My Favourite Books

My Favourites: Book Worlds

harry-potter

J.K Rowling. Bloomsbury. 2001.

I have always loved reading and always will. There is something so magical about being able to escape to another place for a while. Whenever I feel anxious and want to relax, I pick up a book. It can be such a comfort.
One of the things I love most about escaping into a book is that I get to experience all of these different worlds. I get to travel, get to know the characters and see life through their eyes (it appeals to the part of me that is incredibly nosey.)

Having loved reading since I was young, I have visited many places and worlds. Some I have loved, some I have found intriguing and there’s some where I’ve outright wanted to pack up everything and go and live there.

I don’t think it is any surprise to anyone then that the first book world that’s my favourite is the world Harry Potter inhabits. From the moment I started reading these I fell in love with the magical world. I want to be able to own a wand and do magic. I want to go to school at Hogwarts and learn spells, potions and transfiguration. I don’t think there would ever be a dull day. This is the one world where I would like to actually go live rather than just visit. Can I head to the Hogwarts Express now?

C.S.Lewis. HarperCollins Children's Books. Nov 2009.

C.S.Lewis. HarperCollins Children’s Books. Nov 2009.

Narnia is another world I would love to go and visit (although unlike Hogwarts, I am not sure I’d want to live there.) The stories and the world of Narnia is something I’ve been reading since I was a young child. When I was little, it was the characters within the world that I loved the most and the power to overcome someone like the white witch. As I grew older, I began to appreciate the whole world.
Is it strange though to say that I love the bit with all the snow (yes, coming from the christmas freak.)
My favourite bit is the part with Father Christmas. The setting is just so magical. The imagery you also get at the end where Cair Paravel is described as being by the sea with what I imagined as a beautiful view. It would be somewhere nice to go on holiday.

Never Never Land – the land where you don’t have to grow up. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to grow up and become an adult. I ignored all of the warnings my Mum gave me when she told me to not be in such a hurry and… yes… she was right.

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My Favourite Books: Sweet Valley High

8bfadb729a1abf638c502cb01b165da1I have many books that I loved growing up. The Mallory Towers series for example was the first series I remember reading. My sister used to sit and read it with me. However, nothing has stuck with me quite as much as The Sweet Valley High series.

Originally created by Francine Pascal, this series made up the majority of my reading for a long time.

I discovered one of these books in the library at school. I think it was the one called Too Good To Be True. I can’t remember how old I was but from that moment I was hooked.

There was nothing I liked better than to come home from school and disappear into the world of Sweet Valley for a while.

Jessica and Elizabeth were like the cool friends I didn’t have (I was quite shy at school and definitely not a cool kid although everyone seemed a lot cooler than me. The perils of senior school.)

There was something just so exciting about these stories that I couldn’t get enough of them. I devoured as many as I could find from the school or local library.

You can imagine my excitement when I also discovered the TV series. Looking at that now, it was all so poorly acted but I still couldn’t resist watching it. If you know of it, is the theme tune stuck in your head yet?

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My Favourite Christmas Books

Christmas, hands down has got to be my most favourite time of the year. I love singing all the Christmas carols and songs, an excuse to watch Christmas films (I know these are cheesy but my Christmas is not complete without Santa Claus: The Movie, The Holiday, The Snowman and Love Actually) and I adore getting a real tree and decorating the house. Christmas just makes me smile.

What I also love is being able to pull out all of my favourite Christmas books. There is nothing I like more on a cold, festive feeling evening than to snuggle up in my chair with warm jumpers and socks, a cup of hot chocolate and a festive smelling candle and read one of my favourite, festive themed books. I wanted to share some of my favourites with you.

 

51WYPP+r7NLThe Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson (Jerry Pinkney)

I can remember first reading this at school and even then, I couldn’t get over how incredibly sad this story is. It’s certainly a reminder of all we have to be grateful for and not just for his time of year too. Whenever I read this book I end up crying (it never fails.)

This wonderful story is an ageless chronicle of a young girl struggling to stay warm on New Year’s Eve using the very matches she is supposed to be selling to earn money for her family. With each strike of a match the little girl sees wonderful things in the flames which warm both her heart and soul.

