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If you hang around with me on socials you’ll know that I’m a big reader. Always have been, though there have been fluctuations in what I read and how often. Currently I’m averaging around 6-8 books a month, time to read is one of the upsides of self-employment.
Reading for Wellbeing
It’s always been my go to for relaxing, much more so that TV though that has its place. I love films too, it’s well-told stories that I really gravitate towards. Films are a feast for the eyes and ears, books are so immersive I can lose myself for hours: I read The Shack by William Paul Young in a day, it fully enveloped me.
Reading is good for learning, it’s good for relaxing, it’s good for taking ourselves to another place and time away from all that surrounds us.
Recently I was asked to draw up a list of books I love, not ones I think I ought to love or have found interesting but those I have loved reading. I’ll give my list here, but fair warning, it’s hard for me to pick one book out from a series from an author I enjoy reading! Also, these are stories I loved when I read them, I’m not a re-reader, the only books I’ve re-read have been those that I read aloud to my boys and have often found it does not improve my opinion of them! Hence no Harry Potter on the list.
So here we go, in no particular order:
Ink by Alice Broadway (I love this whole series by Alice, the world building is exquisite, the premise of the story so unusual)
How To Stop Time by Matt Haig (this is my favourite of all of Haig’s books)
The Shack by William Paul Young (fully immersive, such an alternative view of faith and the miraculous)
The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley (you might already know that Riley’s Seven Sisters series was completed by her son after she died, there are 8 books in the series and I would recommend each one)
Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (a pen name of JK Rowling for this detective series - she’s a masterful storyteller despite my disenchantment with the HP series)
The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman (another masterful storyteller, I’ve enjoyed most of the Thursday Murder Club series but this is one the best!)
The Secret of Villa Alba by Louise Douglas (I am an absolute sucker for dual timeline stories and I love a good mystery that keeps me guessing all the way to the end. This delivers on both counts)
The Creek by LJ Ross (Ross is a British writer who has a whole series of detective novels set in Northumberland that are very good, but I enjoyed this series of books set in Cornwall more)
The In Death series by JD Robb (a pen name for Nora Roberts, a prolific author and excellent world builder)
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan (I love stories that happen in other places around the world, especially when the time and place is so well incorporated into the story)
The Lido by Libby Page (such a beautiful story about an unlikely friendship that brings so much love and laughter to each of the key woman)
The Diamond Daughter by Janet McLeod Trotter (another historical series set in another country, the author weaves a tale of family and loss through each of these stories)
Inspired by Rachel Held Evans (RHE has had such a huge impact on my faith it’s difficult to overstate how much I love her writing. This book is just brilliant and definitely one I would re-read, if I could keep hold of a copy long enough!)
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallet (such an unusual way of telling a story, at least I thought it was until realising Bram Stoker’s Dracula uses similar techinques! I loved the way this story enfolds, with a rather brilliant ending)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (I LOVED this story, but not so enamoured with her other book Daisy and the Six!)
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (a beautiful tale set in the early 20th century, the story gripped me and pulled me in)
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (combining crime solving with magic this series is an excellent read)
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (I read the Ann-with-an-e books as a teenager and loved everything about them)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (I read this for my English A Level and it’s never really left me)
The Far Pavilions by MM Kaye (a sweepingly epic story culminating in early 20th Century India. It absolutely took my breath away!)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (this is one I’ve re-read to my boys which has fared better. I’m less keen on the others in the series though)
The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene (I think I read most of these, certainly everyone I could get my hands on from our local library as a teenager!)
What about you?
So then, what about your list of beloved books? What would be on there?
Also, if you have recommendations to make based on the above, let’s hear them!
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