The 5 Books I've Loved Forever
The 5 books I will look back fondly upon, and probably re-read multiple times.
1. The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
I don't think many people question why Jackie Wilson was an amazing children's book writer. I didn't even realise I was reading about harrowing subjects such as domestic abuse, terminal illness and child neglect until years later when I looked back on them. But she approached everything in such a considered way that it opened my eyes to these issues without being abrasively scary. I will always love the Illustrated Mum as a book, and I can't wait to re-read it as an adult.
2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
I read this book more recently, but it made me cry. I read online that it took Eugenies (author of The Virgin Suicides btw) 9 years to complete this work, and you can tell when you read it. You end up so engrossed in this family's history that it's difficult to accept when the book comes to an end. It's also about hermaphroditc, which is a very little discussed condition.
3. Freakonomics by Stephen D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
I don't think non-fiction gets the praise that it deserves as a genre of literature - well written and considered non fiction books are just as enjoyable (sonetimes more enjoyable) to read than fiction. And it's a way to educate yourself that doesn't feel laborious. Anyway freakonomics is super easy to read and full of surprising ways that different social and economics trends relate and influence each other.
4. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
I was a Judy Blume machine when I was younger - I used to go to rural America every year and we'd go round all the goodwill shops. Because we always did roadtrips we would be in the car for hours so I would just read constantly, then we'd have to stop in the next town to buy me another book. This is how I came to read every. single. judy blume. book. out there. Now that I look back at them, they were a bit twee, but they still promoted girl power and dialogue about female sexuality and coming-of-age in an America that likes to turn their heads the other way,
5. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Follow James Frey on twitter, he's hilarious. This memoir of his recovery from drug addiction is written so simply and starkly that you can't help but ponder it long after you close the book. Also wrote a fabulous novel about Jesus being a gay man in New York City, which I really recommend to anyone who enjoys offending sensitive christian acquaintances.