5 Books I Always Recommend

I'm often the person who can take up so much time just looking for a book I want to read, rather than actually reading one. Setting myself the challenge of reading more this year was going to include a lot of time reading book descriptions. I started the challenge as a book a month with my friend telling me that it was too easy. However, I set a low target to avoid being discouraged. My current target is 36 and, 34 books later, I have some recommendations.


1. The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse – Charlie Mackesy

Gaining a lot of press recently in these difficult times, this illustrated story is a perfect pick-me-up. It feels kind of childlike, but it’s perfect for all ages who want an easy-read about friendship (and cake!). What more could you want? 


2.    The High Mountains of Portugal – Yann Martel 

This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine. There are three parts that eventually link together. Although the author of Life of Pi may sound like it’s going to be a difficult read, it's full of laughs - part two especially! There’s something so intriguing about a man who walks backwards (you’ve got to read to find out why!). Its random and seemingly stupid stories all link together, and it's one of those which you can’t explain to someone else without sounding crazy yourself. Definitely worth a read!


3.    The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho 

The Alchemist is probably on every ‘Must-Read Books Before You Die’ list that often names books I haven't heard of or aren't interested in. This time, I actually agree with this literary reputation. It’s a story about a man’s search for the ultimate treasure, but in turn, it is about the meaning of life. It sounds heavy-going but it is only a short read, and we could all do with some positivity at the moment!


4.    Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng 

I would be surprised if you haven’t already heard about this book – probably through the series on Amazon Prime, but the story plays out slightly different here. It’s still about the American Dream, race and navigating teenage life but I for one, think the ending is so much better in the book. It focusses on a ‘perfect’ American family and how their lives intertwine with the newer and less ‘perfect’ residents of Shaker Heights. Celeste Ng never fails to amaze me with her books, and I cannot recommend her enough. 


5.    10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World – Elif Shafak 

And finally, my favourite! This book was one of those that I saw in every shop window that I passed. It is written so beautifully and so differently to anything else I have read (as cliché as it sounds). It’s told from the point of view of a young girl in Istanbul who has just passed away. It’s a story from beyond the grave about the memories that flashed before her eyes during the last 10 minutes and 38 seconds of her life, and how her friends were affected by the loss. It’s not as heavy-going as it sounds as her friends do provide good entertainment, especially towards the end (no spoilers!). 


I hope I’ve given you some new reading recommendations to get you through the second lockdown!