thoughts and things

The Books of My Life

Books have played a big part of my life. My Mum always told me that you always have a friend with a book. Some books I read, and they fly out of my brain as soon as I’ve read the page. Others stay with me a long time. I wanted to write about a few of these books, these books that have stayed with me through my life. Books that have made me think and have given me hope or opened up my mind. So here are the first four books:

The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins.

This book has stayed with me since I was about 14 years old. I don’t know how I came across this book, but I loved it from the moment I turned the page. If you want a thriller, a mystery, a suspense filled story, then this book is for you. The book has so many twists and turns, has so many ups and downs. The book is told from different perspectives, and the story begins when Walter Hartright becomes an art tutor to two young ladies at Limmeridge House. On the way, he meets a mysterious Woman in White, who has come from the asylum.

The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

I love this book so much, I can’t tell you how many times I have read it. I even wrote about it for my English A Level. This book, about a boy called Holden Caulfield, and what happened to him for a few days the year before, is a book about adolensence, about coming of age, about relaising that life sucks, and there’s not much you can do about it. I identified so much with Holden, and I feel he sums up how I felt about my teenage years pretty well.

Bird Song, Sebastian Faulks

I love books that surprise you. I wasn’t hoping for much with this book, as I was reading it as part of my Top 100 Books Challenge. I thought it was a boring ‘war’ book. Oh how wrong I was. The first part of the book is bright, vibrant, passionate whereas the book progresses and this changes, the tone changes – the war changes everything. The running theme through the book of the birdong, of birds, is haunting. The story itself is so good, and gripping. I became very engrossed with the history of world war 1 after reading this book. You feel you are there in the trenches with them.

Tess of the d’urbervilles Thomas hardy

I love Thomas hardy. I grew up very near to Dorset and within ‘Wessex’ and whether it was how he so accurately describes the scenery, or just because he had written about places I had been, he soon became a firm favourite with me. Tess is a book full of sadness and despair. Yes, it’s quite depressing. When Tess meets Alec d’Urberville her life changes forever. I love this book because it shows how clever Hardy is; his use of imagery is brilliant and they way he gets his message across I think is well constructed. When Tess meets Alec, the tension is built up so well, and you want to scream at her to run away. It looks at how people viewed women, what stigma and shame there was on women. Most of this book I read thinking ‘that’s not fair’ – but then that was what life was like back then. I love the way the characters in this book change, the good aren’t always good at heart; you can like a character, and then see a different side to them, which changes your mind. I love his style of writing, and the fact that he doesn’t always write about happy endings.

So these are the first of my books that have stayed with me throughout my life. I will write another post soon. What books have stayed with you throughout your life, and why?

If you read any of these books, let me know what you think!


3 thoughts on “The Books of My Life”

  • I love The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins has a real flare for the spine tingling doesn’t he. Do you find you have books that fit a particular mood, a go-to read for feeling sad or overexcited etc?

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