Welcome back to my latest Top Ten Tuesday post! This week was all about mum’s because it was Mother’s Day out in the US on the 14th!
This week we have a very special guest on my blog… my mum! (That’s me and her in the illustration hehe). For the post this week, mum has come up with her top ten most memorable books! These are the books that stick out in her mind the most over all years she’s been reading.
Mum has provided her own little review on why she liked each book so much, so without further ado, let’s see what they are!
(these are in no particular order!)
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Mum’s review: Zuky brought this for me from a charity shop as part of a bundle of gifts for me. The book is a part autobiographical story about overcoming drug addiction. Every part of the painful experience is captured with humour, sweetness and total bravery. It’s written in a very conversational style and I literally cried from start to finish, the tears were a mixture of sadness, hope and inspiration. I was not expecting to enjoy it, and mid-way through reading I found out that some of the story was fiction (hence part autobio) however this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
Mum’s review: A debut book that I suppose is a bit pretentious culty book in some ways. But this didn’t take away from my enjoyment. A book for book lovers, about the power of words and the world they create in our minds, getting lost in mysterious, scary and enjoyable worlds simply created by words. Essentially a bloke loses his memory and tries to find and recreate his world through clues. It references loads of other cult stories such as Memento, The Matrix and Jaws. The scene at the end recreates Jaws using text to form the physical boat and words to form the shark etc. Clever and a bit of fun. Obviously Raw Shark is a twist on Rorschach inkblots.
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Mum’s review: Read this in an afternoon. It became quickly controversial in the religious world and Richard Dawkins revelled in this! Frankly he is a bit of a twit, but I loved the book. I found it very amusing at times and it also gave me a sense of smugness when I realised that much of the debate in the book mirrored my personal inner debate about religion and non-religion. A great book for Atheists to develop the atheist argument, however it did often tip into ‘anti-religion’ which I can get, but my views are more liberal and inclusive than Dawkins’.
Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Mum’s review: Such a fun, informative, clever and entertaining book, a perfect twisty story wrapped up in a master class of the history of philosophy. This book triggered my interest in philosophy at about the age of 20, and I learnt so much without ever feeling like I was sitting in a lecture. An absolute recommended read if you’re the sort of person that asks “what if” and “why” questions about life.
The Owl Service by Alan Garner
Mum’s review: A book I read when I was about 10. I didn’t really get it, but it really fascinated me and took me out of my world into another that was slightly scary, but full of mystery and fascination. I enjoyed it so much and read it many times during my younger years. It’s a YA mystery that’s layered with love and comments on class and power, set in rural Wales and starts with a set of plates with owl patterns! I last read it about 10 years ago and still enjoyed it, feels like one of those timeless stories.
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Mum’s review: Written at the height of Clive Barker’s success with Hellraiser etc. It’s totally not a book I would have expected to enjoy as fantasy is not necessarily my thing, however it absolutely gripped me. It’s about an entire magical world that had to be captured within the intricate pattern of a woven carpet. Sounds ridiculous. It’s about a world we know is there, we can see it and feel it but we don’t understand it, yet we still want to control or destroy it. A story of good and evil essentially. A battle to exist.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Mum’s review: An amazing novel on so many levels. A dystopian world where women are reduced to a biological function (having good ovaries matters).
It’s pretty savage in parts and paints a horrific picture of misogyny that is still recognisable today. That said, a must read even if you’re not looking at it from a feminist perspective.
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
Mum’s review: I absolutely loved this silly book. All Jon Ronson’s books are written with tongue firmly in cheek, but are not to be brushed aside as journalistic tripe. He covers some fascinating and informative topics. This one stands out as I always wondered if I was indeed a psychopath! … Turns out I’m not! If you want to read non-fiction, learn and laugh then Ronson’s books are for you.
The Stand by Stephen King
Mum’s review: A genuinely scary novel. I still have nightmares about this book!
I first read it when I was 13 and spent an entire weekend glued to the book. I couldn’t sleep. I then read it again when I had to go on a week long business trip to Wales. It was still as scary and I had to call my husband up to talk to me while I fell asleep. Stupid! Just read it folks, it’s such a fantastic story.
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
Mum’s review: This book was an international bestseller – but don’t let that put you off! If you even have a modicum in understanding why humans do we we do, or why societies communities, markets, politics do what they do then this is a great light touch explanation of how economics can answer so many of these questions. Written in an informal academic style it draws you in like a story. Loved it!
There we have it! These are the top ten most memorable books my mum’s read in her lifetime. I have all these books on my TBR thanks to lots of pushing from mum, but I trust her judgement and I look forward to them all!
I’ve actually read most of The Psychopath Test already and I have to agree with what mum has said, it’s hilarious while being clever and informative, a really great non-fiction read!
I’d love to hear what you think of mum’s choices! Have you read any of these yourself, or plan to?
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