Today I wanted to make a ‘top picks’ post, featuring my favourite books and authors. I’ve seen quite a few book related posts lately, which has been incredible for me because reading is one of my favourite hobbies, so I’ll always take a good book recommendation. I’ve made a list of books which you should definitely read. I’ve included the synopsis (or whatever I could find online on goodreads) and a comment of my own, but don’t worry, there’s no spoilers!
1 – The Secret Place by Tana French
‘The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.’
Tana French is one of my all time favourite authors and if I could put all her books in this list I would. Instead I’ve had to pick one and it was very difficult! All her books follow the Dublin Murder Squad and their cases. If you like murder mysteries, then I would really recommend Tana French.
2 – The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
‘Every love story has a dangerous twist. Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible – but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But this choice has dire consequences for all concerned, especially when matters take a tragic turn.’
– Again, Koomson is one of my favourite authors. The Rose Petal Beach has much more mystery than her other novels which is why I have picked this one for my list. All her books are centred around a strong female character (different in each book) who is both sassy and witty. I’d definitely say her books are feel good easy readers.
3 – Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe
‘Eve, a runaway, finds a new job at a coffee shop on the outskirts of Tucson. When she’s approached by two wealthy teens who claim she bears an uncanny resemblance to their missing cousin Aurora, her life takes a turn for the dark and mysterious. Drawn into a scheme to win Aurora’s inheritance, Eve finds herself impersonating the girl, who disappeared three years ago on the night her best friend Elizabeth died.’
– I read this book quite a long time ago, but it still sticks in my head as one of my favourites. I don’t want to ruin it so I won’t say much, but I will say, I had definitely not figured the end outcome out before I read it.
4 – Walking Back to Happiness by Lucy Dillon
‘Juliet’s hiding from her feelings about the recent loss of Ben, the love of her life. If it weren’t for having to walk Ben’s loyal dog, Minton, she’d never leave their half-finished house. Then her mother asks her to take her elderly lab, Coco, along. One dog leads to another, and soon Juliet’s the unofficial town pet-sitter. And when she takes on a lonely spaniel, and gets to know its attractive owner, she realizes that her emotions aren’t as easy to handle as her canine charges.’
– This is such a feel good book which is absolutely perfect to read when you’re feeling kinda down. Its the book I think of when I think about a cold winter day, sat on the couch with a mug of tea and your cat curled up next to you. Chill vibes!
5 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
‘Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.’
What’s a book post without a classic thrown in the mix? I had to read this for my college course a couple years ago and I ended up really loving it. I’m sure you will have already heard of this, and as much as this book is probably a little more taxing to read than the others on this list, it’s still a great book which is worth reading.
6 – The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
‘The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.’
– This book made me truly want to become a florist.. until I realised it was the writing that got me so passionate about becoming something and that I wanted to make people feel that passionate, so now I want to be a writer. Plus there is a flower dictionary in the back!
7 – The Returned by Jason Mott
‘A family given a second chance at life. A world where nothing – not even death – is certain. Lucille Hargrave’s son Jacob has been dead for over forty years. Now he’s standing on her doorstep, still eight years old. Still looking for her to welcome him with open arms.’
– You may have seen the French TV series a couple years back of the same title as this. That TV series was not the same story line as this and did not have the same characters, but the idea was the same – dead people returning to life. It’s so interesting to read about this because you begin to realise that, although we all want to see our loved ones again, people returning from the dead would not end well..
8 – Rubies in the Snow by Kate Hubbard
‘Cast your mind back, to the early years of the 20th century. To Russia. An endless country of icy wastes and dusty plains, of silvery birch trees and black earth. A country of extremes. Of unimaginable wealth and unspeakable poverty. Of excess and hunger, culture and cruelty. A country ruled for nearly 300 years by one family, long accustomed to power and privilege – the Romanovs. And born into that family is a girl, an ordinary sort of girl in many respects, but one swept up by extraordinary circumstances: her name is Anastasia Nicolaevna Romanov, the last Grand Duchess, and this is her (fictional) diary. Accompany her on an incredible journey, as the world around her fragments and shatters.’
– If you like ‘diary entry’ style books and writing then I really would recommend this book. It’s also got a lot of history in it which really appealed to me and I know will appeal to some of you too!
9 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
‘Scout Finch lives with her brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus, in the sleepy Alabama town of Maycomb. Maycomb is suffering through the Great Depression, but Atticus is a prominent lawyer and the Finch family is reasonably well off in comparison to the rest of society.’
– You will most likely have heard of this classic, but I couldn’t not put it on my list! It delves into the theme of racism and is not only eye-opening but massively enjoyable to read!
10 – Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman
‘You’re about to receive your A-level results and then a future of university and journalism awaits. But the day they’re due to arrive your old girlfriend Melanie turns up unexpectedly …with a baby …You assume Melanie’s helping a friend, until she nips out to buy some essentials, leaving you literally holding the baby.’
– This book is the author of the well known Noughts and Crosses series. Her writing is amazing and this book is crazy good.