Everyone has a list of their favourite books of all time. Well maybe not a physical list, but definitely an idea floating around in their subconscious, of the books that they could read again and again, or that only needed reading once, but packed a massive punch. For those of us who have a passion for reading, the list of all time favourite reads can get a little long. But if you had to pick a top… 5… What would they be..? Here are our top 5 reads each and why we love them so much. Do you agree? What are your favourites? Let us know.
Becca chose —>
What a hard task. OK, I have picked my five. Number one is my favourite and the other four are in no particular order, they are just great. 🙂
TOP READ : Blindsighted – Karin Slaughter. I love it. Basically, anything by Karin Slaughter could be on this list. But this was where it all began for me. Number one in her Grant County series. We’ve got super relatable characters – flawed and normal. A small country-bumpkin town, where everyone knows everyone else, and their business. A main character we empathise with and root for. And of course, a grisly murder! As Karin’s books go on we get to know the characters more and that is what I love about her books – a group of people we can grow with, as we get to know them. Sara and Jeffery are the original couple. (But, without giving anything away, I also do love Will. We just don’t meet him yet). Lena is another character here that we get to know more and more as the series progresses – however, I do NOT like her. She is just so rude and unlikable. But we need her in these stories, she has a big part to play. Blindsighted is gruesome, it is gory, it is everything we love about Slaughter’s books.
2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer. My favourite books contain murder, blood, guts, gore, knives, guns, chills, thrills and bad, baaad people. This book has none of those things! I read this when I wanted something light to read. It happened to be around the time the film was coming out, so I thought I’d give it a go. And I loved it. It is such a lovely, sweet read. The characters are all so warm and friendly and you just want to go to Guernsey and make friends with all of them. When this story finished I didn’t want it to. I had borrowed this from Kate and so I went out and bought my own copy as soon as I had given it back to her. It is written in an epistolary style, whereby we have letters/telegrams back and forth between the characters. I’ve never read anything like this before, and I’m not sure I would again, but it was a great book.
3. The Nanny – Melissa Nathan. One of the first proper books I ever read and really REALLY enjoyed. Again, this is not my kind of book. It is about a girl who starts nannying for a well-to-do, wealthy family in London. They have three kids together, and the dad has an older child from his first marriage. We go through all the trials and tribulations of being a nanny in a family so different from what she’s known before. And ultimately there is a love story between the main character and the elder son (he’s a grown up, don’t worry). It is funny. It is easy to read. It is sentimental to me and so had to be on this list.
4. Scream For Me – Karen Rose. As I mentioned above in the Karin Slaughter entry, and as I mention in ALL my Karen Rose reviews, the thing I love most about KR books, are the characters. There are so many in the romantic suspense series of 20+ books and counting that KR has produced. We started with a small group, and with each new entry we get a new family member to include. This one is the 8th in the overall Romantic Suspense series, but the 2nd in the Daniel Vartanian series. This is a heart pounding read, with all the gore and terror you’d expect from KR. It has stuck with me since I read it ten years ago, and I think that is why it is in my top 5.
5. A Perfect Evil – Alex Kava. As with Karin Slaughter and Karen Rose, Alex Kava is one of my top authors. No list would be complete without an entry from one of the Maggie O’Dell series. I chose Perfect Evil as it is the first in the series (well there is now a prequel, but really this is the first), and it is where we get to meet our titular heroine for the first time. She is tough, beautiful, clever, vulnerable and she has risen to the top of her profession, which by all accounts is a male dominated career – the FBI. This book deals with the emotional aftermath of Maggie chasing and apprehending an infamous serial killer by the name of Albert Stuckey. She goes to a small town where small boys are being brutally murdered to find another killer, before he strikes again. We meet Nick Morelli in this one, and I love him. He is adorable. 🙂
That was fun and exhausting, also I feel bad that I have not got a CL Taylor or a Michael Connelly on there. Damn, why didn’t we do 10 favourite books?? …. because then we would have wanted 15 favourite… and so on. 🙂
Kate Chose –>
First of all I want to say, SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!? Asking me to pick just five books is an impossible task. Why don’t you just ask me to pick five of my favourite lipsticks??? Actually that might be easier. These are my ‘If -all- my- books- were -stolen’ books that I would replace first…..
Joint Top Read – Part 1, A Court Of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.
I can’t pick a favourite, I really can’t but I think we all know that A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas holds a very very special place in my heart. This is the second book in Maas’ A Court Of series, I tend to think of book 1 ( A Court of Thorns and Roses) as the starter, sure its good and tasty but its not enough on its own. This though, is the main event, I could go on and on about it, which I have, right here.
Joint Top Read – Part 2, – The Mortal Instruments – The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
I love this book as this is where I feel that my love affair with reading was reignited after university. I was 22 and had moved away from my Harry Potter/ Twilight fangirl reading phase and was reading more adult books – Hello Mr Grey! I found a lot of these books to be really gross and depressing – missing children, divorce, affairs- or just plain insipid and boring ie the main character is slightly kooky and runs a café and falls in love with the local lumber jack or something like that.
