So it’s been a while since I wrote about books. The truth is, I really haven’t been reading. Ever since I got my Netflix account all I do is watch stuff on that when I get into bed. I think it’s because at that time of night I just want to do something completely mind numbing. It’s one of the ways I’ve completely changed since becoming a parent. That and I read a lot to LM. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still adore books, because I do. I just tend to go back and read old ones as it’s not as taxing on my brain. Because of this I’ve decided to share some of my favourite books with you in a new monthly series “five favourites“. This month I’m covering stand alone books, in the future I could include various genres like “five favourite chick lit books” “five favourite fantasy books” or “five favourite trilogies” but you get the picture. I’m hoping even by doing this it may help rekindle the love I have an encourage me to read more.
As I mentioned above, today is about stand alone books. These are ones that are stories contained to one novel and these are books that I feel changed me in some way and I have read more than once because they had such a big effect on me. They’re also always the books I’m first to recommend. Please note; these are not reviews, they’re reasons I love these books. I hate doing reviews in case I give anything away but I do recommend them all!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I don’t understand people who don’t love this book. From the moment I started reading I was completely swept up into the world in which The Night Circus exists. I loved all the characters, the way the story was intertwined through different periods of history. Morgernstern’s writing style is just beautiful, so full of imagery that I could imagine everything down to the last detail, something I haven’t experienced since Harry Potter. Cecilia and Marco are possibly two of my favourite characters in literature ever. I was completely encapsulated by this novel and I’ve read in three times in two years. It’s just so clever and even though I have read it more than once, each time I struggle to put it down until I’ve read it cover to cover. I’m desperate for this to be made into a movie, but at the same time, i’m not incase no visual depiction of it could ever do my imagination justice.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I am not someone who ever likes to read books about historical events, especially the holocaust, however Jenna of Book Odyssey convinced me to read this with one of her reviews and I am so glad I did. It’s definitely a page turner, you instantly get sucked into Liesel’s world and the people she knows and comes to love. It’s so well written that I could actually hear her voice through the pages and although the ending was completely unexpected and completely flawed me in every way possible. I’d read it again. It’s definitely one of those books you either love it or you hate it, but you can’t deny it’s thought provoking and powerful. I have never read a book like it before and I probably won’t again. Of all the books I’ve ever read, this is the one that will stick with me. It’s so heart wrenching but in such a way you do close on the book with a small smile as you are left with a dim flicker of hope. I would urge anyone to read it.
The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I just finished up my second read of this book. For some reason I always choose a pivotal point in my life to read it. The first time was when I was falling out of love, and this time is during a time when I fear I’m possibly falling into love. However, both times the book has had a profound effect on me. While reading this book I become completely caught up in the relationship between Henry and Claire, I feel like I both want to have it for myself, or I don’t. There are so many wonderful quotes in it that perfectly represent heart ache that usually comes along with a relationship. The book is both hopeful and hopeless. It is an emotional roller coaster to say the least but it’s so masterfully done you believe that Henry’s condition is a real thing, which in a way makes their relationship all the more real. This time I read it purely to be reminded what it’s like to be in love because the voices of the two main characters who share the telling of the story are simply lyrical.
Innocence by Kathleen Tessaro
In my opinion, Kathleen Tessaro is such an underrated author. I have loved every single one of her books and I can’t wait for the new one which is currently untitled but set for release next year. I love her writing style across the board, I love the way she structures novels and I love her leading ladies. I have chosen Innocence because it was the first of her novels I read. Way back when I was 17. I picked it up because it was about a girl going to study drama which at that time, it was exactly what I was heading off to do. The main character Evie, spoke to me. I felt like I knew her, but more because at 17, she was essentially me. It was the first time I’d ever really noticed myself as a main character and as a leading lady in life. I’d always just assumed the role as the dorky best friend but here in this novel the main character was just like me, and during this awkward in between years, it was a comfort. Of course it’s a work of fiction, but looking back now my life has turned out even more like Evie’s than I could have ever anticipated. Perhaps it’s time to revisit it..
The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite by Beatrice Collins
I picked this book up a few years back from The Works for £1, because I liked the name Lily Aphrodite, little did I know it would become one of my favourite books ever. I don’t even know why I love it so, Lily Aphrodite is a complete mess (not in the writing sort of way, but as a character) but there was something about her and her very colourful life that made me read this book from cover to cover in one day. It still stands out as one of my favourite reads ever. I love Collin’s writing style, how although Lily makes some really bad choices you still want her life to have a happy ending. It’s full of whirlwind relationships, a rise to stardom and of course, about life in the 20s. I think this could be why I loved it so much, this is an era I wish I could have seen. Whatever it was that made me love this book so much, it’s one that I’m just starting to read for a second time and maybe after I’ll know why what made this one of my top five favourite books of all time. It’s fairly obscure but if you come across a copy, do give it a read.