Thursday, 6 March 2014

World Book Day

Happy World Book Day everyone! Hope all you bookworms are busy devouring a great read. I was just whiling away a few minutes on Twitter when I saw a tweet from the amazing Rowan Coleman that has me thinking........

She asked "tell me your favourite Women's Fiction / Chick Lit books of all time".

My first thought is that it's impossible to name just one. There are far too many. I then set myself a challenge to name my top 10 (I am now realising that is almost as impossible). I have however, after much internal debatecome up with my top ten (in no particular order). My rationale was that these are all books that I have immediately felt the need to pass on and share with others, and the characters have stayed with me long after the book ended.

1) Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes. This is the first grown up chick lit style book I remember reading and just falling head over heels in love with. Full of great characters, emotion and love. I remember finishing it and passing it straight on to Mum who loved it equally as much. I still have my copy.

2) The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I was late to the party with this one, only reading it in Autumn last year. A very serious subject but told with such passion. The characters are so well written and I felt intensely attached to them by the end. There are also some great more light hearted moments which you will snigger away at. I didn't want this book to end, and is perhaps the only book I have seen adapted in to a film that is almost as good.

3) I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk. Ever since Friends and Sex In The City I have loved New York and it was one of the places in the world I most dreamt of visiting, my dream came true and I went there in November 2007 and I fell in love with it. When I Heart New York came out I just had to buy it, not knowing how much I was going to love Angela and of course Alex. I have read the whole series since and can never wait until the next one is published.

4) Beyond Grace's Rainbow by Carmel Harrington. Oh my days, what can I say about this book? I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. In the first chapter you meet Grace, the main character, who is being told that she has cancer. I know, that just sounds so depressing, and yes, there is a very serious side of the book, but there are also great moments of humour and love. You get to meet Grace, all her friends, her daughter and her ex love, Jack. By the end of it I felt like I could be another of their friends and even writing this would love to check in with them to see how they are. A word of warning, have tissues!

5) The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman. What can I say? This book tells the story of a mother and wife who has died years too early. We get to see what life is like for those she has left behind after her death. The book takes us through each of the 7 stages of grief and you will not fail to feel each of those steps along with them all. A truly magical debut novel that has made me reflect on how I want to live my life, what I want to make sure those I love know, and how I feel about then moving on with life if I wasn't around. It has challenged me on my views.

6) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I laughed, I cried, I felt anger, I felt sadness and most of all I felt totally absorbed by this book. I cant really say too much about this book or I worry I will give it all away and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it. It is the one book I couldn't remove from my shelf for a long time, I just didn't want it to be over. I have also shared copies of this book with everyone. Beautifully written and deeply affecting.

7) By My Side by Alice Peterson. What isn't to love about Alice Peterson and her work. She hasn't written a book I haven't loved. By My Side is my favourite and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down, devouring it in no time at all. The main character is Cass who has lost her sight and is struggling. Then she meets Ticket, her guide dog who helps her live again. Like many of the books on my list you will laugh and cry in equal measure. This is a touching book and just brilliantly written.

8) The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman. What a beautifully written book. It tells the story of Claire who is only in her early forties, with a young family, but has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. Most of the book is set from the perspective of Claire and her eldest daughter. You cant help but be moved by the book and the characters in it. It also makes you realise how much we take for granted in life, simple things like knowing where we live, who our nearest and dearest are, and who we are. Rowan Coleman has a lovely way of writing that draws you in to care for them without feeling like you are a voyeur in such a sad situation.

9) The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews. This was the first book with the second called the Chocolate Lovers Diet. I havent read them in a couple of years and keep thinking that I should go back and re-read them. It is the story of 4 friends brought together by their love of chocolate. There are many funny escapades that the ladies get up to that will have you laughing your way through, as well as some more emotional times too. Not only have I loved these books but so have my Mum and Daughter. I recenty saw that Carole is currently penning the third installment which is due out at the end of the year...I cant wait!

10) This Charming Man by Marian Keyes. I know, this is the second of Marian's books on the list, and I ummed and ahhed but I couldnt leave it out. It was a book that literally left my jaw dropping at many times throughout. If you have ever seen a paper copy you will know that it is a big thick book which often puts me off, so I was a bit daunted about the prospect of reading it. But it was a bank holiday weekend and I couldnt put it down, my eyes hurt by the end but I was compelled to keep reading. It is the story of 4 women and a man and I cant really tell you too much without risking ruining it, but you will be astounded. I quickly passed it on to my Mum who also lapped it up.


  1. Great post - it is so difficult compiling a list of favourites. I quite agree with your numbers 3, 5 & 6 - they would be on my list. Of your others, one I have read and the remainder are on my TBR pile.

    1. I found it almost imossible and have been having lots of moments since where I think of others I should have included. I think I might do a couple more features in the coming weeks as I feel a need to share them.

  2. Oh and honestly, do read the others, they are all great. I have a soft spot for Beyond Graces Rainbow, if you liked Me Before You I think you will love it. Let me know how you enjoy the others when you read them

  3. got my numbers mixed up, should have said 5, 6 & 8! Have read good things about Grace's Rainbow, it's waiting patiently on the Kindle!