Books are so much more to us than just words on a page. I’m sure all bookworms have their all-time favourite books which are special to them in their own way, so today I want to talk about a few of my favourites and why they mean so much to me!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I’ve read this book 3 times and it is by far one of my favourites. I absolutely adore the film adaptation too – which is also one of my favourite films. But the reason I love this book so much is because it spoke to me about exactly how I was feeling when I didn’t really know what to feel. It kind of, in a weird way, made me realise that everything was going to be okay. I remember reading this book for the first time in 2012; I’d just quit my college course and my volunteer placement in a school because my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t handle it and it was making me ill. I didn’t have a job, or a hobby (this was way before book blogging!) or a plan and I felt completely and utterly lost. I got in the bath one day with this book, eager to start it and the line on page 1, “I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be” spoke out to me like nothing ever has before. I was happy that I’d quit my course which I wasn’t enjoying but I was sad that I was now back to square one. I didn’t know how to feel and it was like that line had been written for me.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching and devastating books I have ever read. I’ve read it twice and again, own the film adaptation which is now one of my favourites too. For me, it was one of those books that you literally couldn’t believe an author, a normal person, had strung those sentences together to create such a outstanding piece of art (because that’s what literature is, isn’t it? Art). Whenever I’ve read The Book Thief I’ve taken so long on every paragraph, every sentence, every word to try and breathe every aspect of the book in. The Book Thief summed up for me the intense power of books and words on the human soul. How incredibly meaningful and essential they are to life. It made me appreciate books and writing and words more than I ever have done before and as cliché as this sounds, I honestly don’t think I’ve looked at books in the same way since. I don’t think words could ever do justice to this book, which is ironic, considering that’s what the entire book is about.
Looing for Alaksa by John Green
I read The Fault in Our Stars as my first John Green book and loved it; it’s an incredible book but when I got my hands on Looking for Alaska, I could see and appreciate the extent of John Green’s talent, immensely unique and intense talent for writing and particularly, creating characters. Alaska is one of my all-time favourite heroines; although I can imagine a lot of people disagreeing with that. I love how beautifully messed up she is yet how her friends still massively admire her. I love the mystery that surrounds her and the story that evolves. Alaska, in some weird way, made me want to be more adventurous and care-free and not to worry so much about our insecurities and problems because everyone has them. She also has her “Life’s Library” in her college room; a room so full of books that she always has something to read, which I loved and that in itself encouraged me to buy more books! (Now my bookcase is overflowing!) I also adored the “last words” aspect of the book; Miles, the main character loves memorizing famous peoples last words – which is something you can find in most, if not all, John Green’s stories. Weird little quirks to make his characters memorable and unique.
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I really like these three books too, The Book Thief I have recently read and it is definitely one of my all time favourites. It is true there is so much content to it, so many rich messages and beautiful characters, it is a lot to take in. And it is also so emotional and the ending is devastating. I love it though, such a good book 🙂 Love your blog btw!
I totally agree with what you say about The Book Thief – the emotion in that book is palpable. I literally cried for 3 hours when it finished haha! Thank you so much 🙂
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I really must give The Book Thief another chance, and more John Green is certainly on my list.
The books that mean a lot to me are:
1. Harry Potter. I grew up with it!
2. The Humans. The chapter ‘Advice for a human’ makes me so happy and cry so much at the same time that it will always be one of my favourites
3. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It’s just lovely!
Ooh you must! I don’t like forcing books upon people but The Book Thief is AMAZING! In fact, I tried to read it but it was so uniquely written that I didn’t understand it – so I watched the film first and it REALLY helped! I really want to read The Humans – have heard such great things about that one! 🙂 xo
I’m so impressed you managed to narrow it down to three! Book Thief sounds great. I read a bit and liked it, but the ebook file was messed up and I never got back to it again. Must remedy that.
For me, The Name of the Wind is first, but I’d have to pour through my shelves to figure out the rest.
