Picking a favourite book is hard. So blinkin’ hard. I can’t even remember every single book I’ve read and the thought of choosing just one to be my favourite? It’s a mammoth task.
It used to be the sort of question tossed around in school and as I grew up and my reading tastes changed, my favourite book changed. Name any sort of reading trend or genre which has cropped up in the last ten years as being “the best” and I can guarantee you, I was all over it.
Harry Potter? Done. Twilight? Done. The Hunger Games? Done. Percy Jackson? Done. Jacqueline Wilson? Done. Cathy Cassidy? Done.
I’ve only ever not finished one book: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. I have every intention of finishing this book but boy is it chunky. I’ve left it so long now I’m going to have restart it it when I finally dust it off and crack it open again.
My favourite books are constantly fluctuating, especially if I read a book and then start fan-girling over it. But if I never pick it up again, I wouldn’t say it ranks as a favourite, I just like it a lot. But the books included in this list are books I have coveted over and over and over again. Man, I even have a favourite chapter in the Harry Potter book included in this list.
ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by JENNIFER NIVEN
After reading The Fault In Our Stars, I was desperate to read more books of this genre. I came across All The Bright Places in my local WH Smiths and fell in love. It is a difficult book and it’s not always a pretty book. It tackles some pretty hefty topics in society and it is the first book I read where the character suffered openly from mental illness. It was the first time I read about mental illness and felt as if I marginally understood. It was a real eye-opener. I’ve since recommended this to my friends and what do you know, they actually read it (thanks Tori).
THE DISTANT HOURS by KATE MORTON
I like this book because it is swimming with mysteries. I love the interchange between the past and the present, the different POVS and the quaint and idyllic locations of the plot. The Distant Hours is a mesmerising tale of the truth being covered up in the past and coming to unravel in the present. It’s about family, love and duty.
Since reading The Distant Hours, I have come to fall in love with Kate Morton’s other books as well: The Lake House, The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton. But The Distant Hours holds a special place because it was the first one I read.
WILD by CHERYL STRAYED
Wild is not the sort of book I usually go for. I usually source out books steeped in fantasy or mystery. I don’t usually go for nitty, gritty, wow life sucks sometimes, books. Ignorance is bliss and all. I bought Wild on a whim with an Amazon voucher and I didn’t read it until nearly a year later.
I read it at a time in my life where I needed inspiring, I needed confidence, I needed self-belief. Wild is a truly inspirational yet heartbreaking tale of lost to found. Whilst I won’t be hiking the PCT anytime soon, it did give me the confidence to keep trying and things and to not give in. The movie, whilst really good, doesn’t do Strayed’s writing justice.
THE HOBBIT by J. R. R. Tolkien
This is my favourite childhood book. I’m an avid LOTR and Hobbit fan (I have a LOTR hoodie and Hobbit tee) and I adore the movies. I like The Hobbit more than the LOTR due to the innocence behind it. The LOTR is a quest, it’s a mission, life or death peril etc etc.
But The Hobbit is different. It’s an adventure, it’s about believing in yourself no matter who you are. The type of adventure anyone, however unsuspecting, can go on. It’s heart-warming, friendly and has a real can-do attitude about it.
HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J. K. ROWLING
I adored Harry Potter growing up. I can remember the excitement in the nights before this book was released, knowing it was the end of an era. I’ve never been like that for another book series before HP or since. My copy of the Deathly Hallows is battered and held together with sellotape. I’ve read the book countless times and even now, I still pick it up occasionally to read “Nineteen Years Later”.
My favourite chapter is “The Flaw In The Plan” as it details the real battle of Hogwarts and I remember reading it with excitement as more and more characters were mentioned whilst fighting. Whilst the story of this book isn’t my favourite (The Goblet of Fire wins there), the book as a whole is my favourite. The sense of belonging, unity and love trumping hate wins through. It truly was the end of an era.
13 REASONS WHY by JAY ASHER
An intrinsic book. I’ve only read it a few times but it holds very strongly with me. It’s heartbreaking story about the cruelty of people, how rumours and actions can destroy someone’s life. It’s sad, illuminating but it’s also closure and understanding. Told through the words of a dead girl narrating to a boy, she explains her 13 reasons for killing herself. It’s deeply moving and also helped to open my mind when to the importance of actions and being aware. It has also just been made into a TV series by Netflix!
THE HELP by KATHRYN STOCKETT
The Help is a funny, passionate, inspiring and heartbreaking book about division, racism and morality. The characters you meet are one-of-a-kind. I remember wanting to be Skeeter after I read it: she didn’t give no cares about what she was supposed to do to conform to society. It’s a story about collaboration, friendship and leaving no stone unturned.
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