Like everyone, I have my favourite books.
However I have two books which stand out from the rest. These two are my All Time Favourites.
All Time Favourites:
Below I have also listed my other favourite books.
My Other Favourites:
The World House – Guy Adams
The World House was first brought to my attention by a forum member who had just finished the book, and described it as a cross between Jurassic Park and Jumanji. Two films that I absolutely adore. It is an amazing fantasy story, confusing at times but you just have to go with the flow. The book starts with a box, which isn’t just a box. Inside the box is a house, but this is no ordinary house. People in the normal world are transported there, against their will. In some rooms, forests grow, stuffed animals and objects can come alive. We follow the story of different people who have found themselves trapped inside the box, with no way out. Or is there? Each person is desperately trying to survive. But at what cost? However, not everyone knows what’s at the top of the house. There is a prisoner sitting behind a locked door, waiting for the key to turn. He is the reason that this house has been created. And if the door is unlocked, the world will end.
There is a second book, Restoration, which I haven’t yet read yet.
Mercy – Jussi Adler-Olsen
This is a brilliant crime and thriller story. From the start, the story grips you as you learn that Merete Lynggaard has been kidnapped, being kept hostage in a dark, dank cell. She is determined not to go mad, but as she spends longer down there it is becoming increasingly hard. Then there is Carl Morck, an embarrassment to the police force, who has been demoted to investigate cold cases. Both main characters are great, and very believable. You follow Merete as she tries to understand what she has done to be kidnapped. This was a hard book to put down, as I couldn’t wait to see how this ended.
This is the first book in the Department Q series, and I am looking forward to reading more.
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy, and it picks up straight after the first book finishes. Katniss and Peeta have just survived The Hunger Games and they have arrived back home at District 12. But Capitol isn’t happy with how The Games finished, and the Capitol now want revenge. Now Katniss has arrived home, she wants more than everything to forget what has happened. But they are forced to visit the other Districts as part of their Victory tour. But due to the joint victory, a rebellion is about to break out. Katniss and Peeta need to convince everyone that they are still hopelessly in love. If they fail, the consequences will be horrifying. Then, Capitol throw a cruel twist for the next Hunger Games… Katniss and Peeta will be forced to join the arena again.
I think Suzanne Collins has done a fantastic job with this one. Having said that, I didn’t think it was as good as The Hunger Games, but it was a very tough act to follow. Still a brilliant book in its own right.
The Passage – Justin Cronin
I love post apocalyptic novels, and this one is my favourite. It starts off in 2017, the US government are experimenting on death row prisoners trying to search for immortality and fast healing for soliders when they are in war. As if this isn’t bad enough, they then decide that they want to experiment on a child to test out the virus. Then the world begins to end, the prisoners become violent and inhuman. The prisoners manage to escape and in the commotion one FBI Agent, Wolgast, grabs the young child, Amy, and runs; trying to save her and himself. The story mainly follows their survival as the world as they know it changes completely infront of them. The story then jumps ahead 90 years, where you find a small human camp who are trying to survive, and have to constantly keep lights on to keep away the ‘virals’ that live outside the compound. One day, as the batteries are starting to run low, Amy, an immortal, turns up.
Although the book was a little slow in places, I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the first book in the trilogy, and can’t wait to see how this ends.
Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen
Water for Elephants is a lovely story. It follows Jacob, who has recently been orphaned, who jumps onto a passing train. But this is no ordinary train… this train is the Benxini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth… a travelling circus. Jacob gets a job looking after the animals, having just finished studying as a vet. There he meets and falls in love with Marlena, one of the circus stars, but she is married to August, the circus Ring Master. On their journey from town to town, they acquire an elephant, Rosie, who refuses to be trained. Jacob and Marlene work together to try and help train Rosie.
This is a beautiful love story, surrounded by the magic of a circus. Told by a much older Jacob, you feel the warmth and heartache that he suffered during his earlier years.
