I always find blog posts like this UBER interesting – people’s favourite books are a little insight into their personality. To be honest, it’s hard to narrow down this list to only five books – reading is one of my favourite things to do, and when ever I fall head-over-heels in book love, I find myself changed.
Buutt, in the interests of brevity, I have narrowed down my picks. I chose to only pick books that I return to again and again, or that I think about constantly, months/years after I finished reading. (Also I didn’t choose Harry Potter because I’m pretty sure it’s changed most people who’ve read it, including me!)
1// The Hobbit by J. R. R Tolkien
The Hobbit was the first (non picture) book that I read. My dad would read it to me and my brother night after night, and as soon as we’d reached ‘The End’, he’d read it to us all over again. It was the first book I truly adored, the first book that I wanted to re-read and I am convinced that this book made me a reader.
ALSO, it made me want to go on an adventure just like Bilbo.
2// The Fairyland Series by Catherynne Valente
When I first started this blog, years and years go, one of my main reasons was because I was in a reading rut. I’d just read and re-read my childhood favourites and I wanted to branch out, reading rise. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was one of the first ‘new’ books I picked up, and I firmly believe it’s my soulmate in book form.
SERIOUSLY – this series is everything I want in a book series. It’s whimsical, magical, quirky, imaginative and SO MUCH FUN! The Fairyland series has become a series I read every year. I recently read the final book (cue sobbing) and it did not disappoint. This series made me want to be an author – I want to make people feel the way I do when reading the Fairyland series.
3// Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
This book is brilliant – it’s a great examination of what women have to put up with everyday, and reading the abuse recorded in this book is both enlightening and sad. I’ve always self identified as a feminist, but Everyday Sexism marked the start of when I really started to explore my feminism in an in depth manner. I started to read more blogs and books on feminism, wrote my dissertation from a feminist perspective and started writing for Viral Feminism.
4// The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This is the first book I ever read by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favourite writers. The Graveyard Book blew me away, and I’ve pretty much read every Gaiman book I can get my hands on since. I also went to a talk he did when his latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, was released and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve tried to explain my Gaiman love to my friends like this; he’s basically a literary rockstar. My friends all go crazy over bands and albums and gigs, and I do exactly the same for Neil Gaiman books and talks and Doctor Who episodes. I can’t explain why I love Gaiman’s work so much, just that it gets me in the gut.
5// Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone, by the UBER talented Leigh Bardugo, changed my life because it was the first time I was completely and utterly captivated by a Young Adult series. Normally I gravitate towards Middle Grade, but Shadow and Bone was kind of a game changer for me. It’s beautifully written, the plot is amazingly paced and packed full of action, and the characters are compelling and intricately drawn. Shadow and Bone (and the rest of the Grisha series) is, for me, a perfect example of why YA rocks. It made me realise that it is SO important to step out of my comfort zone, both in reading and in life.
What books have changed you?