THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED ME:
The Choice by Edith Eger
Those who know me know I am respectfully and incredibly fascinated by the stories of those who survived one of the most horrifying acts of genocide in history – the Holocaust. So much so, that I have tons of non-fictional texts that delve into the history and the experiences of this despicable time. What strikes my interest, is the character of these incredible people who fought daily battles to survive- the courage of character outdoing the dictatorship of evil. Edith Eger is a survivor whose strength, courage and determination burst through the ink on the pages and inspired me in ways I never knew possible.
THE BOOK THAT SURPRISED ME:
A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman
As beautiful as the cover is, this book sums up the phrase “never judge a book by its cover”. I say this in the most wonderful way possible. I presumed that the story would involve the key elements that it did – human relationships, a past that does not come to light until the end and general meetings of protagonist characters- but what I was wrong about, was the way in which these elements would be brought to light and were given life. The narrative perspective is written in a way that I had not encountered for a long time, delivering a powerfully, pleasant surprise. It felt as though I was reading something other than a fictional story- it felt like I was reading a beautiful, blended recount of real people, told from a very omnipotent being.
THE BOOK THAT FRUSTRATED ME:
The Absolutist by John Boyne
Originally, I was to call this book “the book that disheartened me” but when looking at the definitions of both, ‘frustrated’ seemed most appropriate. To be disheartened is to lose confidence and spirit, in which this book did not make me do, nor was this present within the story. Frustrated rang true for me after reading this book. To be frustrated is to be annoyed at your inability to change an outcome, in which I wished I could have done for the characters in this book. Now, do not confuse my frustration with a negative outlook on the plot or author; in fact, I was enthralled with this story! War fiction trumps all other fiction in my literature hierarchy, and it was refreshing to read about experiences of war that are not commonly known to make it into the pages of a text. The writing unearthed elements of character and human relationships within the war that are usually unlikely to be shown the light of day. It highlights the complexities of masculinity, bravery, and heroism and how all three can naturally interlink as powerfully as they can all be one another’s downfall. My wishing for alternative outcomes for these characters is where my idealistic frustrations come to play. However, the book would simply not be as incredible if the outcomes were to follow alternate paths and the realism of the effects of war would not be as vividly present.
THE BOOK THAT FOUNDED A LOVE FOR A NEW AUTHOR:
The Affair by Santa Montefiore
Another brilliant book that had been brushed to one side, awaiting it’s time to shine. Believe me when I say, it shone so brightly that I immediately fell in love with Santa Montefiore’s writing. From the first few chapters I knew that her writing style was just “me”. I felt as though she was narrating the story personally to me: her storytelling is so charismatically intimate, that I felt entwined with the pages as the words fell off the page into my charmed mind. As soon as this story ended, I went online and ordered more of her work. Now I have around 10 of her books and I cannot wait to purchase more!
THE BOOK THAT TRANSPORTED ME:
The Thread by Victoria Hislop
As a lover of stories that send me to far-off locations, this book mesmerised me with its ability to transport me to a different time and place. I was whisked off on this magic carpet of a book and landed amidst the history of a country I had never chanced upon before. I felt as though I was present in 1917 Thessaloniki, submerged in the culture, characters and plot. I will be forever grateful to Heslop for awakening the yearning inside of me, to read about other cultures and the events that occurred far and wide around the world.
THE BOOK THAT MOVED ME:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A book that had become a part of the furniture, sat awaiting its grand opening for over a year, soon became a novel that will always be referred to as “the one that moved me”. I had been told for years to “read this book!” so I hastily purchased it only to make it wait until I had finished other books ahead of it in the queue. Within the first few minutes of reading, I began absorbing the words on a deeper level than most of the books I had read prior. I could not believe it took me so long to read this sorrowful and sincere story!
THE BOOK THAT CAPTIVATED ME:
The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore
You will notice a running pattern here. Yes, you spotted it. Santa Montefiore again.
I tried to choose another book to win the spot of “the book that captivated me” and there were many contenders, however I could not budge this book from winning the gold! I was enthralled with the seemingly separate plots that gently connected as the story evolved. Throughout the book, I was constantly creating possible outcomes for the characters and my mind was never dormant whilst reading this captivating story, instead it was luring me to read on and on!
THE BOOK THAT MADE ME LAUGH:
A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan
What is reading in December without a Christmas inspired book?! I solely read Christmas books in the twelfth month to immerse in festive feelings! I always buy a selection of Christmas themed books at random and delve into the first one on the pile. For some reason, this one kept calling my name, so I made myself a pumpkin spiced latte, lit a fragrant candle and tucked away all cosily with the pages. Within the first few chapters, I had found myself laughing at various points of the plot. The story has an excellent mix of emotions at play, most prominently for me, would be the humour! It is not often that I laugh out loud at books, but this one made me giggle more times than I could count on my hands. Not only is it a book to make you smile, but it holds an unmissable festive feeling that will make you feel Christmassy in an instant!
Thanks for reading! Here’s to the many books of 2021!
The Choice by Edith Eger – https://dreditheger.com/the-choice/
A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Marvellous-Ways-Richard-Bestseller/dp/0755390938/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&hvadid=80264380429671&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=sarah+winman+a+year+of+marvellous+ways&qid=1609947357&sr=8-1&tag=mh0a9-21
The Absolutist by John Boyne – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Absolutist-John-Boyne/dp/0552775401
The Affair by Santa Montefiore – https://santamontefiore.co.uk/books/the-affair/
The Thread by Victoria Hislop – https://www.victoriahislop.com/the-thread/
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-kite-runner/khaled-hosseini/9781408824856
The Temptation of Gracie– https://santamontefiore.co.uk/books/the-temptation-of-gracie/
A Wedding in December – http://sarahmorgan.com/books/a-wedding-in-december/