I asked. And BOY did you guys respond…
I’ve been looking for some new, recommended books to read. Like many right now, lockdown has provided a perfect chance to catch up on all the books I’d been meaning to start or to at least ‘up’ my reading game entirely.
What better way than to go by recommendation. Which is why I asked you guys, my Instagram followers & also posted on one of my favourite Facebook groups.
I put it to you, asking for your reading recommendations and suggestions – Your favourite books to read.
I had a few conditions that the books would ideally meet…
No death, minimal sadness and something light which wouldn’t spark an existential crisis.
I like to read before bed and so these checkboxes, which I know to a few of you seemed strange, are super important for me in finding a suitable read… Something which calms the mind before drifting off! However, my 3 conditions for a book are not always achievable (granted). Infact, a few of the suggestions I was sent from you guys came with disclaimers of “sorry it breaks one of your rules BUT it’s soooooo good”. I decided to include ALL of the responses I received and am suuuuper grateful for everyone single person who messaged me! You responded in your HUNDREDS and I am so thankful for your support, always.
And so the list begins… I suppose you could say this is now a ‘best books to read OF ALL TIME’ list?! One thing’s for sure… You guys were certainly passionate about the top 5 books!
There’s some method to the madness that follows. If a novel was recommended multiple times, it features higher up the list. The number in the brackets is how many unique times it was submitted. As I’ve said, the response was WHOPPING…
I hope you’d never doubt my support for all cultures and races BUT, I want to highlight there are books in this list from a variety of authors; white, black, straight, gay, newbie tale-tellers and well-established writers. There are, of course, books which have BAME characters, publishers who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and book settings from all corners of the world. Independent, Essex locals included! From a whole range of backgrounds and lives. Historical novels and chick-lit. Autobiographies and fantastical tales.
I have hardly read even a HANDFUL of these and so I’m fully trusting all of your brilliant suggestions here! Whether you’re part of a book club or a keen solo reader, I just know the list of everyone’s reading recommendations will be a key resource for you as much as it is proving to be for me.
A final note before we get cracking – Each novel of this ultimate reading list is linked to the UK Amazon site. But, I’ve included a mixture of Kindle and Paperback options to hopefully encourage some paperless transactions. Don’t forget there’s also Audible for another paper-free option too!
Here. We. Go…
YOUR TOP 5 RECOMMENDED BOOKS TO READ:
The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary (31)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (16)
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (14)
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (9)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (6) AND ME!
Next up on the reading list
Each book was submitted 5 unique times:
Becoming by Michelle Obama (5)
Anything by Roald Dahl (5) but especially Kiss Kiss
More of your reading recommendations…
Each book was submitted 4 unique times:
Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life, and Let Go of Your Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (4)
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella (4)
Each book was submitted 3 unique times:
The Restarter Series by local author Sean McMahon (3) Start off with Fir Lodge
Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup (3)
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (3)
The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (3)
The Switch by Beth O’Leary (3)
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (3)
Untamed by Glennon Doyle (3)
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (3)
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (3) (Post written before J.K. Rowling’s atrocious views were revealed)
Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King (3)
Stopping for a breather?
Here are some other posts you ought to bookmark for later…
5 Essex Walks for pretty pictures!
Explore the world without even leaving your home (Lockdown? What lockdown!)
Get your morning routine in gear with a dose of self-care!
If Lockdown was summed-up in 5 songs…
More of your recommended books to read
Each submitted 2 unique times:
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth (2)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (2)
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (2)
Are We Nearly There Yet? by Lucy Vine (2)
What Fresh Hell by Lucy Vine (2)
Spectacles by Sue Perkins (2)
Hot Mess by Lucy Vine (2)
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (2)
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (2)
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (2)
The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot (2)
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (2)
My Girl by Jack Jordan (A local author from Colchester) (2)
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (2)
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho (2)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (2)
And last but certainly not least on the list of your reading recommendations…
Each of these books had one submission each:
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (1)
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (1)
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride (1)
American Royals by Katharine McGee (1)
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (1)
Love from Paris by Alexandra Potter (1)
Anything by Jane Fallon (1) but especially Faking Friends
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (1)
A Summer At Sea by Katie Fforde (1)
Rainbirds by Clarrisa Goenawan (1)
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo (1)
For Once in My Life by Colleen Coleman (1)
The Selection by Kiera Cass (1)
The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (1)
The Fab Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison (1) Especially Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging
Kid Normal by Greg James & Chris Smith (1)
My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons (1)
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (1)
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Alborn (1)
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (1)
The Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (1)
The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton (1)
Livin’ the Dreem: A Year in My Life by Harry Hill (1)
I Heart Series by Lindsey Kelk (1) Especially I Heart New York
Eve of Man by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher (1)
Eve of Illusion by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher (1)
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (1)
Living Dangerously by Sophie Kinsella (1)
The Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest (1)
The Butlins Girls by Elaine Everest (1)
The Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest (1)
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (1)
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (1)
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton (1)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (1)
Anything by Sarah Morgan (1) Especially A Wedding in December
Anything by Paige Toon (1) Especially The Minute I Saw You
The Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot (1)
I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman (1)
The Pants of Perspective by Anna McNuff (1)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (1)
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli (1)
If I Never Met You by by Mhairi McFarlane (1)
One Day in December by Josie Silver (1)
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams (1)
The Librarian by Salley Vickers (1)
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (1)
Snow Flower And The Secret Fan by Lisa See (1)
The Expiration Date by V.L. Arias (1)
The Awakening by KL Hagaman (1)
Locke & Key Series by Joe Hill (1)
Across The Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (1)
Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra (1)
How To Fail by Elizabeth Day (1)
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (1)
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum (1)
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (1)
The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman (1)
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (1)
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (1)
The Only Way Is Up by Carole Matthews (1)
Step Up: Confidence, success and your stellar career in 10 minutes a day by Phanella Mayall Fine (1)
Where to Begin: A Small Book about Your Power to Create Big Change in Our Crazy World by Cleo Wade (1)
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (1)
As for my personal suggestions? I’m going to put together a few of my own favourite books to read in a following ‘5 Things’ post – So do keep your eyes peeled.
I hope to pick up a few of these in the coming months, which ones are you going to go for?!
Once again, thank you SO much to everyone who took the time to message, comment and send their reading recommendations to me. I cannot believe the response and am so very grateful. I can’t promise to have read them all by the time lockdown ends… But I’ll certainly give it a good go!
Congrats, you made it through possibly the LONGEST blog post known to man! What do you read before bed? Is there a certain book you’re loving right now? Has this post helped you find some new favourite books to read? Maybe you missed the window for sending submissions?! It’s never too late! Drop me a message on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You can also email me or leave a comment on this post…
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