 

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

This story never fails to put a smile on my face. It is just classic and timeless and it is a book that has been a part 51wP+MqVZ6Lof my Christmas since I can remember. Whenever I see anything to do with the Snowman, I just launch into Walking in the Air in my head. To me, this story is amazing. I love it and if I am ever lucky to have children, it is one I look forward to sharing with them too.

One winter’s night, a snowman comes to life and an unforgettable adventure begins. Raymond Briggs’ favourite classic is a true piece of Christmas magic – narrated entirely through pictures, it captures the wonder and innocence of childhood and is now recognised throughout the world.

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My Favourite Books: The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

514ubs6Eg4LOne of the books that will always be in my top ten would be The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. This was the first book that not only introduced me to Sophie Kinsella, it introduced us all to Becky Bloomwood – a love, for me that has spanned nearly a decade now.

First of all, the cover is pink. Pink is my favourite colour.

I adore this book. The main reason I like this book series is that I love Becky. She is my kind of heroine. She is not perfect. She has her faults and weaknesses and real problems that are incredibly relatable. She doesn’t always learn by her mistakes on the first go around but her heart is in the right place.

The books are full of humour, awkward moments and lovely scenes too. Luke is a great hero and he loves Becky. It is all very romantic.

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My Favourite Book Covers

Orion, January 2015.

Orion, January 2015.

If you’re a frequent visitor to Novel Kicks then you will know that I have a thing for book covers. It is bordering on obsession if I am honest. It was a little hard to pick but here are a few of my favourite book covers…

That Part was True by Deborah Mckinlay. 

I think this is one of my favourite covers ever. I read this at the beginning of the year and loved it. Eve writes to Jackson to praise a scene from one of his books and they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. They are soon exchanging letters.

The plot was great. It’s a gentle kind of book. I completely adored this cover. The blue cover and the decoration is so beautiful I almost didn’t want to read it because I didn’t want to ruin the cover.

 

Penguin, 2008.

Penguin, 2008.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. 

This particular cover was re-released as part of Penguin’s hardback clothbound classics series and was designed by Coralie Pickford-Smith.

The story of Pride and Prejudice is so well known. Lizzie and Darcy’s story will always be one of my favourites. There has also been so many editions of this book but I think that this cover is one of my favourites. It’s so pretty.

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Books I’d Like To See Adapted into Films…

I will 90% always prefer books to any movie made that is based upon them. For example, although the movie was great, I will prefer Where Rainbows End to Love, Rosie (same with P.S I Love You for that matter.) My Sister’s Keeper is another example. I preferred the book and definitely preferred the novel’s ending to the movie adaptation. It is always tricky when it’s a book you love so much. You have such an idea of what the scenery looks like, the appearance of the characters; a solid picture is formed and it’s hard to shift.

However, there are exceptions – Bridget Jones’ Diary, I’m talking to you. I adore the film as much as the book. The second movie not so much but it was always going to fall short because of its lack of the Colin Firth interview scene which couldn’t be done for obvious reasons. I did think the adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars was quite faithful to its source material. I will read things though and I will wonder what the scenes would look like if they were to be adapted into movies or I will think that what I am reading would make a great film.

Here are seven novels I’d like to see adapted (seven because I couldn’t pick just five)…

 

Penguin, 2014

Penguin, 2014

The Friday Project, 2011

The Friday Project, 2011

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

I adored this book and Don Tillman is one of my favourite fictional characters. Rumours are that this has already been put into pre-production/development and this makes me very excited. There are some humorous and very touching moments in this book and I think it will translate well to film (especially if Simsion has anything to do with the script.)

The basic premise is that having never had a second date, Don Tillman devises the Wife Project – a scientific experiment to find the perfect wife for him. Then in walks Rosie, the girl that doesn’t fit into any of his criteria.

According to IMDb, Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Rosie. In my opinion, Jennifer has proven that she can do serious and quirky (she was great in The Silver Linings Playbook.) I am eagerly anticipating this adaptation.

 

The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman is another book I’d love to see turn into a movie.