I definitely could have included more! But these were the 3 that really stuck out – particularly Perks & The Book Thief. That’s a shame that the eBook messed up 🙁 I hope you get around to it again and enjoy it! I’ve never heard of The Name of the Wind! xo
Fantastic post, Jenny! I haven’t read any of those books and they are all now at the top of my TBR list!
The book I always go back to as my favourite is Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume. I first read it when I was 12 and must’ve read it about a hundred times throughout my teenage years. It really helped me through a difficult time, and was the first book that made me realise how powerful words can be. I felt like that book was written for me and that I found it at the exact moment I needed it, and it made me feel less alone. It also made me realise I wanted to tell stories one day!
Thanks Jaimie! I hope you enjoy them 🙂
Awh, that’s a lovely reason why it’s your favourite! I’ve never read it but can see it means a lot to you. Books have a magical way in turning up just at the right time don’t they? That’s exactly how I felt with Perks.
I’ve not read any of these! Maybe I’ll have to have a look… My favourite is Delirium by Lauren Oliver – if you haven’t read the series, it’s well worth a look! It’s all about love being a disease and you get ‘cured’ from it! xx
Wow, that sounds incredibly intriguing! I’ll definitely look out for that one. I have a Lauren Oliver book sitting on my shelf waiting to be read actually! 🙂 xo
It was amazing! I love the idea that love might be a disease and we’re just all in this state of delerium. I definitely recommend! xx
Lovely post, Jenny – I won’t get into my favourite books or I’ll be here all day, and I have my own to write, ha ha! It’s hard to say what they mean to you, isn’t it? But always good to read a post by someone who just adores the written word.
Haha! I could have gone on for much longer and included many many more books in this post but was afraid the post would be six hundred pages too long haha! Thanks Terry 🙂 It is quite hard to describe quite how much and exactly why something means so much to you!
I love to laugh, it takes me away from the turgid world we sometimes share. The Wilt series of books by Tom Sharpe are very important to me. In fact all his books are, they make me laugh (out loud) and they have a Englishness about them that I love. Great post and interesting choices.
Thanks Gavin, I love to laugh too which is funny considering all these books are pretty morbid! Hahah. I haven’t read or heard of that one you mentioned but will look it up 🙂 Thanks for commenting! xo
A great post although I would struggle to choose just three books. There are books I return to because they mean something to me like Shadow Baby by Margaret Forster, A Christmas Carol and then beloved books from childhood like Carrie’s War but this is by no means a definitive list and changes on my mood.
I could have easily included more books in this post but wanted to try and narrow it down to my absolute favourites – otherwise I would have been here all day! A Christmas Carol has cropped up more than once as someone’s favourite book, it must be a particularly special book and must add it to my to-read. My favourites also differ slightly depending on my mood too! Thanks for your comment 🙂 xo
My favourite book has always been A Christmas Carol by Dickens. It was given to me as a gift by a friend in my teens. On first reading i found it scary when the first ghost appears and stopped reading but later tried again and fell in love with it and the way it makes me feel about the season. I have re-read it so many times since around Christmas time and even though im now in my 50’s I still feel excited and Christmassy when its mentioned. Its been years now so im due for another re-read..
Coming a close second though would be the entire Harry Potter series. I only picked the first one up to see what all the fuss was about. I think book 3 was already out at the time so i had some catching up to do. I raced through them and introduced them to my son who was the perfect age at the time. By the time was got to numbers 6 and 7 we would race to buy a copy the day it came out and share the book with two bookmarks, racing each other to the end and discussing it as we went. It was the most marvellous fun sharing these with him and a very special time. We were both sad when they ended.
Great post Jenny and very thought provoking
Awh Gill, what a lovely comment. I love the story behind why those are your favourite books and they must have so much sentiment to you.
Shamefully, I’ve never read A Christmas Carol, or any Charles Dickens for that matter, despite having his whole set of works in my house! I tried ready Great Expectations but just found it far too difficult to read. I would love to try one again one day, maybe A Christmas Carol 🙂
I had a very similar experience with my mum when I was younger and the Harry Potter books were coming out! She used to read them to me and we’d talk about them and see the films. I was so obsessed with it! Although saying that, neither of us have actually read to the end! I bet you have some wonderful memories reading with your son through those books 🙂
Thanks for commenting Gill! xo
im not a big fan of the classics and i havent read any other Dickens, they dont appeal but this one just spoke to me for some reason.
