I love books.
I can thank my parents for my love of books. Both of them are avid readers and as a child they both read to me a lot, and visits to the library and local little bookshop were a regular part of my childhood. I was the geeky kid who saved all their birthday money and pocket money and spent it on books. I was the kid who face burst into a huge smile if she got a book token (giftcard for the Americans) for Christmas. I loved my books. They were my friends. They were where I escaped to, the adventures I had, and as I grew where I learned about love, and murder, and grief, and romance, and betrayal and injustice, and sex and, well you get the idea, the list is endless.
I always wanted to run a little book shop. It was my childhood ambition. I tried to get a part time job in my local bookshop but they were not hiring. I have never worked in a bookshop but even to this day I would love to. I still sometimes day dream about my little bookshop. There would be places to sit and read. You could buy a tea or coffee and maybe a cake too and of course lots of lovely books. In fact if you buy a book you get a cup of tea or coffee for free. See, I have seriously thought about my little book shop.
When I saw that May’s prompts for Life Matter’s was all about books this month I knew I had to join in. Books, books, glorious books. I have shelves and shelves of them. A mixture of read and unread. If I read a book and it is good but not amazing then I tend to pass it onto to my Mum or take them to the charity bookshop. She sends her books to me so there is a steady supply between us but some books are for keeping. They are the books that are just special in some way. That you just can’t part with, whose stories stay with you for years after you have read them and they sit on your shelf and you know in between their pages there is a little bit of magic. How could you ever give those ones away?
For May’s prompt this week she asked for people to share their fiction recommendations. Being a life long book worm it is a little touch to know where to start with that. After all the books I love have definitely changed and evolved over the years and the list continues to grow ever longer. So I thought I would pick just 5 books from my book shelves that I would never get rid of for whatever reason.
A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute – A war time romance but definitely not your standard one. Set in Malaya during WWII and Australia post war it deals with love, endurance, hope and one woman’s absolute dogged determination to stay alive. I also clearly remember the TV mini series and may have had a youthful lusting after Bryan Brown. My attraction to older men is not a new thing.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – I am fairly sure the root of my priest/vicar kink can be found in the pages of this epic saga which I read in my later teen years. I somehow lost my original copy but replaced it a few years ago. Also this is another with a TV mini series connection and the scene were Meggie finally manages to seduce Father Ralph…. unnfff. Seriously if you have a slight priest kink and have not read this book then you are missing out.
Tampa by Alissa Nutting – I bought this book in the airport purely because of the cover and I definitely did not regret it. It based on a true story of female teacher who has a ‘relationship’ with one of her male students. It is dark and disturbing and fairly graphic and I am adamant that if the genders in the story were swapped it would never have got published.
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – Any book that has blackened charred pages deserves to be kept but this one also contains a captivating story of love that I couldn’t put down. Michael read it first and gave it to me. It was one of those books wherre I was sad when it ended. That doesn’t happen often.
Sweetpea by C J Skuse – I love me a serial killer but a ruthless female serial killer is the best. It has a slight Brigit Jones style of writing about it in that it is diary entries but whilst Rhiannon is funny her similarity to Brigit ends there because she is also a ruthless cold blooded killer and I loved her.
Now what about you…. I would love for everyone who comments to leave me one recommendation for a fiction book you think I should read. And if you are interested in following along with my reading then check out my hashtag #mollyreadsbooks on Twitter where I have been writing about the books I have read for the last two years.