I loved this book. The plot is so interesting and I took away a great message from it and so I think it would make a great film. A robber walks into a bank but instead of taking money, he steals an item of sentimental value from each of the people in the bank. After the robbery, strange things start happening to these people. It’s a book about appreciating what you have before it is too late.

The plot is a great premise and I’d be interested to see where they would go with the film. There is such an atmosphere to this book. The only thing about this book if it were to be adapted is that it’s only about eighty pages long so there would be a bit of script padding which isn’t always good.

 

Another book I’d like to see adapted is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

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My Favourite Books: Three Books I Couldn’t Be Without….

One of the questions I ask many of the authors I interview is ‘if you were only allowed to own three books, which three would you pick?’ I know, it’s a wicked question but it always yields such an interesting answer. Of all the times I have asked this question, I have never had the same selection of books (very rarely do people pick the same books at all.)

It got me thinking which three I would pick. It is so hard to decide on just three and in the end, I just picked three from my list that really meant something specific to me. (although it would have been easy for me to just say all the Harry Potter novels as I love them.)

Which three would you pick?

 

Ralph's PartyRalph’s Party by Lisa Jewell (Penguin, May 1999.) 

Meet the residents of 31 Almanac Road …

Ralph and Smith are flatmates and best mates – until, that is, the gorgeous Jemima moves in. And suddenly they’re bickering about a lot more than who drank the last beer. Of course, Jem knows that one of them is the man for her – but is it Ralph or Smith?

Upstairs, Karl and Siobhan have been happily unmarried for fifteen years – until, that is, Cheri moves into the flat above theirs. Cheri’s got her eye on Karl and doesn’t see why she should let a little thing like his girlfriend stand in her way …

Sooner or later its all got to come to a head – and what better place for tears and laughter, break ups and make ups than Ralph’s party?

The first one I thought of when thinking about this question was Ralph’s Party. A friend recommended this novel to me. This was the first of Lisa’s novels I read and it was the beginning of a life long love of her novels. I adore this book. It focuses on the five people living at 31 Almanac Road but the main story is about Ralph and Jem and their blossoming love story. These two characters were perfect in my opinion.

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My Favourite Book: Have You Met Miss Jones?

BridgetJonesDiary

Picador, 2001

Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding will forever remain one of my favourite books. I can’t remember whether I read the book first or saw the film but I remember being quite late to the book – discovering it a few years after it got published. I was in my early twenties but still found it relatable all the same.

Not knowing what to expect, once I started reading, I devoured it. For me, it’s one of those rare books that I feel really transferred well onto screen from the page and it is a relatable story to a lot of people, especially women of any age. I lost count of how many times I said out loud whilst reading “this is me.”

For me, Bridget is a great heroine. She is very flawed (along with a lot of us.) She strives to be better but something always seems to go wrong. She’s the type of character that would get her skirt caught up in her knickers, walk down the road and get spotted before she notices and I love that about her. She’s not perfect – she is a real and relatable person who is just trying to find love. Also, like her I’ve had a few awkward moments at social gatherings where I have stood there in silence not knowing what to say and then when I do speak, just sounding like a complete idiot.

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My Favourite Books: Harry Potter

prisoner of

Copyright: JK Rowling

I have always been a big reader. Even at a young age, you were more likely to find me reading than watching TV (the only rival to my reading would have been colouring books.)

I have loved going on different adventures, falling in love with characters and loving to hate the villains. I’ve been thinking back to the books that have stayed with me even years after I’ve stopped reading the last page and in this new feature, I wanted to share some of my favourites with you.

One of the books that has stayed with me, is Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling.

I was late coming to the Harry Potter series. I think the books came to my attention when browsing in a book shop one day around the same time that the first film had appeared in cinemas. As the film had just been released, I’d been hearing a lot about the series (or the books that had been released up to that point,) and I was intrigued so I picked up the first book in the series. Let’s just say, within three days, I had to buy the rest. One of the things I love about this book series in particular is that it appeals to all ages and covers a variety of themes. I am fascinated by how these seven books all interconnect – how a small piece of information in the first book, like the fact that the wands are brothers is the thing that ends up saving his life later on.

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