I think so many people will define their childhoods with Harry Potter. JK Rowling is a genius
Same, Gill! I’m not completely mad about Classics either – I’ve read a few that I’ve really enjoyed but wouldn’t actively seek out to read them.
I agree – Harry Potter probably defines a lot of people’s childhoods – I remember dressing up as Hermione for World Book Day one year at primary school and going to see the first film about 15 times with my parents! xo
Great post Jenny! 🙂 I also love The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Definitely up there on my top favorite books of all time.
Thanks Erika! It’s such a gorgeous book isn’t it? 🙂 I thought the film adaptation was brilliant too- such a honest portrayal of the book! xo
Yes it is! 🙂 The movie was great too. It did justice to the book which is sometimes somewhat rare to find in some film adaptations of books….especially the ones that we love.
I agree! We have such high expectations of film adaptations, like you said, especially from books we love and obviously we want them to be perfect! But yes, Perks was done brilliantly. The cast was so perfect!
Exactly! I couldn’t have imagine a better cast for all the characters.
I love this post! I haven’t read The perks of being a wallflower but I do have a copy and you’ve made me want to read it. I’m with you all the way on The Book Thief.
Thank you! Ooh I really hope you enjoy it! I’d be interested to hear your thoughts when you’ve read it! 🙂 xo
Favourite books always hold such deep and meanigful places in our hearts. I loved reading this post and reading your favourite books and your reasons for them being your favourites! I really need to read these books.
I am a huge lover of fantasy, so mainly all my favourite books are fantasy. The Hobbit is a favourite, because it is just such an amazing and beautiful adventure. The Inheritance Cycle is another favourite because it was a series that took me on an epic fantasy adventure also, and its a story that will stick with me forever. The Fault in our Stars is definitely a favourite of mine as it brought up so many emotions within me.
Thank you so much Josephine, I’m glad you liked it and you’re absolutely right about what you said! That’s one of the main things I love about books; is how meaningful they are to us.
Shamefully, I have never read any of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. I absolutely love the films, I used to be a massive LotR fan and we have these beautiful copies of them at home but I’ve just never read them! They just look so intimidating! BUT they are on my bookish bucket list, I will read them at some point haha!
Oh God, The Fault in Our Stars! Although not my favourite John Green book, I did absolutely love it and it made me cry LOADS. Such a beautiful and emotional book! Thanks for your comment! 🙂 xo
The Lord of the Rings books are definitely intimidating. I have the bind-up version with all 3 in one book, it’s the biggest book I have! And I also LOVE the movies. I think I have watched them over 10 times in my life. Maybe more!
I cried for 3 hours right after finishing the Fault in our Stars! Then I woke u[p the next morning and cried, thinkning about the book! Total emotional rollercoaster.
You’re welcome, always a pleasure. xoxo 🙂
Wow! We have all three books separately; they’re gorgeous editions but I don’t think anyone in the family has ever read them haha! The films are fantastic! Me and an old friend had a LotR marathon once and watched all three one after the other; must have been up till about 3 the next morning haha! My favourite is number 2 I think 🙂
Oh god, I know what you mean! I cried for about 3 hours after finishing The Book Thief; I think TFiOS comes a close second to amount it made me cry haha. I love an emotional book, love being able to feel SO MUCH just from a story! xo
I would love to have them separately in gorgeous editions!
Oh my goodness, I used to do that all the time! I remember once, during school holidays, for one whole week I stayed up having a LotR marathon! I can’t decide which is my favourite out of the 3.
I need to read The Book Theif! I tried starting it last year, but for some reason could not get into it (probably because I was learning about Nazi Germany in school at the time) And TFIOS is the top book that has made me cry, hard, so far.
