I love reading – it’s one of my favourite things to do. There is nothing better than curling up with a book that just sucks you into it, head to toe. I am just as happy on the couch with the sun streaming through the patio doors, as I am with snow falling outside and a fire lit – as long as there is a great read involved.
That being said – I read quite quickly, so, when I find a series I love, I charge through it as fast as Amazon can deliver, because, yes, I’m also one of those ‘old-fashioned’ types that has to read a paper book rather than an electronic version.
Once I’ve finished a great series though, I often struggle to find another read to match up to it.
Where do you find book recommendations?
Friends? Amazon suggestions and reviews? Family? Goodreads? A book club?
Chances are, it’s a combination of sources. For me, it’s all of them, except a book club. I guess I’m not the sort of person who likes to be told what to read – that’s what caused me to take a hiatus for a few of my later teenage years – school set texts for exams. Or in other words ‘problems with authority’. Anyway…
So, how do you choose what to read? My husband hardly ever reads fiction, but that forms the bulk of what I choose. I read for many reasons – to escape into a fantasy world, for a great murder mystery, to understand a period of history better (and I am happy for a fiction aspect to build this out for me) and often to aid my understanding of a concept. And travel! I mean – who visits a new place without a trusty guidebook?
In the spirit of “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”, here are some of my recent and not-so-recent-but-I-keep-reading-over-and-over reads, because I am ALWAYS in need of a good book recommendation!
Harry Potter (the entire series) – who wouldn’t love to have gone to school in a castle to learn magic?! Sign me up now!
A Discovery of Witches (the whole trilogy) – love story, magic, history, time travel, witches, vampires, demons. I mean – it’s every popular genre in one. And it’s set in cool places too – Oxford, France, London, Yale, Venice. A great read – and utterly absorbing!
Outlander (yep, all of these too, but the link is just to the first one) – a handsome Scot, a love story, time travel, a little bit of magic, kilts, more kilts, porridge and muscles. I wish Diana Gabaldon would hurry up and add to these, but, they are just the best escape.
The Other Boleyn Girl – the book is much better than the movie of the same name and takes you right to Tudor Britain and the time when Anne Boleyn was queen. A great read!
The Nightingale – a dark time in history, this amazing story set in Nazi-occupied France about 2 sisters with their differing methods of resistance. It’s so good, it should be a school-set text. Well written and I’ll admit, I cried at the end.
Extraordinary People – The first of the “Enzo Files” by Peter May. I love that this is set in France, with a Scottish/Italian central character. The books are a series of cold cases that Enzo, a forensic scientist, wagers that he can solve. The whole series are a great way to lose time in magical ways. (and if you love the Enzo Files, try the Lewis Trilogy too)
Raven Black – The first of the “Shetland” series by Ann Cleeves. These books are set in the Shetland Islands and centre around murders in the small communities on the islands. I was hooked after reading the first one – the central character, Inspector Jimmy Perez develops as the series goes on. They’re great mysteries with cool plot twists, set in places I now want to visit.
Pride and Prejudice – A Jane Austen must-read for all girls. And boys. Of all ages. Whilst I haven’t been able to get my kiddo to read it yet (he’s an 11 yr old boy, it’s a tall order), I have made him watch it on TV (the BBC version, with Colin Firth of course). Anyway. It’s the ultimate love story with all kinds of social complications for the Bennett girls, who, really just need to make ‘good marriages’.
The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy at his best. What could be better than someone’s awful, selfish decision catching up with them? Ah! Brilliant. So, if you’ve ever held a little hope that people get their comeuppance for some bad deed at some point, this is your book.
But – enough about me. What about you? What are some of your favourites that you just can’t put down? I’d love to hear your amazing book recommendations!
This post contains affiliate links - they make it super easy to click right through to Amazon.com to purchase any of my favourite page-turners, but, in full disclosure, if you purchase from any of these links, I will receive a small commission, even though you won't pay a penny more. I intend to spend any commissions on more books, so don't forget to share your own book recommendations!