I don’t claim to have a refined taste in literature - I have never seen that as being the point. But these are some of the stories which have stayed with me for years, or that have made a massive impression on me recently, and that countless rereads have only deepened my love for.
In no particular order, by which I mean the particular order I remembered them in:
1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
I think this will always be my favourite book of all time. Near future, children are trained as soldiers to defend Earth from extraterrestrial threat - the emotional depth of this book, seriously, is amazing, and I don’t just mean “for a scifi book”, it really is perfection.
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
No book has made me cry this much in about eight years. Ugh, it’s just so so fantastic.
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I don’t know how many times I’ve read this one - it gets me every time. A teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome narrates his investigation of the murder of a neighbourhood dog.
And the title is a quote from a Sherlock Holmes short story.
4. About a Boy by Nick Hornby
I don’t even know why I love this book so much, I just know that I do. I adore the film, but the book is, needless to say, a thousand times better.
5. Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
Most of this list is made up of books I’ve read as a teenager, but this one I read a lot younger. It’s just so lovely, it always springs to mind when I start talking about books.
6. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
My favourite song of all time is Redemption by Frank Turner, and he references EoE in the lyrics, “Adam Trask is on my back and in my ears…” which wouldn’t make any difference to anything except that I was reading EoE when I first fell in love with the song, so the two of them are forever linked in my mind. I adore John Steinbeck. In terms of actual literary technique rather than character and plot, he’s far and away my favourite author. I usually shy away from description-heavy books but this man had a magic power, I swear. Basically while reading it, I lived and breathed this story.
7. From e to You by Chris d’Lacey and Linda Newberry
A large part of the reason I love this book is the fact that it’s basically two authors roleplaying their OCs. It’s told through emails from one character to the other, and they didn’t plan it out or anything, they just wrote it as they went along as if they were the characters. It’s great. (And I know that’s what happened - I asked Mr d’Lacey myself xD)
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Need I really say any more?
9. The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov
I just love how pure, simply and unashamedly scifi this is. And I was genuinely invested in the murder mystery element. This is the one that got me to love scifi in general, instead of just loving Doctor Who.
10. Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
I didn’t mean to end on this one, because it’s definitely not my least favourite of the 10 - it’s way up there in the top 5. It’s so perfectly sad. I especially recommend it if you liked The Fault in Our Stars - it’s kind of a younger child’s version of that, but obviously unique in its own right (and was out earlier so it’s not a copy or anything). I don’t think I’d’ve chosen to read it but when I was on Radio 4 for The Life in the Wood with Joni-Pip, we shared the program with Sally Nicholls, and I thought I’d give it a go. And it’s beautiful. I read it so many times before my copy got ruined in the rain, and I’ve never come across another copy. Will do someday, because it’s gorgeous.
tagged as: ender's game. the fault in our stars. the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. about a boy. absolutely normal chaos. east of eden. from e to you. the hunger games. the robots of dawn. ways to live forever. the life in the wood with joni-pip. books. reading. recommendations.