In The Heart of The Canyon – Elisabeth Hyde
This book is a simple story following a group of 13 holiday makers who have booked on a 2 week river trip down the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon. Over the course of the holiday, the passengers (mostly strangers) will help maneuver the boats down the river, working together as they ride the river and rapids. These strangers are with one another 24/7 and as they find out more about each other, somethings are best left in private.
I really enjoyed this book a lot more the second time round. It is an easy book to follow and you could feel the heat that the author was describing. This was a very well researched book, which you could tell throughout the journey.
The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivery
This was really magical book set in the 1920’s in Alaska. Jack and Mabel are trying to make a fresh start after the loss of their baby, in the remote homestead where the wilderness is bleak and stark especially in the Winter. A little girl appears mysteriously on their land one day, and they welcome her into their hearts and home, but where has she come from?
This is a completely spellbinding and haunting story as you see Jack and Mabel struggling with farm life and their relationship due to the heartbreak they have both suffered. With the help of Faina, she completely helps them overcome their grief.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest – Stieg Larsson
This is the third and final book in the trilogy and although I thought the trilogy was brilliant, this was by far my favourite. You start the story with Salander in hospital, plotting revenge against the man who almost killed her. Unfortunately this proves difficult, as she is under guard whilst in Intensive Care, about to face three murders and an attempted murder. She requires the help of Mikael Blomkvist and the help of the researchers from his magazine, Millennium, to prove her innocence and bring down the people who are trying to frame her.
Like all the other books, this is full of action and twists and turns as Lisbeth fights to save herself. The descriptions throughout the book are thorough and detailed. A real page turner. I feel gutted that Stieg is not alive to see how well his trilogy was perceived.
The Mermaids Singing – Val McDermid
One of the first thriller books I read. It is a start of the series following a clinical psychologist, Tony Hill. Four men have been found mutilated and tortured. The city is in fear, and as Tony Hill is brought in to help with police investigation, he soon becomes a target of the serial killer. It’s a race against time to find out who the killer is, before it’s too late.
This was a brilliant fast paced book. Throughout the book, you got to read from the killers’ point of view, and I guessed completely wrong on who the serial murder was. Chilling but totally gripping, this is hard to put down until you know what happens at the end.
We Bought A Zoo – Benjamin Mee
This is a true story about Benjamin and his family who have just bought a run down zoo in Dartmoor, including over 200 exotic animals. They have used all their savings, they are prepared for a challenge and huge change in their lives. The whole family and the small team of keepers are going to have their hands full. But as their lives take an unexpected twist, Benjamin finds himself juggling huge responsibilities of managing the staff and finances, while holding the bailiffs at bay and caring for his wife.
It is a brilliant book as you begin to understand how much work goes into running a zoo, aswell as how the family worked together especially after a tragic death. After reading this book, I can’t wait to visit Dartmoor Zooligical Park.
The Night Circus – Erin Morganstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: “Opens at Nightfall, Closes at Dawn”. As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky the sign appears “Le Cirque Des Reves” (The Circus of Dreams). Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.
The Night Circus is mystifyingly enchanting. It leaves your imagination to run wild in the fantasy world created by the joys of magic and romance all in the surroundings of a circus. This is an amazing debut novel, completely out of this world and like nothing you have ever read.
The Leopard – Jo Nesbo
This book is part of the Harry Hole series, where two women have been found drowned in their own blood. A third has been found hanging from a diving board. There are no clues, the media is on their backs and the police is running out of options. There is only one man that can help them catch the killer. But Inspector Harry Hole doesn’t want to be found.
It is even better than The Snowman. Its fast paced and has numerous plot twists, making the story at times complex. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book, even though some of the murders are quite gruesome.
Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
This is a haunting tale as you follow identical ‘mirror’ twin girls who have been left a flat in London by their Aunt who they didn’t know. You follow the story of the girls who leave home for the first time and begin a new life in London. But once they move in, they find themselves entangled in the lives of the OCD crossword setter who lives above them and their Aunts mysterious boyfriend who lives in the flat below. Then there is their aunt, who can’t quite seem to leave the flat.
This is a dark story with lots of twists, right up to the last page. I personally preferred this to The Time Traveller’s Wife.