Fashion Magazine

Must Reads

By Blueoctober @blueoctober__
must reads
In the (little over a) year since I've been writing this blog, I've done fourteen bookworm features, and have read some pretty amazing books. I love to read most nights in bed to take my mind off a busy day (usually lesson planning/marking stress). Luckily Rich is a big reader too, he seems to fly through books so much faster than me... he read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones) in just a few months, impressive! Between us we've amassed a good collection of books in our new flat (which we don't have room for) and look like a middle aged couple in bed, tucked up with our books and side lights on!Anyway, I thought I'd run through the books I would say have been my favorite over the past year or so. I love getting a good book recommendation (currently reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes on twitter recommendations!) so thought I would return the favour.Here are my top ten books, read in the past year or so...1. The Help - Kathryn Stockett. Probably one of my favorite books. Heart warming story, lovely characters and the film is a great representation of the novel! If you like this, you may also like The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (review here).2. This Charming Man and Rachel's Holiday - Marian Keyes. Love Keyes' writing, she is so funny and true to life. Her novels always strike a chord with me, and these two are my favourites. Again, great characterisation and storylines - not sickly sweet happy ever after, but based on 'reality' with a funny undercurrent. Perfect.3. One Day - David Nicholls. Such a great read. I also liked The Understudy by him. Again, humorous but with a serious storyline. 4. Room - Emma Donoghue. Bit of a different one here; serious storyline about a girl who was kidnapped and gave birth to her kidnappers son whilst in captivity (review here).5. We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver. Again, a very serious and deeply upsetting book, but extremely well written. Perhaps an interesting one to read in the wake of the Newtown school shootings (review here).6. The Thread - Victoria Hislop. Incredibly interesting, so well explained and described. Such a great read, especially if you are interested in history, geography or want to view the Second World War from a perspective other than that of England or Germany. But ultimately, a story of love (review here).7. Falling Leaves - Adeline Yen Mah. I read this as a child (and Chinese Cinderella), but re-read whilst on holiday this summer. Fantastic, and again historically interesting with a heart-wrenching storyline (review here). 8. The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins. Loved the books, and loved the first film! Good storyline, and fairly good continuity over the three books. First book was my favourite, but still enjoyed the second and third (review here). 9. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell. My all-time favorite film, and the book is a beast. Not easy going; it is solid but packed with amazing characters, incredible descriptions of America during the Civil War in the early 1860s, and above all a fantastic storyline. An absolute classic. 10. Me Before You - Jojo Moyes. I'm still reading this (nearly finished!) and absolutely love it. Similar to Marian Keyes' novels in that it covers a serious issue but with an amusing and thoughtful undertone. I warmed to the characters in the first chapter; you really feel for all parties involved. Those are just some of my favorite reads, but it is so hard to limit it to ten! Next on my bookshelf are: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, Sister by Rosamund Lupton and Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French.On a slightly more negative note, what to avoid? I can't go without mentioning 50 Shades of Grey. I reviewed it here, but can safely say my year would have been no worse (if not better) if I'd not bothered reading them. If you've not yet... then don't. Mine are in a bag to take to my local charity shop!That brings me on to my final point (promise!) - where do you buy your books from? A while ago I posted about buying my books from charity shops, and still am a firm supporter of The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, but am worried about the future of our bookshops! Waterstones et al must be quaking in their books in the light of the rising popularity of e-books and Amazon selling paperbacks for next-to-nothing. I try to buy some books from actual book shops; particularly ones I want to keep on my bookshelf for life - classics, and books by my favorite authors. But, a £1.99 bargain is still too good to pass, especially when I'm on a budget!What have been your favorite reads this year?

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