Happy World Book Day

1 Mar

Happy World Book Day everyone!

I’ve loved books since I was a little girl,  reading ‘Roger Redhat’ to my no doubt exasperated father every bedtime, it turns out that a love of the literary starting from early childhood grows and if nurtured is a life long passion, which is why I can work my way through two or three books a day and have a book shelf on the verge of dangerous collapse. My family however don’t share the same love of the written word as I do and I often feel a bit disappointed not being able to pass on amazing books that have changed my thinking, or that I’ve really enjoyed, which is why I adore World book day. A chance to discuss and celebrate the works of great authors that allow each and every one of us the opportunity to explore new worlds and concepts, experience adventure and become part of a journey that starts with the turn of the very first page .

So since its World Book Day and I have a strange compulsion to make lists, I thought I would make a list of my top ten books.

Time to celebrate reading!

1. Run by Blake Crouch

This book I read in one sitting I was that engrossed in it, ‘Run’ is a fascinating exploration of human morality and what happens when the conscience and morality that guide our everyday lives and choices is removed. It’s a normal day in America until a rash of strange and senseless murders sweep the country, strangers for no reason start killing, mass shootings at schools, brutal murders in nursing homes, death on every street corner in every town in America. The President begs for calm but the horrific and inhumane murder continues and increases, until it becomes clear that half the population has become contaminated by something compelling them to kill those unaffected, without mercy. The emergency broadcast system announces names and addresses of those next to be killed, Jack and his family are among them. ‘Run’ tells the story of Jack and his family trying to survive in an impossible situation, where the boundaries of humanity, what it means to be human, and how far you would go to survive take you to the brink and back.  This is amazing, I can’t imagine anyone finding this book boring, its well worth picking up!

2. Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George

This won’t be for everyone, but personally I can’t stop re-reading this book,  I love historical fiction and Cleopatra has always been a female heroine figure of mine shrouded in mystery, which I’ve  wanted to know more about. ‘Memoirs of Cleopatra’ allows you to explore the life of one of histories most famous femme fatale’s from her early childhood, up the infamous asp death scene that have given artists and poets plenty of inspiration over the years. A fictional narrative based on solid facts creates a vivid account of her life, that is an interesting read if you have a love of history.

3. Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

I have a complete eclectic taste in literary genres, so I’m not ashamed to admit that I love this self-proclaimed ‘chick lit’ series of books. It has to be the funniest series of books I’ve ever read that has me laughing out loud and attracting the stares of worried passersby. This series follows the life of trouble prone Becky, who has a relationship with her credit card that puts me and even the big bad bankers to shame! Compulsive spender Becky gets her self into all kinds of bizarre incidents that spiral completely out of control,  and hilarity soon ensues! Another reason to adore this series is because we can all find elements of ourselves in Becky and Kinsella brings to life those elements in a comical fashion that allows us to appreciate even the worst parts of ourself.

4. The saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan (O’Shaughnessy)

Ok so these books are not exactly aimed at adults, I discovered them in my teenage vampire groupie stage but whilst I’ve grown up they have remained a brilliant series, with lots of interesting plot twists that keep readers guessing. The ‘saga’ gives a completely different interpretation of vampires from the usual, and quite expertly creates a whole little universe with its own rules, traditions and customs for the readers to associate with vampires, before Twilight came along and made vampires sexy model like creatures that have more of a hunger for lust than blood, this was the most realistic interpretation of vampires for most people, and pray god still is. The story focuses on Darren, a young teen boy who becomes tangled in the world of vampires and a bloody war, when he becomes a vampire himself to save his dying best friend, blood, horror, war and destiny, what more could you ask for?

