5 books I love
1. One Day by David Nicholls
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?