Do you have Twitter? I can take a photo our ours and show you! They’re actually my parents, not mine haha. Although it’s my favourite book, I had to watch the film before I actually read The Book Thief. I started it, and found it quite hard to picture the setting, as I’m not great with Historical Fiction nor did I know much about the war or Nazi Germany. But it helped me so much because when I did read it, I knew exactly what to picture 🙂
I had that trouble with Lord of the Flies – we studied it in school for GCSE English and I got SO fed up of it but 2 years ago I got it out from the library to re-read myself and actually really enjoyed it! I love studying but sometimes studying something too much can take the charm away from it. I hope you can get into TBT if you decide to read it again!
Have you seen TFiOS movie? OH HOW I SOBBED! xo
I do have twitter, my username is @itsjosieknight 🙂
Ah, I know a lot about Nazi Germany. I am also not very good with historical fiction, sometimes it just does not interest me!
I have never read Lord of the Flies. It sounds very intimidating, as strange as that sounds..
I hope I can get into it again as well! I will definitely read it again soon.
Yes, when I went to see the movie, when it started I had to hold tissues to my eyes, the feels were so strong! Sobbed the entire time.. xoxo
Just followed your Twitter 🙂 I’ll find those books and send you a photo later on!
Lord of the Flies is quite intimidating! Haha. It’s a hard read, it’s not very long but it takes a while to get through. Very interesting story and concept though!
Ugh that film, all the bloody feels! Hahaha. I cant wait for Paper Towns; probably more so than TFiOS!! John Green is suchhh a genius! xo
Thankyou! I need to be more active on Twitter, but it’s hard to keep up with it.
Yes, so many feels!!! Oh my goodness I’m excited for Paper Towns also, but I need to pick up the book first! Have you read Paper Towns? xo
You should! It took me a while to get the hang of it but now I am so addicted haha! Oh you NEED to read Paper Towns! It’s so so so so good! xo
Well I shall do my best to get into the swing of things!
I am going to put Paper Towns on my list for my next book buy! 🙂 Xoxo
Looking For Alaska is definitely one of my favorites as well. I also am so extremely in love with It’s Kind of A Funny Story and The Spectacular Now
It’s Kind of a Funny Story was the last book I read! My review is up next week; it’s SUCH an incredible book! Absolutely loved it 🙂 xo
I love all three of these books! Looking for Alaska is my all time favourite x
Ah that’s great! I’m so pleased you love all of these; Looking for Alaska is amazing. It’s being made into a film isn’t it? 🙂 xo
I wouldn’t even know where to begin picking out a favorite book – I’ve been lucky to read great ones across almost every genre,
There’s so many more I could have included but I would have been going on forever! It’s great you have so many favourites – doing a favourite book from every genre post would be interesting!
I’ve never read any of these! I love this post though, it’s so lovely to hear the reasons behind peoples favourite books.
My favourite book is probably Lexicon by Max Barry. The ideas about the power of language and the mystery was just really amazing.
Imogen’s Typewriter. <3
Thank you! I would so recommend all of these! (Obviously… otherwise they wouldn’t be in this post 😛 ) I agree! I haven’t read that but just looked it up on Goodreads and it sounds fantastic! Thanks for your comment! 🙂 xo
I’ve always loved The Secret Garden. As a child I fell for the concept of being sent to a mysterious house with secret passageways and the secret garden itself, and it hasn’t lost it’s appeal as an adult.
Awh that’s a great choice and can totally see the fascination with it! I agree, even as an adult I’m completely fascinated with mysterious houses and such and it’s great that you haven’t lost that feeling from that book from when you were a kid! Thanks for your comment! 🙂 xo
What a great post, also love the new banner. I haven’t heard much about ‘Perks of being a Wallflower’, but you have sold it to me by just the few words you wrote about it. I’m off to read your review of it now, and probably add it to my ‘must read’ list.
Thanks for sharing. P.S. Congrats again on your ‘honourable mention’, love the new badge.
Thank you so much Amanda! I’m so glad I’ve swayed you to read Perks. I really really hope you enjoy it, it’s a wonderful book (in my opinion, anyway!) and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it! xo