Yesterday I stumbled upon the wonderful Broke and Bookish blog and saw their weekly feature/meme Top Ten Tuesday. I haven’t joined in with any memes or features yet and this one seems like the perfect way to get started, mainly because I don’t have university on Tuesdays, so I know I’ll always be able to join in. (yay!)
OK, so I definitely decided to start on the HARDEST week. I have literally spent the whole day trying to narrow my list down to ten books. I kept thinking I had it down and then BAM a forgotten gem popped into my head. But.. after much deliberation, lists, mind changing and checking and re-checking my Goodreads reviews, I’ve got it. A lot of these books have their own reviews on my blog, because why wouldn’t I review my favourite books!? So if they do I will put a sneaky link in so you can a little read! (If you want to of course, it’s OK if you don’t).
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
This book is mind blowing. Really mind blowing. Even though it was written in 1932 I felt that everything in the book was still so relevant. I only read it last year, but it was immediately one of my favourite books. If you want to read some really boring (for some) critical psychoanalytical uni stuff about it head here!
The Girls – Emma Cline
I did some work experience with Vintage (Penguin Random House) this year and this was one of the books I saw whilst working there. It really caught my eye, so I preordered it and starting reading the day it came out. I can’t even describe all of the feels this book gives. Sadness, weariness, happiness and full on creeped out-ness. I wrote a review where I gush over this book in a lot more detail. You can find it here!
Northern Lights (His Dark Materials) – Philip Pullman
I’ve put Northern Lights, but really the whole series should be there. This was one of the books that got me as thoroughly obsessed with books as I am now. The world that Pullman creates in all three books is just so mesmerising.
Middlemarch – George Elliot / North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
I know. I’m cheating. BUT in my defence I had to have a Victorian book on this list because I bloody love the Victorians (especially their literature) and I just couldn’t decide. Middlemarch could probably be read as one of the most boring books on the planet, but to me it is wonderful. The full title is Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life and that is exactly what it is. So for me to read about Victorian life in all its glory was a hands down win. North and South is there just because it is such a beautiful well written love story, that shows the effects of the Industrial Revolution so perfectly. Full review for North and South is here!
A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
Just a really really wonderful, and at times slightly intense, fantasy story about Witches, Vampires and Daemons. I read a lot of YA fantasy books and it was really quite refreshing to read one written for adults. Full review here!
Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom) – Garth Nix
When I say Mister Monday I mean the whole series, I couldn’t choose just one. They’re all so bloody great. This is another series that I read when I was young and is partly responsible for my outrageous book addiction. These books are SO underrated, I don’t understand how. If you haven’t read them, do it. Do it now. They are seven fantasy/bildungsroman books set in the most amazing world, with each book being about a character named after a day of the week. Nix creates a world, and characters, like no other and the whole concept is fantastic.
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Yellow Wallpaper is a short autobiographical story about one woman’s descent into madness (well that is how I read it anyway). It tells the tale of a new mother who is clearly suffering post-natal depression. She is locked away by her husband (a doctor) and prescribed ‘The Rest Cure’ (a real type of cure in the Victorian era). I found this book so moving and heart wrenching. The Yellow Wallpaper is the reason I realised I wanted to study English and History. I became obsessed with the history behind a book after reading this. Its effects have clearly stayed with me because I am doing my dissertation on Victorian Women and Mental Illness in Literature!
The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton
Another of my childhood favourites and one of the first books I can remember reading and enjoying so much I couldn’t put it down. I can still re-read Enid Blyton’s books now and enjoy them as much as I did when I was young.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
Well obviously, right?! The whole series is amazing, but The Goblet of Fire holds a special place in my heart. When I was a child and totally oblivious to the wonderful Wizarding World my mum bought home this book. For the most part I was totally confused, because I didn’t have a clue what was happening. I of course, then realised there where three books prior to this one, but I was already infatuated. Since then I have read and re-read the whole series so many times I have lost count.
The BFG / The Twits / Matilda – Roald Dahl
Cheating again, I know. But they are all by the same author!
All three books stayed with me throughout childhood and through to adulthood. I still have the copies my Grandmother bought for me as a child, and I can still go back and read them with as much enjoyment as I did then. And what Bookworm doesn’t relate to Matilda right?! Dahl’s stories are beautiful and moving, and should be read by every child at least once.