Today the US is celebrating Thanksgiving and though that’s not a holiday in the UK, I still thought it’d be nice to be thankful.
And today, and every day, I'm thankful for books.
‘How I Live Now’, Meg Rosoff
I first read Meg Rosoff’s debut about 10 years ago now and I’ve read it countless times since. Daisy’s story of love and survival against World War III in the English countryside is mind-blowing. Definitely not for everyone, but quite possibly the most remarkable book I’ve ever read.
‘Persuasion’, Jane Austen
Austen’s final novel was the second of her novels that I read and I picked it up because it was my mum’s favourite. I immediately fell in love with Anne Elliot’s soft, unchanging love for Captain Wentworth and that letter. Man, that letter. It soon eclipsed ‘Sense and Sensibility’ as my favourite Austen.
‘Matilda’, Roald Dahl
I've spoken about the impact ‘Matilda’ has had on me before, but this was the book that made me fall in love with reading. It was the first time I could see a story unfold in front of my eyes. My copy is falling to pieces I've read it so many times over the years.
‘The Truth About Forever’, Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is my hero and this is my favourite of her novels. Watching Macy go from suffocating grief to being able to handle it and carry on living with the help of art boy Wes and his family is funny, heart-warming and brilliant. That final game Macy and Wes at the end of the novel is perfection.
‘Angus, Thongs and Full Front Snogging’, Louise Rennison
The ten books in the Georgia Nicolson taught me about being a girl, and how to laugh at the horrifying things we sometimes have to do. It also made me immensely grateful that I’m not Georgia. These books showed me that ‘books for girls’ can be funny too.
‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, JK Rowling
This may be a predictable answer but that doesn’t make it any less true or significant. I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and they’ve continued to comfort me, make me laugh and inspire me ever since. I’m currently listening to them on audiobook for the first time and it’s wonderful to be back at Hogwarts again.
What books are you thankful for?