Friday 13 July 2012

Books and Me

I can’t remember who is was and I can’t remember when it was, but I was recently asked why I love books so much. I gave all of the usual answers and then afterwards, I began to really think about it and I realised how engrained in my life and my personal history it is. There are certain books that have marked big events in my life and I will always associate them with that time. So, here you are, a glimpse into my world!

Matilda, Road Dahl
Until I was around seven or eight I only read what I had to read for school and was a bit miffed at the fact that I kept getting books for my birthday and Christmas. And then I gave Matilda a go. For the first time, I saw the story play out inside my head and I couldn’t believe it – I even remember going downstairs to tell my mum that I could see the story! As cheesy as it is, Matilda changed my world – I devoured book after book from then on.

The Cat Mummy, Jacqueline Wilson
The next step from Roald Dahl for most girls in Jacqueline Wilson; and she was a phase that I didn’t grow out of for a good five or six years. The Cat Mummy is one of her lesser-known novels, but it was the first book to ever make me cry. I was so embarrassed! I thought there was something deeply wrong with me for crying at a story! that poor innocent girl had some serious tear-jerkers in her future...

Ally’s World, Karen McCombie
As I moved out of Jacqueline Wilson and children’s books and wasn’t quite ready for the few examples of YA available at the time, I feel in love with Ally.  These were the days before I was obsessive about reading series’ in order and I’d go into Waterstone’s or Smiths with my pocket money every Saturday and pick out one of the wackily-titled Ally’s World novels to devour that week.

Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
I moved swiftly onto Louise Rennison and I haven’t really left the genre since! I read one book a week from the series for the first four books and then had every book Louise has released since on pre-order as soon as I could. Here I fell in love with contemporary YA, diary format, UKYA and the gorgeous Robbie (The Sex God), Dave the Laugh and Massimo (The Luuurve God). The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson is still one of my favourite series’.

Just Listen, Sarah Dessen
When I glimpsed the gorgeous cover of this in Waterstone’s one weekend, read the blurb and thought ‘why not?!’ little did I know that I was about to discover my favourite author and my Queen of Contemporary YA. From there on I would search out every other book Sarah had published and love every one. There’s something about her novels that resonate with me on a level in a way that very few other authors do.

Laura’s Diary, Laura Sayers
This is one of those novels that came out of a radio show and I bought it purely out of curiosity and the story attached to this one is quite sad. Feel free to skip over it if you wish! You still with me? Okay. I was lying outside in the garden reading this while my dad prepped for our first barbeque of the year – it was May 2007. Mum was running a bit late and we were all starving. When she finally arrived, she changed everything and announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was still holding Laura’s Diary in my hand. It now resides at the very bottom of a towering stack of books in the corner of my room. I don’t want to see it, but I don't think I’ll ever be able to get rid of it either.

Split by a Kiss, Luisa Plaja
Now, this book is rather special to me. Luisa was the first author to ever get in contact with me and with Split by a Kiss¸ she gave me my first review copy. I feel lucky enough that I can now proudly call Luisa a friend and I continue to love each of her novels so I’m glad it was her. And what’s more, Luisa did something amazing for me and So Many Books, So Little Time – she put me in contact with Random House – a publisher that I’m still proud to review for. Not bad for a first publishing contact, hey?

Crescendo, Becca Fitzpatrick
This book accompanied me on one of the most terrifying days of my life so far: my first day at university. It’s a three-hour drive from Crawley to Bath and I needed something I could get lost in so I wouldn’t pee myself in fear, naturally. Crescendo distracted me through long stretches of motorway, the nervous butterflies and the heart-thumping journey up the long front drive of Bath Spa University. I have to admit that I fell in love with uni pretty quickly and it took me about two weeks to get through because of that, but I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure.

Blood Red Road, Moira Young
Moira Yong’s mind-blowing debut accompanied me on the long days without telelvision or internet in the few days of early summer where I moved into my student house last summer. It was the first summer I’d ever paid for properly and it was awesome. Now it’s obviously an expensive pain in the ass, but that’s another story altogether. It perfectly filled the hours while my housemate was working and I had nothing to do.

So, that was a much longer post than I intended! What books have marked big or important times in your life? Or am I just a little bit too obsessed...?



  1. It's always nice that books can mark events in your life. Can remember reading the first Harry Potter under my desk on my 11th birthday! xXx

  2. Lovely post, Sophie. I've a few but one that's stood out for some reason: The Catcher in the Rye -a teacher recommended it when I was starting to find school the most boring and restricting place in the world. Apparently it meant so much to me that many years later my mum bought me a copy as a gift.

  3. When I was quite young, 5 or 6, I used to hate reading and just laze around and watch TV all the time! But I remember my teacher telling us one day that it was World Book Day and that we should go home and read a book today, so I read 6 and a half of those Rainbow Fairy books, and I have loved reading ever since :) Others books that are important to me are Split by a Kiss (it was my first review book too!), the Harry Potters, and Darren Shan's Demonata series, amongst others!

  4. I love the fact that books can have such strong ties and memories to our past - I loved Matilda too. I really should read Blood Red Road!

  5. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house which had it's own 'Book Room'. Three guesses why it was called that and the first two don't count.

    My first books that I can remember parking myself behind after dragging them off the shelf were.... the Tintin books. I used to read the pictures. I still love Captain Haddock and I'm still debating seeing the film or not - what if it's nothing like the books?!

    I used to love Matilda too because who wouldn't want to be best friends with the librarian? The book of Dahl's I most liked though was Danny the Champion of the World because I wanted the camaraderie of Danny and his dad in the garage working on the cars and the mischievous part of me loved how everyone in the town was in on the plot ;)

  6. such an amazing and interesting post Sophie, its great to see how your love for books grew and blossomed into what it is now! Thank you for sharing.


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