Books

Top 5: Books

Oh hi laundry

If you haven’t picked up by my monthly book posts, I am a big fan of reading. Whilst I’ve been blogging about the books I’ve read in the past few months, I thought I might mention some previous reads that I’ve really loved. I also have way more than five favourites, so this is probably the beginning of a series!

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I picked this off my GCSE English teacher’s classroom bookshelf and just immediately fell in love. From it’s famous opening line ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again‘ du Maurier just sucked me straight into this gothic tale. It tells the story of an unnamed narrator who is working as a ladies companion in Monaco when she meets widowed Maxim de Winter. A whirlwind romance later, she accompanies him home to his large estate, Manderley. It is there that she realises things may not be all that they seem with Maxim, and that some people-especially the delightfully wicked Mrs Danvers-are keen to keep the ghost of Rebecca haunting the house. Du Maurier is now one of my favourite authors and I really recommend reading this as a ‘classic that doesn’t feel like a classic’.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
I very rarely cry at books, but I sobbed through the last few pages of this novel. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is the story of Max, a young boy whose father is killed in the 9/11 attacks. He discovers a key inside an envelope which is convinced will explain to him why his father died. Interwoven into Max’s story is the story of his grandfather, still dealing with the aftermath of surviving the bombing of Dresden. This is beautifully written and moving without (in my opinion) being manipulative. It deals with love and loss and family and urgh it’s just a really beautiful book. I’m impatiently awaiting Safran Foer’s next novel.

A little glimpse at the multimedia used throughout the novel.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I didn’t read this in school, so was probably pretty late to the Fitzgerald party. In case you have no idea what happens, The Great Gatsby follows Nick Carraway, a young man who moves in next door to a sprawling estate owned by the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. No one knows anything about him, aside from the fact that he throws hugely popular parties; which could be aimed at winning back a lost love. Gatsby is pretty bleak; everyone is pretty awful and the final message of the novel isn’t particularly upbeat. However, it is pretty darn perfect when it comes to the writing. Every word feels perfectly chosen and those famous opening and closing passages are famous for a reason. If, like me, you haven’t picked this up yet-you really, really should.

My edition is the gorgeous Tiffany’s designed edition; which narrowly survived water damage when my room flooded at uni (really).

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

David Levithan is a pretty popular Young Adult author, but The Lover’s Dictionary is his first foray into adult writing (although it is still accessible for mature YA readers). It tells the story of a relationship in the form of non-linear dictionary entries. It’s brilliant and makes up about 95% of my Goodreads quotes.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

I figured I would throw in a non-fiction title to this list as well. Susan Cain first came to my attention after her TED talk on the differences between extroverts and introverts. I, as well as a lot of people, always felt that the former was the thing to aspire to and as an introvert myself desperately wanted to avoid the ‘people-hating’ label that the term seems to have. Quiet tackles this division head on, by first explaining how introverts don’t hate everyone, they just lose energy when interacting with people rather than gaining energy from this. Cain explores different societies and the positives that can come from being an introvert, as opposed to using it is a character trait that needs to be changed-I’m sure I’m not the only one who had school reports telling me I was too quiet in class, something that Cain tackles head on. This book was a bit of a welcoming hug for me, and I recommend it to introverts and extroverts alike.

What are some of your favourites? Or do you have any recommendations based on these?
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