I think people who enjoy reading are very much like parents in the sense that they can never choose between their children aka their favourite books. There is never ONE favourite book. There are multiple books that we find ourselves in along the years and therefore our favourite books change just as much as we do. When I was seven my favourite book was 101 Dalmatians, when I was twelve it was The Prince and the Pauper and when I was fifteen it was The Book Thief. Now that I am nineteen years old these are my favourite three books, fiction and non-fiction.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
“Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.” (Goodreads)
Anyone who knows me knows that this is my favourite book (because I tend to talk about it too much). This is a spin-off of Fangirl which I also loved very much. According to reviews, Carry On is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery but I really think it’s so much more than a young adult novel that’s meant to recreate the world of Harry Potter. The themes addressed in this novel replicate the ones in the HP universe, such as race bias, prophecies and parental figures but they go beyond that. Unlike Rowling’s Harry Potter, Carry On has a diverse range of characters in terms of race, nationality and sexuality. Rowell plays with stereotypes in a beautiful and realistic way – she portrays Agatha (Simon’s girlfriend) as the gorgeous and rich ‘it’ girl but Agatha is so much more, she’s confident and despite the ‘it’ girl stereotype, she’s not seeking attention but peace and comfort. Same goes for Baz who like in HP (Draco) is supposed to be the antagonist. Rainbow Rowell doesn’t leave it at that, she developed Baz’s character and personality so well that now he’s one of the (if not the) most beloved character. I truly recommend giving this book a try – the sequel is coming out in 2020!
Orlando by Virginia Woolf
“Virginia Woolf’s Orlando ‘The longest and most charming love letter in literature’, playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf’s close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth’s England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Constantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.” (Goodreads)
I am not going to lie, I had to read this book for university but despite how people usually dislike the books they read in school, literature people learn to love them. Not only do we get to expand our horizons and try new genres, but we also get to be critical of what we read. We read between the lines and analyse the reception a story got overtime only to understand the mind of the author and how the story came to be what it is today. This was the case with Orlando. At first, the structure confused me but as I read on, I fell in love with the beautiful words and the gorgeous imagery that lives inside this book. It’s truly a beautiful story that was written ahead of its time.
The Inner Beauty Bible by Laurey Simmons
“We all have inner beauty. This is your one-stop handbook to nurturing beauty and wellbeing from the inside out.
Combining ancient wisdom with modern-day mindfulness, this book shows you how to polish your heart and nourish your soul with a collection of simple rituals that can be easily woven into busy modern lives.
In The Inner Beauty Bible, you will learn to:
Introduce accessible rituals into your life that will strengthen your connection to Inner Beauty.
Create beautiful sacred spaces using crystals, natural objects, beautiful smells and sounds.
Truly nurture yourself: from turning your bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary to a delicious rose-infused bath-time ritual.
Stay connected to your Inner Beauty in challenging times.
Tap into the deeper wisdom and healing potential of Nature.
Master simple practices to help you tune into the beauty in the everyday.
Perform rituals for different moments and needs: to boost energy, to let go, to celebrate and to manifest abundance.” (Goodreads)
The Inner Beauty Bible was my introduction to the self-help genre after ages of being sure that self-help books just aren’t for me. I have to admit, I bought this book while I was out with a friend mostly because of its gorgeous cover and beautiful photography inside but boy am I happy I judged this book by its cover. Like its cover, the content of this book is inspiring and eye-opening. We all know that we live in a fast-paced world, we know we must take some time to get our minds right and that sometimes we need to be creative in the ways we approach our mental health. This book gives a spiritual outlook (not necessarily religious) to our everyday lives and it gives us the tools to deal with our inner selves so we can maintain our inner gardens beautiful.
So here are my favourite books as of now. Feel free to share what your favourite books are in the comments below and make sure to check out my last post which is a self-care alphabet. Thank you for reading!