Today is World Book Day in the UK, which probably won’t mean much to you unless a) you’re a school pupil and you’ve been asked to dress up as your favourite book character for the day (in which case, PLEASE tell me you’ve dressed up as something other than Harry bleeding Potter), or b) you’re a massive bookworm who loves nothing more than curling up on the sofa with a good read. Like me.
I love books. They are my favourite form of escapism – my valium, my marijuana. If I’m feeling down about something, I find the best remedy is to open a great book and immerse myself in an entirely new world. Books are sexy; let’s face it, ladies, if you’re a bookworm, there’s nothing hotter than a guy who reads. And if he’s also physically hot, then you’re onto a winner.
So in honour of the yearly event that celebrates my greatest passion, I’ve decided to write a list of some great books. These aren’t necessarily ‘all time favourites’ although a couple of them are. They’re a mixture of recent great reads and timeless books that I cannot get enough. Add them to your reading list if you haven’t already read them!
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
I read this classic a few years back and all I could think was ‘this is bloody awesome.’ It also scares me slightly how prophetic Orwell was.
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
In one word? Magical. That’s what this book is. During the whole time I was reading it I found myself wishing I could write something as enchanting. Morgenstern made me wish that this wandering magic circus existed (note: for the few days that it took me to read it, that circus existed in my head, and it was wonderful).
Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo
I recently devoured this book in less than two days. Boo spent a few years in one of Mumbai’s most notorious slums and wrote about some of the people who live there. Unlike the movie Slumdog Millionaire, there was no happy, nicely tidied up ending to her book. And I loved that about Behind the Beautiful Forevers, because, let’s face it – this is what real life is like for some people.
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A very dear friend of mine bought me Half of a Yellow Sun, one of Adichie’s other books, and I absolutely loved it. I was very happy to find that Americanah also didn’t disappoint. The story, which is of a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the US for a university education and ends up staying to work, is beautifully written. She’s become one of my favourite authors!
Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey
This is another recent read that I couldn’t get enough of. Maud, an aging grandma, is slowly losing her memory, but she’s refusing to forget her friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing. The book is a real page turner – it’s no wonder that it won the Costa first novel prize 2014.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is pure escapism in a book. I absolutely loved Holly Golightly and her puckish ways. I watched the movie after reading the book, and while I enjoyed it, it had nothing on the written version.
Over to you – what are some of your favourite books?