Reading Violet Grey’s piece for Book Matters, her respect for Matilda’s attitude to books resonated with me. I too was a bookworm as a child, a love affair which has never ended! Both my parents were big readers. My mother in particular reviewed books and wrote both fact & fiction. Sometimes I spout knowledge at my family – about a place I’ve never been or a situation I haven’t experienced, it results in a sideways look from them – “I read it in a book!” I defend myself. What I experience through a well written book feels so real. An author can put you in someone else’s head, it’s the closest one gets to “walking in someone else’s shoes”.
I read for pleasure, for escapism, usually nothing too heavy. I don’t do book clubs as I won’t to wade through a book which feels like a chore. I’m rather partial to Young Adult books as I find the emotional maelstroms particularly fascinating, and first times are such sweet torture.
Recently I find I can juggle more than one book at a time – perhaps this comes from sharing my life with Posy! “She” reads erotica in the evening while vanilla “me” reads chick lit, YA or thrillers at lunch break! Dramatically different genres of novel can co-exist in my mind, because I am unlikely to muddle the characters or plots.
The image shared shows my 2 reading journals, where I keep track of what I read, how it scored and why. I also record books I intend to read and those I borrow or lend. Don’t even ask about my TBR pile, I have a stack of real books plus a list several pages long of unread titles on my Kindle!
So onto my list – unable to pinpoint a favourite book, because it changes all the time (although Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen hits my top 5 most often) I’m sharing recent favourites, using my journals to identify those books which earned 10/10 rating.
Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella
This book deals with a teen coming back from a mental health episode and how her family try to function around her. Although this is a serious issue, it has a large helping of humour and young love to lighten the mood.
By the same author – Twenties Girl
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
When I read this I was new to the idea of fan-fiction, a major topic as the central character writes it so the book is interspersed with it. Catherine -a twin – goes away to college with her sister, who then avoids her, wanting her own space. Without her sibling, Catherine learns to make friends, balance love with study commitments, while being pulled back home by concerns for her father.
A secondary aspect is the fan fiction itself, which populates the book and seems to owes a lot to Harry Potter. [The spin off book Carry On is purely Catherine’s fan-fic.]
Equally gripping, by the same author is Eleanor & Park – the most all consuming, beautiful, terrible story of first love saving someone I’ve ever read.
Thriller / Detective
Winter Wind – J R Rain
Quite an unusual perspective – the protagonist is a detective made blind and deaf by a bombing. Central themes are getting in touch with his spiritual side and interpersonal relationships breaking down / being formed in adjustment to his disability. Betsy his guide dog stole my heart!
By the same author: Elvis has Not Left the Building – What if the “King” wasn’t dead, he’d instead undergone plastic surgery and was now a PI?
The Calling – Neil Cross
If you love John Luther, you’ll want to read this. It’s the ‘prequel’ to the first series, written by the guy who writes the show. It is gritty, fast paced, visual and haunting, as you’d expect.
Closer than You Think – Karen Rose
#1 of the Cincinatti series. Complex plot which follows Faith, a therapist specialising in abused children, whose safety is under threat. Unfortunately she runs nearer to danger instead of away. Agent Deacon Novak has quite a kick-ass reputation, but coming back to his hometown draws out his own demons. They combine forces to catch a serial killer.
From Dead to Worse – Charlaine Harris
I love vampire tales, especially when packed with humour and sexual tension, and this book has it all! I greedily devoured the entire Sookie Stackhouse series, but this one earned a 10 for it’s twisting turning plot which kept me guessing and made me go straight out and buy the next book.
By the same author – Book #1 Dead Until Dark
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Who’d be afraid to die if this was a glimpse of the afterlife? This unusual story of a teenager’s murder & the impact on her family was also an educational, inspirational journey. The twist being the protagonist’s ablility to watch her killer and try to bring about his downfall.
The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein
A beautiful story told from a dog’s PoV, and what a dog! Wise and loving, he learns from the people in his life and the TV when it’s left on. A truly inspirational book about relationships and misunderstandings. Be warned, along with heart warming stuff there is death and destruction.
Submitted for May’s literary prompt #Book Matters, follow the link to find other book recommendations