On reading…part two!

Last week I wrote about why I love to read and offered a few recommendations/must-reads. Despite me best efforts to pare down the list, there were still far too many titles to keep to one post, so here, as promised, are the other contenders :). Good heavens, I do love to read!

I’d love to hear some of your ‘must reads’ in the comments!


I’ve read this book several times, and never fail to take something different away from it. As a bookwormish child, I was always going to empathise with the heroine, and I love the whole story that Roald Dahl weaves here. Dahl is never afraid to discuss the darker sides of things and often goes out of his way to include the grim and grotesque, but it’s the gentler notes of this book that keeps it in my favourites pile – the parts about belonging, kindness, and loyalty. The Trunchbull still terrifies me!

Pies and Prejudice

I absolutely adore Maconie’s writing – he’s pithy, witty and fiercely clever, and he writes with such affection for his subjects. This was the first of his books on Britain that I read (I also very much enjoyed ‘Adventures On The High Teas’, his look at cosy Home Counties Middle England), and I was thoroughly charmed. He has a marvellous way of telling a tale!

Join Me

A book that not only entertained me, it changed my life. The book follows Danny Wallace’s efforts to set up a collective….which became ‘Join Me’, the random-acts-of-kindness group I belong to. I very much enjoyed the book – it’s funny, silly and inspiring, and as it has brought me so much joy through the wider auspices of Join Me it seemed only fair to include it! A great read.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

One of those cases where I adored the book and loathed the film adaptation (yes, One Day, I’m also looking at you!). Crimes against cinema notwithstanding, this book is a firm favourite and one I am forever pressing on friends to read. Charming and evocative, the central characters of the title are thoroughly charming and make me yearn to live in the Deep South and raise young ‘uns alongside my best girlfriends. Which considering I’m British and childless is a pretty fair testament to the quality of the writing…

Thank You For The Days

Mark Radcliffe used to broadcast alongside Stuart Maconie, from further up the list, and he also went on to write a book I love. This tale of music, radio, and life is inspiring, charming and highly entertaining – it makes me want to go for a pint with Radcliffe to hear even more!

The Hunger Games

Good Lord, it’s good. I know everyone is reading it at the moment and there’s all the hype about the (also excellent) movie, but it’s just a really well-written YA trilogy. Moving, dark, interesting, it’s a real pageturner and well worth enjoying.

Hear No Evil.

I’ve long been a fan of Matthew Paul Turner’s blog, Jesus Needs New PR, and his books are full of the same wit, humour and wisdom. He writes in a very real and warm way about faith, music, and life. This is a charming read! Fun fact, his other half is the multitalented Jessica, who writes at The Mom Creative, and organises Project Life Tuesdays!

A Game of Thrones.

Martin’s heptalogy is enormous in its scope and range, but from the very first book I was keen to plow through. The story-telling and conjuring of worlds is spectacular, and the huge cast of characters are compelling and full of surprises. I’m currently halfway through the third in the series – I have to take breaks between books as they are so heavy and dense! Fantastic stuff.

Gone With The Wind

(cue Tara’s Theme)

I love the book even more than I love the movie. And that’s saying something, because Vivien Leigh rocks the Scarlett O’Hara role so hard the movie is easily in my top ten. A huge book (1066 pages!), but such a rewarding and interesting read. I read this every few years or so, simply because it’s wonderful.

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  1. Christielli
    16th April 2012 / 11:25 pm

    Matilda is also one of my all-time favourites. I think this is why we are kindred spirits of sorts (to use an Anne of Green Gables term).I also loved the Ya-Yas when I first read that book… probably when I was a teenager? I should dig it out and re-read it.I agree the Hunger Games hype is valid. I love it. I went out for lunch with another teacher friend, and I think a lot of educators have picked it up because the kids are all carrying it around. It's so good! Hat-tip to the kids!I also need to re-read Gone with the Wind… I read it once, when I was maybe in grade 9? I think I'd like it better now.I don't know if Game of Thrones is my thing. I got it for my dad, and he complained there were too many characters and couldn't get into it. Could just be that he didn't want to admit the print was too small….Love your reading posts!

  2. a little of me
    17th April 2012 / 3:49 am

    im hosting a tuesday's bloghop…please feel free to share your devotional cooking recepee craft any memory something the lord has done in your life im sure you have many…thank you very much if you join…blessed others …have a very nice tuesday..

  3. Riot Kitty
    17th April 2012 / 7:06 am

    I will have to read Matilda. It's one of the only ones of his that I haven't read. I got kind of put off when I read he was a grumpy, sexist old bastard and one-time spy, but I suppose he still wrote good books.

  4. Siobhan
    18th April 2012 / 4:40 pm

    I love these posts. I think they may inspire some serious book buying!

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