Our favourite books change over time, they’re bound to. Not only do we read new material constantly, but our tastes change too. Here, in chronological order, are my favourite books, right from my very first.
The Twits by Roald Dahl – This was the first book I remember being read at school. It was read to the class in ten minute chunks at the end of each school day when I was in Year 2 (age 5). This was the first time I realised books could be fun. Roald Dahl uses such imaginative language that I really found myself in his world. At some point I went home and asked for a copy because The Twits was the start of my Roald Dahl collection.
Cue For Treason by Geoffrey Trease – Time went on and I got a little older. I started to appreciate children’s books for the slightly older child. Cue For Treason was also read to me at school, this time by my Year 6 teacher (age 11). Because it was a historical novel I thought it was pretty adult and liked it all the more for the things it taught me. Peter and Kit are such great protagonists for a children’s story too. This was the first proper book I remember reading multiple times.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – I think everybody had a bit of a Twilight phase, whether it lasted a week or six months. You’d be lying if you said it wasn’t a guilty pleasure at some point in during your teenage years. This was the first book I really read at speed. It was so good, or at least I thought it was, that I read it in a weekend. Then I read the rest of them, then re-read the entire series. That’s a lot of pages, but I suppose I had nothing better to do at 13. I just got caught up in the romance of it all I suppose – Edward and Bella’s irrevocable love and all the fantasy stuff of course.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – As I’ve said in previous posts, I wasn’t a great reader as a child (you may have noticed the lack of Harry Potter in this list and that’s because it took me a while and I thought it was only alright – I wasn’t a reader back then). My reading really began when I got to my second year of college (age 17) and took on The Great Gatsby. I absolutely fell in love with this book – with the poetic language and cinematic tone. It was everything I wished I could write myself. And what’s more, I studied it (and my teacher was fab) and when you study a text you really find its soul. I reread this novel and even got a nice new edition when they released some new hardbacks a few years ago.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I only read this last year (age 20) – as most people probably did, but I thought it was wonderful. The characters were so well-made and textured, and I can’t begin to tell you how crafted the plot is. The layers of Nick and Amy’s narratives were weaved intricately and really made you feel for both characters. Then there’s the plot twists; this book just keeps on throwing unexpected stuff at you until the very last page. I’ve yet to reread Gone Girl but I’m sure I will one day.
Now I’m left wondering what my next favourite might be. One Day by David Nicholls got very close to being included in this list but it just doesn’t top Gone Girl. I’m always reading new things and really do take up people’s recommendations so I’ll keep you updated.
P.s My reading list is now probably the longest list I’ve ever written and it’s growing quicker than I can physically read…so we’ll see how that turns out.