I am a dyed in the wool bookworm. Even my degree is in English & Film, so I spent four years in academia surrounded by poetry, prose, film and music, and I adore the written word as much as any English specialist I know. After a few years in the wilderness I’m back into reading a lot for pleasure. Last year I managed 52 books….this year I’m aiming for 62.
For this post I thought I’d write about the five books I love the most – the ones I’m always pressing on others. Even this was tricky – there are many firm favourites that have not cracked this list – but five seemed like a good, solid number. Succinct enough to force me to be decisive….long enough to allow some generosity. My favourites, in no order bar alphabetical by title – asking me for one favourite is like asking a parent who their favourite child is – are:
Gone With The Wind*- Margaret Mitchell
I adore Margaret Mitchell’s book. It has is all – drama, history, romance, tension, one liners, humour, horror, redemption and cliffhangers. I read this book, all 1011 pages of it, at least every other year and never fail to laugh, cry and rage along with it. The sublime film is a fantastic complement to the text.
Join Me – Danny Wallace
This silly, quirky book is not only an enjoyable read, but also changed my life. After reading Danny Wallace’s book, I sent off my passport photo and joined his kindness collective/ cult/ ragtag bunch of friendly folk. That was seven or so years ago, and since then I’ve met so many wonderful people because of this book – not least my darling fiancé (the friend who introduced us, the lovely Lou, is a Joinee!). On its own, the book is fab. As far as lifechanging tomes go, for me it’s completely turned my world upside down. In a truly special way.
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Eight-year-old me lived and died by this book, and thirty-something me still loves it. I reread it every year over summer break and still cry at the crucial moments! I have made peace with the fact that I’m more of a Meg than a Jo, and adore the portrayal of the the relationships between the March sisters. Louisa May Alcott writes so generously and charmingly – it’s a warm, cosy, familiar book for me.
Love is a Mixtape – Rob Sheffield
This book combines a cracking romantic story with music and mixtapes, so I was always going to fall for it hard. Witty, wise and honest, it manages to wrench the heart-strings and raise a smile, often on the same page.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The big cahuna, which I did not read until my early twenties. Jane Austen’s writing I just love – her descriptions, her incisiveness, her wit – and her characters are never more stunningly drawn than in P&P (although Sense and Sensibility and Emma are both also firm favourites!). A justified classic.
Good heavens, I love to read. I am looking forward to finding some recommendations today on the other blogs taken part in #BEDM!
*brilliantly, this typoed as Gone With The Wine. Possible autobiography title?