I’m sure many of you will agree, there are some books you read that are simply life-changing – whether they make you see things in a different light, altered your mood, or decisions, or simply books that you absolutely loved every second of reading. I’ve read books that I’ve fallen in love with and that have made me rethink my whole attitude towards certain things. These are the books that, when I’ve finished reading them, I want to start reading again immediately; the books that I recommend to every person I speak to; and feel an affinity with every other person who has read it, or a dislike for those who say they didn’t like it.
Anyways, enough of that. Here are my top 10 all time favourite books:
1. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
I’ve put The Philosopher’s Stone, but really the whole series should be in here. I was 9 or 10 when this first book came out. My teacher read this to us in our friday afternoon reading session and I fell in love with everything about the world of Harry Potter, and it was JK Rowling that made me fall in love with the idea of writing for a living.
2. The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Five People You Meet In Heaven is sad, funny, and clever all at once. It’s the perfect story to make you rethink how you value your family, your friendships, your actions. I’ve not cried quite so much til I read The Fault In Our Stars.
3. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
I knew before I started reading this that it wasn’t exactly going to be a hilarious comedy – the name says it all really. What it is, is a captivating book that talks really honestly about something that affects us all at one time or another. A warning though, if you’re anything like me, it will make you sob your eyes out on the train, causing just a few awkward looks.
4. My Vintage Summer by Jane Elmor
This book is the story of two girls looking back at their friendship over the years. With part of it set in Somerset, it reminds me all too much of my own childhood. Teenage drama, childhood secrets and rebelling against your parents – this book will bring up nostalgic memories for any 90’s kid and make you realise how far people can drift apart over the years.
5. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I was hesitant to read this book – mainly because I’m not religious, nor am I a big fan of anything branded ‘spiritual’ – that just is not me. But frankly, I wish I’d read it sooner. So much more than the film, this book promotes feminism and femininity all at once (and will make you want to travel the world and eat your weight in pasta too).
6. Heaven Eyes by David Almond
I was in primary school when I first read this this. My teacher (the same one who introduced me to Harry Potter) gave me this as a leaving present when I moved up to ‘big school’. Heaven Eyes is about three orphans who go on an adventure and find a girl called Heaven Eyes in a mysterious swamp land. Beautifully written, and incredibly haunting this book is my absolute favourite, which is why I reread it at least twice a year.
7. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger
It was pure coincidence that introduced me to The Catcher In The Rye. A ‘Big Read’ task at school led me to pick this title out of a hat, and I am so glad. Forever on Top 50 Books of All Time lists, this novel is the perfect depiction of teenage angst and feeling out of place, and such a well-written piece of literature that I could reread every year.
8. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I first read this book a few years ago after seeing a review online and instantly fell in love with Charlie and his sweet, wallflower nature. He makes the wallflower a hero and his honesty and complete kindness could make even the nicest person question how nice they are really. Perfect book with such twists and turns that keep you reading over and over.
9. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Translated from Spanish, this book by Laura Esquivel is the story of a young Mexican woman who, as the youngest daughter in her family, is never allowed to find love or be married. Each chapter begins with a Mexican recipe that symbolises that part of her life. The entire novel is so beautifully written, and so unique. This book is always where I turn when I have lost all inspiration.
10. The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
Yes, it’s Jacqueline Wilson and no, I am not ashamed! This read is about a young girl called Dolphin, whose family situation comes into turmoil, and has always been a favourite of mine. It might not be a Jane Austin novel, but this particular book from Wilson is perfect for anybody who grew up in a non-traditional family (that’s pretty much everyone right?!).
Have you read any of these books? What are your all-time favourite books?