After a year and a half of book challenges, and plenty of books I found fairly mediocre, I thought I was share a list of some of the really good books I’ve read over the years. It’s not exhaustive, but a list of a few of my all-time favourites. I’ll try and add to it if I remember some others.
To kill a mockingbird – Harper Lee
It’s a classic for a reason. Everything about this book is brilliant. Everything.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
This book intrigued and disturbed me. It’s an odd premise, and has some really weird and strange bits in it, but although there are totally strange parts, it’s also about a family, about human nature, and about people, and I really loved it, weird and strange as it is.
Like Water for Chocolate – Laure Esquivel
Another odd one, but beautiful. Very Mexican, and overly-dramatic, but a wonderful story, full of drama and intrigue, and a bit of magic. Similar to the lemon cake book, as both involve a rather unique relationship with food!
The Time-traveller’s wife – Audrey Nieffenegger
I was intrigued by this book, as it has a very interesting premise. Usually one assumes that the time-traveller is the one who has seen the future, who knows more about the world than anyone else. They are supposed to be at an advantage. However what I love about this book is that the time-traveller is always at a disadvantage – he cannot control where he goes, or when, he often doesn’t know where or when he is, and his wife is the one who knows more about him and his life than he does. She holds all his secrets. I loved it.
Never let me go – Kazuo Ishiguro
I found this book gripping, terribly sad and profound, and it makes you want to go sit in a corner for a while and think about things.
Night Watch – Terry Pratchett
I love ALL of Sir Terry’s Discworld novels, but this one is a particular favourite, because I do love Sam Vimes.
An Old-fashioned girl – Louisa May Alcott
While most people would consider Little Women to be her best book, and I do like it a lot, this one spoke to me as a teenager much more directly. I loved it, and still do. Very sweet and innocent.
I am, I am, I am – Maggie O’Farrell
I read this as part of my book challenge earlier this year, and found it gripping and hard to put down. Similar to my own post about the things that have tried to kill me, but much more eloquent and beautifully written.
A history of Britain in 21 women – Jenni Murray
This was in last year’s book challenge, and I was not expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I actually did – in fact I loved it. Learnt some fascinating facts about some fantastic women!
The Trouble with Lichen – John Wyndham
Arguably, I might be tempted to say that Day of the Triffids is my favourite of Wyndham’s classic sci-fi thrillers, as it is brilliantly executed, and with very relatable characters. However, the trouble with lichen has such a subversive, deeply feminist message that I find myself connecting to it more, although I must say many of his books are favourites of mine.
One Day – David Nicholls
A bit of a cheesy one, but I found this an easy read, with very well-written characters. The male protagonist is an utterly awful man, and yet somehow you find yourself rooting for him, and that’s really quite astonishing. I also really liked the premise of only dropping in on the story via the snapshots of one day each year.
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
This is beautifully written and deeply moving. I always feel a huge amount of empathy for the monster, and find this profound and sad, and very thought-provoking.
The Crucible – Arthur Miller
This was one of the first books I read as a teenager that really moved me, almost to tears, and I still remember key quotes from it to this day. Very powerful prose, and an incredibly intense message.
The Most Beautiful Book in the World – Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Another one from my book challenge, given to me by my dad. I adore short stories, and these were all exceptional, and featured a lot of strong female leading characters, which I also love.