I have them, you have them – all bibliophiles probably do.
These are the books I never stop talking about; the stories I mention so often my entire family probably knows the author, plot and ISBN number – without ever having picked up the book themselves. (In no particular order.)
1. Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
Now, listen: I know I’m already breaking some undisclosed rule by mentioning an entire series but I really, really love these books and I think it’s unfair to name one of them and not the other two.
And no, I can’t choose a favourite because I’m weak and they’re wonderful and I just love Schwabs writing.
If anyone so much as mentions that they like knives or magic or headstrong girls I’m pointing at these books, flailing excitedly and taking a breath of air before diving into my 15-point breakdown about why they should drop whatever plans they had this weekend and devour these books instead.
(Brilliantly constructed, complex characters, (aspiring) pirates, thieves, adventure and worlds seeped in magic.) Written for Young Adult/Adult fantasy readers. You can view the blurb here.
2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I was almost eleven when I read Harry Potter (which means that I was sorely disappointed when my letter from Hogwarts failed to arrive). I loved it for many of the reasons the rest of the world does – the main one being: Harry Potter was the first book I wanted to climb inside and live in.
Carry On gave me the same feeling.
I was hooked from the first line of the blurb, “Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever be chosen.”
All I wanted to do was climb into the world of mages, eat crumpets with Simon, experience Baz’s sneer and discuss magic with Penelope.
(Fresh take on ‘Chosen One’ story featuring magic, food, vampires and Rowell’s compelling dialog.) Written for Young Adult readers. You can view the blurb here.
3. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
You may recall how I mentioned I’d happily read this author’s grocery lists. (In case you were wondering, that hasn’t changed.)
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is a book of essays by a Grammy-Award nominated humourist. Often, his writing is described as surprisingly moving and elegant.
I won’t be the first to say this: his humour isn’t for everyone. However, Sedaris fascinates me. In part, because he documents his day, every day in a diary (as do I) but mainly, because he’s so unforgiving in his writing.
He shares facts about himself and his family that most people would never dream of divulging. It’s refreshing to read work that’s praised for its honesty.
(Humoristic stories of his childhood, his worldview and travels.) You can view the blurb here.
4. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
It bedazzled my family with a domino-like effect. My father was the first to go, followed by my mom, myself and then my grandmother – until all four of us were seated around the dinner table in a state of awe and desperation for book 2. We discussed the plot, the characters and the incredible world Sanderson had crafted in depth and then promptly ordered Firefight.
Soon after, the third book (Calamity) was ordered.
(Superheroes, bad metaphors, action scenes and a protagonist you can’t help but love.) You can view the blurb here.
5. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
In part, because I can’t get enough of Nelson’s immersive, descriptive writing but mainly, because Noah and Jude have enrooted themselves in me.
“Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.” – Jandy Nelson
(Out of this world description, twins, love, tragedy and finding out who you are in this big, complicated world.) Written for young adults. You can view the blurb here.
Chances are, if we meet in person I’ll mention at least one of these books. (I really didn’t expect 3 of the five to be fantasy – but there you have it!)