Of course writing is my passion, but I also love reading. Finding a book you love is a really amazing experience; you can get totally immersed in it and I think books are truly the best source of inspiration. So here are a few of my favourite books that I would definitely recommend…
Firstly we have ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy, which I mentioned in my August favourites. It tells the story of ‘two egg twins’ Esther and Rahel and their experiences with life and loss. The story is set in Ayemenem in India but the family have strong links with England which could be a reference to the past British Empire and the control England had over India. Roy’s language is so incredibly poetic, I re-read mulitple sentences as her descriptions are just so beautiful. This isn’t a particularly happy novel, but it is honestly one of the best books I have read, and is such a brilliant criticism of society and the dark side of the human race.
Next is one of my favourite childhood books: The Animals of Farthing Wood series by Colin Dann. ‘Fox’s Feud’ and ‘The Fox Cub Bold’ were without a doubt two of the most enchanting, engrossing books I’ve ever read. I must’ve read them when I was around 10 or 11 and at that point they were a very challenging read, however I absolutely loved them and still do. The series tells the tale of a group of woodland creates living on a nature reserve, focusing on a family of foxes. These books were relatively dark in places (compared to most children’s stories) but they are still brilliant and I would happily read them at any age.
Next is L.A. Candy by reality star and designer Lauren Conrad; a tale of sex, scandal and celebrity, set in the heart of Los Angeles. This book was the first of a series, however L.A. Candy is definitely my favourite. Jane and her best friend Scarlett move to L.A. in their late teens and are soon snapped up by the producers of a new reality TV show, however they soon discover fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With plenty of romance’s and gossip, this lighthearted book is so entertaining and glamorous, plus you can’t stop reading it as you’re always dying to know what happens next.
Most people have probably heard of Maya Angelou, and ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ is part of the reason for that. To begin with, the title of the book alone is so beautiful and poetic, and the novel tells the story of Angelou’s own childhood in South America, and her experience with sexual abuse, and discrimination as a result of her skin colour. Maya herself was such an incredible, cultured character, and she’s such a powerful woman- standing up for all women in the black community. This book was upsetting in places, but was still a joy to read.
Now for some light hearted relief, The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison is fun, hilarious and super readable. Georgia Nicolson is a british teen juggling friendships, romance and parents from the stone age, and all of the books are told in Louise’s simplisitic, hilarious style. Georgia is a bit like a younger, funnier Bridget Jones, and I know people of all ages who absolutely love these books. I’d definitely recommend them if you’re in the mood for a laugh, and they’re such a worthwhile purchase as they’re the kind of books you can read over and over again.
Finally, my favourite book, and ironically the only one that I don’t have my own copy of, is ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd. This beautiful story (that also has a great movie adaptation starring Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah) is about Lily, a young girl living in South Carolina who escapes her abusive father and is taken in by the black, bee keeping Boatwright sisters who have a connection to her late mother who Lily believes she accidently killed when she was little. The story is set in the 1960s around the time of the civil rights movement so there’s a strong political undertone and Sue Monk Kidd is clearly a strong supporter of equal rights for the black community. She also has the ability to create such diverse characters, the Boatwright sisters in particular all have such individual personalities and all have so much depth to them that to be honest any character in the novel could’ve been the protagonist which is a very rare quality in a book. I adore The Secret Life of Bees and would recommend it to anyone.