Saturday, 14 June 2014

My Favourite Books!

Our flat is being taken over by books! My husband and I are big readers and our little one bedroom flat can no longer cope. Our bookcase is close to collapsing and we may need to start storing them in the bath tub due to a lack of other options! But to celebrate our love of books I thought I would share my all time favourites with you.

My favourites are pretty varied, there are a couple of classics, some children's literature and some modern novels as well.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling

Although this is the Harry Potter book that I have included in this list, it is really representative of the entire Harry Potter series, this just happens to me my favourite of the seven. The Harry Potter series is really what inspired my love of reading as a child and it will always have a special place in my heart. I have read the entire series a number of times and I am sure I will read them all again in the future, hopefully to my own children. This particular book is my favourite as I loved the back story of Harry's dad and his friends at school and the introduction of characters such as Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. If you haven't already read them, what are you waiting for?? You'll love them!

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This was my first taste of the works of Oscar Wilde and I was absolutely blown away by it. It is a psychological thriller about a young, innocent and handsome socialite who becomes the subject of beautiful portrait. Corrupted by the older and 'wiser' Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian becomes obsessed with youth, vanity and the satisfaction of all of his desires. It is a fascinating read and Lord Henry Wotton is in my opinion perhaps the best character ever written. Yes Oscar Wilde can be very descriptive but the language is beautiful and the story intriguing. Trust me, it is worth a read.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Based in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, The Help follows three main characters, Skeeter the daughter of a wealthy white family who has recently graduated from University, and Aibileen and Minnie, two black maids who work for similar families helping to raise white children. The story takes a close look at the relationship between these children and the black women who look after them. Skeeter who is trying to find out what happened to her own childhood maid decides to write a controversial book about the experiences of other maids in the community, women who end up risking the safety of themselves and their families to help her, and in their own way stand up to the racism that they are subjected to on a daily basis. Kathryn Stockett has written three extraordinary and lovable characters who, you as a reader, really end up feeling and fearing for.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

I absolutely love this book, it had my laughing from start to finish! It is a charming story about a hundred-year-old man who decides to escape from a retirement care home on his birthday and start an adventure. The story has two continuous time lines, Allan as an old man who comes across a range of interesting characters including drug dealers and murderers, and Allan as a younger man. As the story goes on we realise just how much effect Allan has had on modern history. It is similar to Forrest Gump in that he just seems to pop up in these big moments in history and at the same time ironically has a complete apathy to politics. I loved learning about the cold war for A Level history so it was interesting to see it all from a different view point. I have recommended this book to everyone, some have liked it and some just didn't get it but I love it.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I'm pretty sure I read the book of The Time Traveller's Wife before I saw the film but I thoroughly enjoyed both. The story centres on two characters, Clare and Henry. Henry is a time traveller who has been visiting Clare since she was a child. As she gets older they fall in love (honestly it's not as creepy as it sounds) and we follow the story of their relationship. The constant switching between past and present can be a little hard to follow, in fact a friend of my sisters had to write a timeline just to keep track! But it really is a beautiful story and I would highly recommend the book and the film.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I expected to hate this book, my sister told me time and time again how boring it was but actually I love it! I got completely swept up in the romance between Jane and Mr Rochester and the twist adds great drama. It's not just the book either, I love almost every film adaptation I have seen as well. Jane is an incredibly kind and moral character who has been subjected to more than her fair share of tragedy. I have read it a few times now and know that I will continue to read it every couple of years. My husband bought me this beautiful copy from The British Library when we went to a literary exhibition (where we saw part of the original manuscript!) and I just treasure it.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

I read The Snow Child last winter and fell in love with it instantly. It is the story of Jack and Mabel, a middle aged couple living in the harsh wilderness of Alaska in 1920. We learn early on that Jack and Mabel move to this harsh landscape to escape the pain of having lost a baby in childbirth. Unable to have children and struggling to live off the land, they are isolated and drifting apart until one night, after building a child out of snow, a young girl mysteriously appears. Is she a magical gift from the winter or a lost child who needs help? The story is slow to start but it is 100% worth sticking with it, you won't regret it. Based loosely on a old Russian fairytale, the story is beautiful, heartbreaking and intriguing and it will stay with you long after you have read it. I also recommend reading it in the winter for the full effect!

What are your favourite books? Any recommendations? Let me know by commenting below...

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