I love writing so therefore I love books. If this equation makes no sense to you, you make no sense to me.
I love hearing about people’s favourite books. They tell you something about them, also they are a great recommendation source. Often, picking up a book is scary because it could be rubbish, or insanely placid. When they come with a reference, you feel slightly more assured.
I’ve been considering what counts as my favourite books. They’ll hopefully change as I devour more titles. Reading has improved my writing, and I always want my writing to get better, stronger, clearer. Additonally, its less punishing than writing, as often it feels like pulling teeth. Reading is relaxation, entertainment and the best way to spend time when the wifi has died.
I’ve racked my brain to decide, until the next book comes along that knocks it off, my ten favourite books. Some of these titles, I read this year, only once, and some I’ve read again and again since primary school.
So here goes…
- Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
I love glamour and I love funny, and this book marries the two concepts together perfectly. Bianca Del Rio recommended it me, via an interview with the BFI about her favourite movie; the adaptation of this book, starring the ever excellent Rosalind Russell. It manages to be both light and airy, with zaps of poignant social commentary.
- The Blind Assassin by Margaret Attwood
This book was my first foray into the wonderful world of Margaret Attwood, and reading for pleasure post my degree studies. To give a synopsis would be giving major spoilers, however it’s a long, multifaceted period piece, sweeping over nearly the entire of the 20th century, and is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
David Sedaris might be one of the biggest inspirations, when it comes to both my real life and in my writing. How he manages to be so cruel, so comedic but so caring towards his fellow man is an fine-tuned art form. This book makes me cry with laughter, and things that do that ought to be held dear.
- The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
This book makes you experience a rainbow of emotions; sadness, anger, happiness and so many others. It is most definitely a celebration of female relationships and a depiction of race in America post slavery, pre 1960s.
- The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Harry Potter fans credit JK Rowling’s series as making them into a reader; Meg Cabot’s royal series made me into one. Great personal pain stems from Michael Moscovitz for many reasons; for both not being real and not being in love with me.
- Slouching Towards Bethelehem by Joan Didion
This book is reason why, and what seems countless other people, long to be a journalist. This collection of essays is a seminal text for a reason. Highlights include the titular essay and the matter of fact On Self Respect, and if I was to get a seemingly lame tattoo of anything it would be a quote from that.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
Another childhood find that still lingers as one my all time favourites. I loved, and still do, the story of Anna and her family fleeing the rise of Nazis in Germany, based on Kerr’s own experience
- The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
This book makes me grateful that I’m a product of my time; I’m a highly educated woman, with no material need to be legally tied to a man. On the flip side, it also reminds me of how much work, and conscious effort one must place not be a Joan Castleman.
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
I gobbled this book at work in one day. It’s such a heartbreaking, heartwarming and honest depiction of living in the chaos of being a child of an alcoholic, reflecting the good, the bad and the enduring hope one needs.
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
This book paints such a vivid portrait of London, which is something Zadie is justifiably astounded for. It’s hilarious, satirical and intelligent. The writer is in me is jealous it was her debut, while it seems so seasoned.