Then one day my friend and I went to see the final movie in the Twilight saga and lo and behold there was a trailer for the film adaption of this – I had never heard of it before, but there was something about ‘ All the stories are true’ that made me get hold of the book and that was it, I was hooked! Yes at my age I probably shouldn’t be picking up my books in the ‘Teen’ section of the bookstore but seriously the teens really do get all of the good books.
Briefly, City of Bones is about Clary, a 16 year old artist who finds out that yes ‘all the stores are true’ and by stories we mean Vampires, Warlocks, Demons and other things that go bump in the night and that her Mother has been abducted and with the help of the Shadowhunters – angelic humans blessed by the angels to keep the balance, Clary will stop at nothing to get her mother back – including embracing her sleeping Shadowhunter self. I really don’t think that I can sum up Clare’s outstanding fantasy world in a few sentences but lets just say I am so ‘Team Clace’ and very relieved when Jace was ( spoiler alert) not her brother.
Trust me, Clare will almost get you rooting for Team ‘are-they-or-are-they-not-brother and sister’ Eww but majorly addictive and brilliant.
And if you thought you loved Malec in the TV show, just wait and see how much you love them in the far superior in every way book series.
3, After The Last Dance by Sarra Manning – when I was compiling my list of top 5 books I knew I had to include Sarra Manning on the list, but which book?
I gave serious consideration to ‘Unsticky’, Manning’s first foray into adult fiction after being firmly in the YA sphere. ‘You don’t have to say you love me’ which is indeed a hug in a mug if ever there was one. But what about her YA roots? How about her first book ‘Guitar Girl’? Or the first Manning book I read ‘Diary of a Crush: French Kiss’? or ‘Let’s Get Lost’?
Well Let’s Get Lost was almost my pick, but this was the choice I kept revising, it was always going to be a Sarra Manning book but I simply couldn’t pick. In the end, it had to be this one – After the Last Dance.
This was another slight change in genre from Manning, first she was YA, then she branched out into grown up fiction (I don’t want to call her books Chick-Lit) and with this one she swerves into Historical maybe even historical romance fiction. It is also the first time Manning has written from two points of view in two time periods. In Blitz torn London we have Rose, a young lady who is determined to live life to the full and not sit out the war in the countryside. Then we have Jane who is in present day London, Jane may look and sound like an ice princess but behind that scheming and calculating exterior there is a troubled past. A chance encounter finds the two women together and perhaps they are what the other has always needed.
4. Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling – I had to include one Harry Potter in here – and this one is by far my favourite. I originally read the Harry Potter books out of order as I read the Chamber of Secrets first which I borrowed from the school, then my Aunt bought me Prisoner of Azkaban and after that I was hooked and I can still remember convincing my Mum to buy me Goblet of Fire in the ‘big’ Tesco one day in the summer holiday – she thought I wouldn’t read such a big book, sorry Mum, but she then had to buy me Philosophers Stone a week later and then my own copy of Chamber of Secrets the week after that as I had devoured it so quickly. Like many bookworms my age- I think I can place my love of reading firmly on JK Rowling with a good dose also handed to Enid Blyton (how much did I want to be in the Famous Five?) and Jacqueline Wilson.
5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
The love letter to all book worm obsessed fangirls. We all may wish to volunteer as tribute with Katniss or receive our letter from Hogwarts – but honestly, how long would we really actually survive in that world?
Instead, I think we are all a lot more like Cath in reality – at least I am.
Cath is our Queen Fangirl; she even writes Simon Snow fan fiction in her free time and is completely obsessed with the fictional world that the fictional author Gemma T Davies has created. Fangirl follows Cath in the biggest year of her life, Gemma T Davies is a year shy of releasing the final instalment in her series and Cath needs to follow her own Simon Snow fanfic before Gemma T Davies ends the series, oh and it’s also Cath’s first year of college.
As a twin Cath has always had her sister Wren beside her, Wren was part of her fangirl lifestyle but was always the more adventurous and outgoing of the two. Wren has decided that college is a time to start again and she drifts away from the fandom and pledges to a sorority. Cath on the other hand lives in a dorm on campus with a complete stranger. Left to her own devices we witness Cath’s struggle with discovering herself and the world outside of being a twin, she struggles at time, but with help from her scary but lovable roommate, Reagan and the enigmatic Levi. Cath flourishes, deals with academic difficulties, family drama and finally writers her fanfic happy ending.
Interwoven into the story we have snippets of either the official Simon Snow story from Gemma T Davies, or from Cath’s own writing. By the end you find yourself as invested in Simon and his battle to defeat the humdrum as you are in Cath’s personal story. Thankfully Rainbow Rowell felt the same as there have now been two sequels of sorts to Fangirl in the continuing adventures of Simon Snow (Carry On & Wayward Son). Oh yes, what started off as a story within a story is now two actual book’s in their own right!
So there you have our top 5 books. Have you read any of them? Are any of them your favourites too?
Kate and Becca x