5 books I love (and 3 I really hate!)

I was having a lovely discussion with my colleague and friend Janine last week about books - our favourite authors, books we love, ones we hate, and then she reminded me that it was Book Lover's Day on August 9th. In the year since I moved to Dubai, I've read a lot more books than usual - lying on a sun lounger every weekend gets boring if you've not got something to read, and I've rekindled my love of books. To celebrate Book Lover's Day today, I thought it would be nice to share 5 of my favourite books and also 3 I hate. I love a good debate so if you agree or disagree please do let me know in the comments!

5 books I love

1. One Day by David Nicholls

This is my favourite book. I read it whilst I was travelling in 2010 and feeling all the emotions and it just spoke to me! The book focuses on a simple premise - a man and a woman meet at uni and each chapter documents their lives on the same day over a 20 year period. I really love Emma (the main female character) and identified with her a lot, which I think is why the book is so close to my heart. It's also the second book ever to make me cry (the first was Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson) and I just love the way it's written. The film on the other hand...WELL I think we'll all agree the less said about that the better.

2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This is a good old fashioned adventure story about an Indian boy who survives a ship wreck that's really gripping and unique. I love books that make you think for a long time after you've read them and make you want to discuss with someone else, and that's definitely how I felt after finishing this book. I don't think this is a spoiler, but it's got a really interested theory at the end which I definitely didn't see coming. 

3. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

I read that as part of my English degree at university and it's a book I would never normally pick up. It's the story of a guy who works on Wall Street in the 1980s, and let's just say he's a little unhinged. Or is he!?? Very dark, scary at times (full of graphic violent scenes which I sometimes had to skim read because I am a big old scaredy cat) but it's also really funny and really engrossing. Warning - it makes you paranoid. I read it during a summer break at uni and was convinced every one was out to get me - haha! 

4. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield 

You probably know who Chris Hadfield is, but if not he is = an astronaut who became famous when he recorded a version of David Bowie's Space Odyssey whilst in space and put it on YouTube. This book is basically an autobiographical version of his career and it's so interesting. For someone who knows nothing about space travel, it's a fascinating insight into how it all works, told from a really easy to understand and likeable perspective. 

5. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

This book is just so lovely! It's basically about an old man who goes on a long walk, which sounds super boring but it's really not, it has the sweetest characters and it just makes me feel a warm feeling in my heart. I defy anyone who reads it not to feel the same! 

3 books I hate! (Warning - spoiler alerts!)

1. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

This is another book I read whilst travelling, and it's the (looooooong) story of a guy's adventures since escaping from prison. The main problem I had with this book was that it was basically one long 'inspirational' quote, which makes me shiver with cringe. The main character is insufferably annoying and incredibly embarassing, yet he seems to think he is a deep philosopher who is solving all of life's mysteries and charming everyone he meets, to the point where it's unintentionally funny. I wish I could remember more of the reasons why I hate this book but it's been a long time! Just awful and embarassing. 

2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Basically, this is the story of a man called Henry who can travel through time randomly and the love story between him and a girl called Clare. My main problem with this book was the characters - they appear to have no redeeming qualities, in fact they're both pretty horrible in my opinion. The repeated mentions of Henry wearing a band t-shirt and being so totally rock and roll got on my last nerve. Big chunks of the story were pointless and didn't serve to push the plot along or add any kind of interest, for example when Henry time travels he always ends up naked and there were many, MANY instances of him trying to find some clothes - who cares?!?  To sum up, it was just a load of old waffle about the lives of two boring, unlikeable characters. I just didn't care what happened to them. 

All images from Goodreads

3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I realise that this will probably be quite an unpopular opinion, but man this book was annoying. It's not because it's made for young adults - I certainly still enjoy a bit of Judy Blume, but it's just so pretentious. Similarly to Shantaram, I feel like it's just a collection of 'inspirational' quotes designed to be photoshopped onto a picture the galaxy and put on tumblr to reinforce how deep and meaningful they are. How can anyone like Augustus - a character who puts a cigarette into his mouth and then doesn't smoke it because he wants to 'be in control of the thing that can kill you'? It's like the author looked up the word metaphor and thought, ooh I'd better include one of those I'll look well smart. I just found the whole thing so contrived and hyper-aware that it lost all sense of emotion - it was trying so hard to make me cry it just left me cold. It also annoyed me no end when they kiss in the Anne Frank museum, it's like are we supposed to think their teenage love is so important that they are above respecting one of the most hideous events in modern history?!? I have no more words. 

What are your favourite/worst books of all time? 

Faye x


  1. So I've only read one of these books but I've watched a few of the films! ;) HATED One Day - both film & TV version and didn't like The Time Traveller's Wife/The Fault in Our Stars movies, but loved the Life of Pi film! Haha!

    I think books like these are all down to personal preference. In general, I hate books/films which make me feel depressed (I was seriously down for about 5 days after reading One Day) but I adore anything by Khaled Hosseini... Whose books are probably considered a lot deeper.

    1. both film & book* (not TV - now that would be bad haha)

  2. Haha I don't think my love for it is much of a popular opinion. I liked the Life of Pi film as well :) I've only read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini but I really enjoyed it. Should get round to reading the others in the collection. X