5. The tea rose by Jennifer Donnelly

My cousin introduced me to this book and its sequel ‘The winter rose’ and I can’t thank her enough as I had been missing out!  Set in the Victorian era it follows Fiona Finnegan who dreams of doing what no other woman in her world has, to own her own business. With the intelligence, willpower, strength of her family and love of her life Joe by her side she knows she can not fail. But Fiona’s life soon starts falling apart when her family experience tragedy and Joe is forced into an unhappy marriage with another girl, with little left to her Fiona starts again in the land of opportunity, America, where the dream she had to put on hold is now her only chance of surviving. Romance, drama and intrigue set against the backdrop of one of Britain’s epic passages of history.

6. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Almost everyone has heard about this book but if you haven’t then you have missed out on an amazing experience. Exploring themes of racism, love, power, self-worth and violence I have yet to meet anyone who can fail to be moved by this book. History tells us that white dominated black, but in ‘Noughts and Crosses’ this history is re-written with black supremacy instead, where white people ‘noughts’ never achieved equality. Sephy and Callum are the Romeo and Juliet of this piece, desperate to be together despite the fact that the world won’t allow it. What difference does colour make and how and why does someone who is of a different nationality, race, colour, religion become hated, feared and less human? This book made me question all my beliefs and ask some important questions, read it and you’ll discover a lot about yourself.

7. An evil cradling by Brian Keenan

Ironically when I studied this at A level I found it incredibly tedious, but at that point I was being made to write four page essays on single paragraphs, no wonder it lost its charm! Re-reading it a few years later I realised that I hadn’t appreciated just how good it was. A true story written by the hostage himself Brian Keenan, Brian takes us on the journey of his long four and a half-year captivity spent in solitary and in companionship with his captors and fellow captives. It’s not just an interesting account of a hostage experience, but of the mental state of someone who experiences the full range of emotions including madness, and the coping capabilities of humans when faced with this situation. Painfully honest in every way, but I found that refreshing, its insightful and you’ll finish with questions, ideas and maybe some self realisation.

8. Sister by Rosamund Lupton

A great psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end, ‘Sister’ makes you think about how well you know anyone, even your own family and what may be going on behind closed doors. Beatrice has the ‘perfect’ life in New York with her fiance, so when her mother calls with the news that her sister Tess has gone missing, she can’t quite believe that this could be happening to her. Beatrice flies straight back to the UK, desperate to track down her sister who she believes she is so close too, but what Beatrice does discover is that she doesn’t know Tess quite as well as she thinks.

9. Sea Change, Escape, Fiesta, Footloose by Kate Cann

My guilty pleasure, these books are the ideal holiday reads,  full of sun, sea, sand and that other thing 🙂 The girls in these books all escape to exotic new lands where they make self realisations, find true love and make life changing decisions. Which is more than I ever do on holiday! (Maybe I’m doing it wrong?) I hate to say it, but they are the perfect trashy read for the beach bum in me.

10. Keeping faith by Jodie Picoult

I love a good controversy and Jodie Picoult always delivers, this particular novel by Picoult is my favourite of her series. Mariah White struggles getting from day-to-day after her young daughter Faith walks in on her husband having an affair, trying to move on in a life without her husband Mariah’s problems increase when Faith claims to have an imaginary friend that she calls her ‘guard’ and begins quoting passages from a bible she has never read. Things spiral out of control when Faith begins to experience stigmata, and performs miracles. With the church, press and social workers at her back and her ex husband ready to fight for custody of the daughter he abandoned, Mariah begins to lose control of her life and of the one thing in her life that keeps her going, her daughter.

So these are my top ten books, they changed my way of thinking, my outlook, ideas. Expanding your horizons is always worth doing and perhaps one of these books might just do that! If you have any book suggestions for me then please comment! Pass on your favourites!!!!

 

 

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2 Responses to “Happy World Book Day”

  1. readerjulia March 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    I love the Shopaholic books! I didn’t like the movie so much, but I thought the books were hilarious 🙂

    • StephBristow March 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

      I know the movie ruined it! The books were way better, I hope Kinsella continues on the series for Becky going to Hollywood! 🙂 x x

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