Sunday, 16 October 2016

Top 10 All-Time Favourite Books

I have been wanting to write a list of my top ten favourite books for quite a while, and when I finally got around to doing it, I discovered it was a lot harder than I thought. Whilst I love nearly every book I read (I usually rate most of them 4 stars on Goodreads), it was hard to choose ten that I would gladly call my favourites.

For me, to call a book one of my "favourites" means I would read it a second, third, fourth and maybe a fifth time. I have only read two books twice - the first two on this list. Since there's still so many other books I'd like to read, I don't like to waste time re-reading ones I've already read. So here's ten books that I really do like, it's just that some I would happily read again, whilst others I wouldn't complain if I was made to read them again.

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I know you've probably heard far too much about this book or/and movie, so I won't go on about it too much. I first read the book in 2010, and then again around the time the movie came out, and I loved it both times. I loved the characters and all their individuality, and, as cliche as it may be, I adored Charlie and really wished I had someone like him in my life.

2. Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg.

Whenever anybody asks me what my favourite book is, I say this one - and every time, whoever I'm talking to has no idea what it is. No one I know has ever heard of it, but I still love it. I've read it twice, but they were both many years ago, and quite a few years apart. I can't recall all the events that occur, but I do know the reason it stuck inside my mind so much is that Callisto (the main character, named after one of Jupiter's moons - when I first read this book, I was really into space) categorises the people she knows into "Stars" and "Moons". "Stars" create their own light, whereas "Moons" borrow the light that the Stars emit. As I said, I can't really remember the plot since I read it so long ago, but it must be pretty good to get me to come back for more!

3. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.
I bought this book, gave it away, and then bought it again before I finally got around to reading it - and I'm so, so glad I did. It's a very gripping story of a doctor who delivered his own twins, only to discover that one of them had Down Syndrome, so he gives it to his nurse, who then runs away and raises the baby as her own. The book tells the story of both the family who are mourning with the loss of one of their children whilst trying to raise another, and the nurse whose plan to raise Phoebe gets a lot tougher as she gets older. It really is a wonderful book - 496, 918 people wouldn't have read it and reviewed on Goodreads for no reason.

4. Julia and Julia by Julie Powell.
I only knew about this book because of the movie, which I really wanted to see, but never did. I loved the idea of cooking every recipe in a cook book; it's actually one of my own personal goals (the only problem is that I can't cook), and the book was just as interesting as I had hoped. I was able to live vicariously through her stories of cooking the most outlandish and difficult meals, without having to actually go through the stress myself. However, I was also surprised by the emotional impact that this project had on Julie's life and marriage, and reading about all the fights and breakdowns was quite upsetting. That being said, I did really enjoy this book.

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I know I've talked about quite a few "household name" books so far, but I have discarded my habit of ignoring things that are popular just the for the sake of being "different". Things are popular for a reason, and I'm not going to deny myself the pleasure of truly great books just because everyone else likes them too. This book was another one that I enjoyed living vicariously through; I almost felt as I was really there, travelling the world, eating wonderful meals and falling in love (of course, I'm already head over heels in love, as those who follow my Instagram would know quite well). It was quite a journey reading about Elizabeth's adventures, and her path to self-discovery and happiness - one that I recommend you take, too.

6. Confessions of a GP by Benjamin Daniels.
I will buy any book that is in the non-fiction aisle and starts with "Confessions of a...". So far I have read three of them (this one, Confessions of a Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon, and Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant), and they have all been shocking and wonderful and sometimes scarring. Confessions of a GP is filled with jaw-dropping stories of some of the strangest medical stories that will make you feel incredibly normal. Certainly a good book to read if you're looking for some interesting anecdotes to tell at your next dinner party - actually, scratch that. I wouldn't recommend telling these stories if anyone is wishing to eat, and hold down their food.

7. The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton.
This book is basically filled with reasons why you shouldn't feel so bad about yourself, according to philosophy. Now I know philosophy isn't everyone's cup of tea, but this book was filled with a lot of facts and different points of view that I wouldn't have considered otherwise. Alain really knows his stuff when it comes to philosophy, and his work is quite easy to follow, making it perfect for those who are new to the subject.

8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

This book is incredibly bittersweet. It's so brilliant and well-written, which only makes it more heartbreaking. The entire time Anne is in hiding she remains positive and caring, and even falls in love. She is truly a one-of-a-kind person. When you get to the end, where her entries just stop, it's like a slap in the face - but I think the journey is worth the heartbreaking end.

9. The Real Mrs. Brown by Brian Beacom.
I love Mrs. Brown's Boys. Comedy has such a special place in my heart, it's what I always turn to in times of struggle. It's the only thing that can take me out of my own mind. I mostly like watching stand up comedians, but I also enjoy the funny sitcom here and there (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Big Bang Theory, Friends, etc), and Mrs. Brown's Boys is definitely one of my favourites. I don't usually bother buying DVDs anymore, since Netflix has been invented and I don't watch things that often anyway, but Mrs. Brown's Boys (along with Big Bang Theory) is one show that I always buy. I knew that most of the cast was made up of friends and family of Brendan (AKA 'Mammy'), and I always wondered how that came to be about, so when I found a biography about him, I had to pick it up. Auto/biographies are a genre of books that I love, and this book showed what a really great guy Brendan is.

10. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
I read this book before I watched the movie, and I'm honestly sorry that I ever watched the movie. I enjoyed it the entire time, until they COMPLETELY CHANGED THE ENDING. I won't give away anything, although I'm sure most of you have either read the book or seen the movie, but I still have to say HOW ANGRY IT MADE ME. The reason I loved the book so much was because the ending was so unexpected! It was a plot twist! It literally made me gasp out loud and nearly drop the book! The movie just did what everybody expected! If you've only seen the movie, I sincerely recommend forgetting it exists, and picking up the book instead. While you're at it, read some other Jodi Picoult books too, she's a great writer.


In case you're wondering, these photos aren't of my entire book collection. I left out any series I own, most of my art books, most of my poetry books, and at least 30 others that I just forgot/couldn't be bothered to pick up when I was taking these photos. I was toying with the idea of doing a book collection post, but these photos were difficult enough. Until I own my own house, and can have a separate room for all my books, I don't think I'll ever be able to properly photograph my entire collection. I honestly cannot believe how many books I have acquired over the last 3 years.

Until next time,

Indya xx

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