After seriously getting back into reading in the past 18 months I've really enjoyed writing about the books that I've been picking up. Personally, I love hearing others thoughts on books as they can mean different things to so many people and it's always fascinating. So I've rounded up my 10 favourite books that I've read in the past year to share with you today.
REASONS TO STAY ALIVE - MATT HAIG: Earlier in the year, I went through a bit of a bad patch with my mental health state. I was barely leaving the house and generally felt very low and completely trapped in my mind. I picked up Reasons To Stay Alive on the recommendation of people online and even though it's not something that screams feel good but it's such an incredible read. And I think even if you don't struggle with mental health issues it's well worth picking up. It's a book that truly makes you feel grateful to be alive. I know it's something that I will go back to time and time again when I go through a bit of a dip as it's in an instant pick me up.
YES PLEASE - AMY POEHLER: Celebrity books aren't generally something that I tend to read unless they are from somebody that I adore and admire. And Amy Poehler is one of those people to me and I absolutely love Yes Please. I love that the book incorporates brash parts of any woman's personal life and then talks about her many successes in a totally humble way. As a massive fan of Parks & Rec, it was awesome to be able to know more about the cast and of course her great relationship with Tina Fey. It's a total feel-good read and will leave you with a huge smile on your face once you get to the end.
THE SNOW CHILD - EOWYN IVEY: This was one of my all time favourite reads from last year and it's a book that is a pure escapism from real life and I absolutely adored it. It's like a fairy tale for adults although I think this could be still be read from someone at any age and still be enjoyed. It's set in 1920's Alaska and it follows an elderly couple who have never had a child but it's both something they both desperately crave. So one evening after building a snow-girl their lives are changed forever. From the blurb or even reading descriptions online I know it's not something that I would have ever thought to pick up but it's such a lovely read.
TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS - CHERYL STRAYED: Tiny Beautiful Things is a book that is formulated with a collection of advice columns from Cheryl's Strayed online persona 'Sugar'. They're all based around the subject of love and it's not like any advice that I've read before. It's so honest and heartbreaking and I think that we can all relate to the stories that are included in Tiny Beautiful Things. And even though the advice isn't directed at you. We can all take valuable lessons from it and I know that it gave me a total epiphany about so many things that I will put into practice in so many situations.
ONE DAY - DAVID NICHOLLS: I spoke One Day in my recent book post and I absolutely adored it. It's a cult read and it's one that is totally deserving of all the hype that it's received. It's a romance novel following Emma and Dexter who meet on the day of their graduation and documents that same day for the next 20 years. It's full of ups and downs in their separate lives and well as their crazy relationship that is full of so many issues. If you're not a lover of reading then I also think that the film adaption of this book is a great one. A word of warning is that you'll probably need a few tissues as there are some heartbreaking moments in this tale.
QUIET - SUSAN CAIN: Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert I would suggest anybody giving Quiet a read. As a true introvert for so long, I've struggled to understand my personality and it's traits and this book made everything so clear. And made me feel like I wasn't such a strange person like I once thought. Even though of course it's geared towards introverts it doesn't just discuss that personality and includes many of aspects of being an extrovert too. It does contain a lot of case studies but it's not difficult or jarring to read which can often be the case with anything that includes scientific findings. Quiet has made me understand myself so much and how my mind works and what I thrive on and I think that's so important to understand about yourself.
THE MINIATURIST - JESSIE BURTON: It's not so much the plot line that makes The Miniaturist so wonderful it's the that it's written. The way that Burton describes everything is so magical and makes you instantly fall in love with every scene. The story follows young Nella, an 18-year-old who has just moved to Amsterdam to be the wife of a rich merchant but not everything is as it seems. Even though I adored the story in general of Nella I absolutely love the camaraderie between the female characters in this story and it's beautiful and how they are so willing to help each other through the travesties that they are all facing. It's one of those books that you finish and feel like you've got something missing in your life.
THE SECRET HISTORY - DONNA TARTT: Out of all the books that I've got the share with you, I think this is probably my favourite fictional book that I read in the past year. Typically The Secret History isn't a book that I'd gravitate towards, it follows 6 classic students in Vermont and is narrated and from the viewpoint of the main character Richard who shares the details of how one of the group was murdered by the others. The way that this is written is absolutely incredible and Donna Tartt is such a beautiful writer. I think it's the perfect A/W read too as so much of the book is set in the Winter. Her other book The Goldfinch is also a good read but I don't think it's anywhere near as amazing as the TSH.
GONE GIRL - GILLIAN FLYNN: I don't know many people who haven't read this book or watched the film adaption. Personally, I absolutely loved the book as it's unlike anything else that I've ever read and even though I'm not too much into horror or thriller books I found this absolutely captivating. If you don't know what this book is about it follows the story of Amy and Nick who are married and it tells the story from both of their perspectives and the two don't align at all and you soon realise that something isn't quite right. The twist in the tale is so shocking and unexpected that you just have to read on and find out what happens. I'm still torn a year on about whose side I'm on.
BIG MAGIC - ELIZABETH GILBERT: This is another book that I mentioned in my last book post. I'd been a little apprehensive about reading Big Magic as it's been so hyped up online and I was worried it might fall a little short. But, of course, it didn't and Liz Gilbert it just a complete genius on the subject of creativity. To summarise quickly Big Magic is about creative living without fear and how we're all creatives in some way and it's not an exclusive club. The advice wasn't anything that was new to me but it's still got such a powerful message. I know this is a book that I will come back to time and time again when I'm in a creative slump as it only took me a few hours to finish cover to cover.