My top 5 books of all time!

personal | writing
Couple hold up books in front of their faces

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I love reading.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been a big reader. I am more than happy to be known as ‘the bookworm’, ‘book geek’ or whatever else you can think of!

A perfect day for me would be feet up in a comfortable chair with a hot chocolate and my head in a good book. Literally nothing better than that.

So it seems only natural that I should share with you my top 5 list of favourite books… of all time! I suspect, though, that this is going to be pretty tough.

I should point out that these are in no particular order of preference…

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

It’s probably ironic that one of a book lover’s favourite books is about the lives inside books…

I was first introduced to Jasper Fforde by my sister, ooh, probably a good 10 years ago now. This book, the first from the Thursday Next series, is like nothing you will have read before. Guaranteed. Fforde creates a weird alternative dimension of a place you might be half-familiar with (Swindon) and throws just enough crazy into the mix that you first wonder what in the hell you’re reading and then, later, wonder how on earth you’d never read it before. Literally every book Fforde has ever written (his Nursery Crimes series is genius as is the stand-alone ‘Shades of Grey’) transports you into worlds beyond anything you could possibly imagine. I would bloody love to see inside this man’s head! Thursday Next is the heroine of the series and you can’t help but love her from the get-go.

Seriously, read these books if you haven’t already! You will not regret losing half your night to them!

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Now before you groan and wonder why on earth I’m listing a religious book in my top five, hear me out.

I don’t actually remember how I was introduced to this book but when I read the blurb on the back I’m pretty sure I wrinkled my nose up in disgust and thought to myself, “Ugh, I am not going to enjoy this!” I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Red Tent came out at a time before modern feminism had really seemed to gain any kind of foothold and, for me, was one of the precursors of some amazing books now in circulation. The story is set several thousand years ago and centres around a little known woman from the Old Testament of the Bible – Dinah. Even if you’ve read the Bible, you probably don’t remember Dinah because, as with most women in the book, she got very little mention.

From a single line of text, Diamant has created a fictional masterpiece about the lives of women in those times and it really is a fascinating and well-written read.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

This book sat on my shelf for the longest time, I’m ashamed to say. It had been bought for me as a gift and I’d read the blurb and not really found myself captured by it. Also, the size of the book was more than a little intimidating!

If you’ve read the story of Dracula and loved it then this is definitely a book for you. This book is a modern retelling of the story of Dracula, set in amongst an epic adventure to some beautifully described places. It’s this book that has left me with a longing to visit Istanbul! It’s incredibly descriptive, beautifully written and I can’t say enough that it’s a book well worth reading and well worth keeping. It still sits on my shelves now.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I was wandering around the bookstore at JFK airport, as you do, waiting for our flight back to the UK, when I stumbled across this book. I started reading the book as we got onto our flight and, 8 hours later, when we arrived in London, I had finished it – I literally could not put this book down. The imagery and descriptions throughout the book were so overwhelmingly powerful that I could actually see them in my mind and I promptly waved the book at my friend, Kelly, demanding she read it. She felt the same about it and when we heard it was going to be a film, we immediately made arrangements to go and see it together (side note: don’t bother with the film, it’s reeeeallllly disappointing).

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

It seems only right to finish with this book. Non-fiction and a book all about being creative. I read this one on an entire flight as well, this time the 3-hour flight to Malta. And I’ve read it several times since and will continue to keep on reading. If you are creative in even the smallest way; or have desires to be, or if you run your own business; if you write or draw or take pictures for fun – then this book is so much for you. It will inspire you and invigorate you, it’ll make you laugh and cry and nod and gasp and clutch it to your chest (I did all these things while reading it – yes, on the plane, in front of other people…). And it will linger with you for a long time afterwards. Buy it immediately, I absolutely insist you do!

So there you have it… my top 5 books of all time.

Throw me on a desert island with these 5 and I’ll bloody love you forever 😉 What are your favourite books?