Wednesday 2 March 2016

World Book Day - 10 of My Favourite Books

It is World Book Day on 3rd March. World Book Day is a celebration of reading. It's main aim is to encourage children to read. Children dress up as their favourite characters, or at least as characters that Mum or Dad can make a half decent costume.

Many will go as Elsa from Frozen. That's not a book, that's a film.

It made me think about my favourite books and who I would dress up as if I went to a World Book Day party and didn't have to worry about making the costume.

I noticed that most of my books are old, but then I'm quite old too. Each time I add a book I think of two more that I love. So I will limit this to just ten books.

My 10 Favourite books to celebrate World Book Day

In no particular order, these are 10 of my favourite books.

1.The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follet (1989)

The Author says;

In a time of civil war, famine and religious strife, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against this backdrop, lives entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age.

I say;

I have read this book numerous times. I was hooked from page one which starts with a hanging. The book describes building cathedrals, making wool, how the rich and poor lived in medieval England. It's one of those books where I deliberately read slower as the end approaches because I don't want it to end. With the end of the book I would have to say goodbye to people I had loved, hated, cried and smiled with.
I love strong women in books and in this book there are many.

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)

The Publisher says;

Huck Finn escapes from his alcoholic father by faking his own death and so begins his journey through the Deep South, seeking independence and freedom. On his travels, Huck meets an escaped slave, Jim, who is a wanted man, and together they journey down the Mississippi River. Raising the timeless and universal issues of prejudice, bravery and hope, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was and still is considered the great American novel.

I say;

This is a book of adventure. Of right and wrong. It is both funny and heartbreaking. This book uses the N word but is both anti-racist and anti-slavery. Huckleberry Finn was brought up to believe that there was nothing wrong in being a racist. As we follow him down the Mississippi we observe his realisation that racism and slavery are wrong.

3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

The Publisher says;

Shocking and controversial when it was first published, The Grapes of Wrath is Steinbeck's Pultizer Prize-winning epic of the Joad family, forced to travel west from Dust Bowl era Oklahoma in search of the promised land of California. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and powerlessness, yet out of their struggle Steinbeck created a drama that is both intensely human and majestic in its scale and moral vision.

I say;

It was very difficult just to choose one book by Steinbeck as I just love his writing. This is not an easy read. It is about hardship and oppression. It details a family's struggle to find work and to stay alive.

4. Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

The Publisher says;

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The ageing Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his highly simplified life suddenly overturned. Their parallel odysseys - as mysterious to them as they are to the reader - are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. 

I say;

This is a weird and wonderful book. Full of fantasy and visions. I'm not sure I even understand all of it! It has talking cats and WWII soldiers. I loved this book. I did try another book of short stories by Murakami but just couldn't get into them.

5. Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1999)

The Author says:

Chocolat begins with the arrival in a tiny French village of Vianne Rocher, a single mother with a young daughter, on Shrove Tuesday. As the inhabitants of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes clear away the remains of the carnival which heralds the beginning of Lent, Vianne moves with her daughter into a disused bakery facing the church, where Francis Reynaud, the young and opinionated curĂ© of the parish, watches her arrival with disapproval and suspicion.

I say;

A beautifully written book that is a joy to read. I can't help admiring strong, purposeful women. I love the fact that she wanted to sell chocolate and lent wasn't in any way a deterrent. I would like to be that focussed and sure of myself.

6. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (2008)

The Publisher says;

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

I say;

I read this book because I just loved the title. When I read this Britain had troops deployed in Afghanistan and I hoped it would give me an insight into the lives of those that lived there under the rule of the Taliban. Hosseini vividly describes what life is like for women in a society where they are second class citizens, have no rights and are only valued for the sons they bear. As soon as I had finished this book I read The Kite Runner (2004). Another gripping book which gives glimpses into life in Afghanistan.

8. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (1999)

The publisher says;

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves … But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss. 

I say;

I enjoyed all the Harry Potter books. My daughter was a huge fan and I wanted to know what she was reading. When she first started the series Harry Potter was not a household name. There were no films. Of all the Harry Potter books this is my favourite.

9. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwall (1990)

The Author says;

Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a human monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralyzed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues. With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it’s being sabotaged from within—and someone wants her dead.

I say;

I enjoyed all the Kay Scarpetta books and just chose the first one to represent the series. I do enjoy a good, scary, murder novel. I enjoyed Silence of the Lambs too.

10. Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The publisher says;

In this staggeringly brilliant novel, Hilary Mantel brings the opulent, brutal world of the Tudors to bloody, glittering life. It is the backdrop to the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell: lowborn boy, charmer, bully, master of deadly intrigue and, finally, most powerful of Henry VIII’s courtiers.

I say;

I put these books together as I read them on my Kindle as one book. I really enjoyed both of these books. At the time the author got quite a bit of flack due to her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge that were taken completely out of context but did bring her to the public's attention. Unusually this is one of the few books that I have read that the TV drama enhanced. When it came on the BBC I was half way through the second book, Bring Up the Bodies, the drama just helped to bring all the characters to life. It wasn't as if it spoiled the ending either!

There are a thousand other books that should have made this list to celebrate World Book Day including;

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) by Laurie Lee 
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (Lots of Dickens!)
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Tess of The D'Urbervilles By Thomas Hardy (I just love Thomas Hardy)

Oh and who would I dress up as? Elsa of course! Every girl wants to be the princess from frozen!

What are your favourite books? Do you celebrate World Book Day?



  1. Wow you have some classics in the collection I love#abitofeverything

    1. I just love old books. I'd read more modern ones if I could find an author I liked


© Teddy Bears And Cardigans. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig