Books That Made Me


Inspired by The Guardian’s column, Books That Made Me, I’ve made a list of my top books as of April 2020.

The book I am currently reading

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Thought I should read it before I saw the movie. I think we can all agree the book is always better.

The book that changed my life

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I read this in year 11 and it spoke about drugs in a way that had never been explained to me. It also scared me off drugs which was probably a good thing at that age.

The book I wish I’d written

The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak. Just a clever way to write a book with death as the narrator.

Another is The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Two female stories entwined in one Parisian apartment building.

The book that influenced my writing

Ruby by Cynthia Bond and Savvy by Ingrid Law. Beautiful sentences and storytelling in both novels. Both heartbreaking and heartfelt.

The book I think is most overrated

I think it depends what kind of mood you are in. I could say Wolf Hall, because I found it really hard to get into, but I’m willing to dive back in and try again.

The book that changed my mind

The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer. There are easy ways to connect with spirituality. This book tells you how.

The last book that made me cry

Night by Elie Wiesel. Not the last book that made me cry but it always gets me.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was the very last book that made me cry.

The last book that made me laugh

The Twits by Roald Dahl. If I ever need a chuckle I pick up a Dahl from the shelf. I’ve got the 15 book box set!

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni. A book written in the 1800s. It gave me so many laughs it could have been written in this day and age.

The book I couldn’t finish

Wolf Hall. It’s a big book! I’ll get to it though.

The book I’m most ashamed not to have read

There’s too many books in the world. If I could read all day and night I would. But I do believe books come into your life at the right time and for a reason. There’s too much shame in this world anyway. Be kind to yourself.

My earliest reading memory

Shadow the Sheepdog by Enid Blyton. My first chapter book. It had a brown cover, and I found it in my grandad’s house. I remember finishing it in the kitchen of my family home, tears in my eyes, and saying to Mum, ‘I never want this story to end’. That is the feeling I want with every book I read and every book I write.

My comfort read

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If I ever need a pick me up, I just read that one line on page 24 – “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The book I give as a gift

Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know For Sure. Another book that makes me jump out of bed and live my best life.

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