First World War this follows Stephen as he falls in love and later fights in the War alongside tunnellers under the trenches. It is horrific and honest and covers the life of soldiers so brilliantly that I remember sobbing. It is poetry and horror in one, and that is one of the weirdest mixes within books. I’ve read it so much I had to buy a second copy as the first was full of annotations and dog-eared pages.
The History Boys by Alan Bennett
This is probably – next to Harry Potter & the Cursed Child – my favourite play. Unlike HP&theCC I can read, listen and watch the History Boys over and over again. I love the HP play when it is performed, but reading it is a bit like reading Fan-Fiction to me. With The History Boys, I always find the humour, the wit, and the general familiarity of it. Especially since I was a history student at University. It is the story of 7 boys about to take their entrance exams into Cambridge or Oxford and their last few weeks of study. Fantastically funny and timeless to me.
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole
Definitely a new addition to my favourites. This book came out this year but I was lucky enough to receive a copy just after the 2016 London Book Fair. It sold for a massive price and was expected to do hugely well, and whilst I don’t think it has lived up to its marketing and sales potential, it is a bloody good book! It’s the kind of book that I sat down and read in three sittings – when I wanted to do it in one! It was so gripping and so well-written it felt like I was witnessing everything happening right in front of me. You can check out my full review here!
One by Sarah Crossan
A book that needs no introduction since it was such a massive bestseller and award winner. This is a book set in verse about two sisters who are conjoined twins. It is heartbreaking and beautiful and although simple really hits you in the heart. I loved it and recommend it to everyone of all ages.
Emma by Jane Austen
And last but not least we have Emma by Jane Austen. I am nearly through all of Jane Austen’s written works and this was my most recent. I understand why some people say that they dislike Emma, the book, because of Emma, the character. But I like that she is flawed with vanity and ignorance, it makes her more believable to me. My personal favourite character in this book is Mr Knightley – screw Mr Darcy, I’d rather have Knightley any day! A very witty, enjoyable classic.
There we have it: my top ten favourite books. Circa 2017. No doubt my opinions will change over time, but that’s good! I like finding new favourites!
Let me know what your favourite books are! I’d love to have a nose!