• Amaaya

My favourite books

Books are my very first love, having started reading at a young age, I must've read hundreds of books to date. My love of books persuaded me to read English Literature at university and I continued studying the subject until I got my Master’s in it. I have 2 floor to ceiling book cases (my pride and joy!) in our office which hold my most prized possessions.

I was recently asked what my favourite book was and I thought long and hard; the truth is, I can't just pick a favourite (it's like being asked to pick a favourite child!), there are so many wonderful books that I've had the privilege of reading so I'm compiling a list for you guys. These books are all different genres and I love them for various reasons so I won't rank them in order- narrowing it down to a list is hard enough as it is!

- Becoming by Michelle Obama

I don't tend to read memoirs too often and I don't idolise "celebrities" (I mean, Kylie Jenner is one of the most influential people in the world, this is what we have come to) but as soon as Mrs. Obama's book was available, I pre-ordered it. A woman I admire for many reasons; for speaking up on matters First Ladies are not supposed to be vocal about, for not standing in her husband's shadow, for using her voice to champion girls' education, for not being ashamed of her working class background, for being a highly intelligent woman of colour who is so incredibly inspirational to many; I could go on and on. 'Becoming' details her childhood, how she met Barack, having her children and becoming First Lady against all the odds. Despite already admiring Michelle, I put her book down with increased admiration and a feeling of empowerment. As far as political biographies go, it is particularly measured and thoroughly enjoyable to read.

- Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I loved every book by Gillian Flynn (her most famous work being ‘Gone Girl’ which was made into a film a few years ago), an exceptionally gifted writer. ‘Dark Places’ is a deliciously dark and intelligent thriller, centred around Libby, whose brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. It was her evidence which put him away for a long time. It’s dark, twisted, and mysterious, full of surprises and shocks- it‘s probably not for the faint hearted but perfect for those who, like me, enjoy a well crafted psychological thriller with a brilliantly thought out narrative.

- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A funny and heart wrenching first novel by Gail Honeyman. I loved this book, it made me laugh out loud and tear up, Eleanor is a brilliant and lovable character, I went on her journey and found myself rooting for her from the beginning. Her world looks bland and ordinary from the outside yet this is unpicked very well throughout the story. It is about recovering from your childhood, loneliness and mental health. Although at times difficult to read, it tackles these issues beautifully. If you’re going to read one book this year, read this one.

- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is the queen of Tudor literature and is particularly masterful at conjuring up a film set of gorgeous gowns and unimaginable wealth of the scheming and treacherous families who dominate this historical novel, a picture of Tudor Britain told through the eyes of Mary Boleyn. Most people are familiar with Anne Boleyn‘s fate but not many know the story of how she rose to royalty and that her sister Mary plays a significant role in this. It is one of those books you can‘t bear to put down until your eyes are drooping and it is 3 o'clock in the morning. If you've seen the film, don't let it put you off from reading the book, it does the narrative no justice whatsoever.

- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I remember buying this book at a flea market in Brighton, where I lived whilst attending university. I finished it in a day and it stayed with me for a long time. It touches on subjects that many more established writers know to leave alone, but does so with an amount of grace and respect that makes it all worth while. The book tells the story of the young teenager Suzy Salmon and within the first ten pages of the book, we discover that little Suzy has been murdered. Suzy is telling her own story in the book- she looks down from her heaven during the years following her murder as she keeps tabs on her family and friends on earth. Susie gives readers all the gruesome details of her terrible murder and unfortunately her family and friends live without this knowledge and must come to terms with her disappearance which gives the book immense depth as their grief is expressed and dealt with in different ways.

Are there any books you’d recommend? What is your favourite genre? Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will qualify for a commission.

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