I am always on the look out for guest bloggers who want to take over BlondeWriteMore for a day and shake things up a bit.
Donna from Jot To Jot recently caught my eye. Her blog is a fab lifestyle review blog with witty and engaging posts about her travels and experiences. So I reached out and she wrote me a fab post on the books which have made an impression on her.
She even included some emotional reading situations which I can relate to. In my eyes the sign of a good book is determined by the number of tissue boxes you work through.
Readers of BlondeWriteMore, please welcome Donna from Jot To Jot!
Welcome to my bookcase and 6 stand out reads that left an impression
In my opinion, there is nothing quite like the magic of getting lost in a really good book.
The kind of book where you start reading in daylight and before you know it, the words have disappeared off the page as it is so dark and your eyes are straining, hungry to read more.
Or the twenty minutes you put aside before you turn the lamp off to sleep, only to suddenly find it is 3am.
Yes, books so good they have the power to remain in your thoughts all day. Where you plan your day around opportunities to read said book, even if it’s just a quick page in the toilet. (Which turns naturally into a half-hour epic of numb-bum time!)
I love it when a book gets under my skin.
In our house, Sam and I have an eclectic mix of books. Sadly, there isn’t enough room in our house to have a room dedicated to being a library (oh I wish!) so we make do with three massive Billy bookcases from IKEA. Our bookshelves stand proudly in our dining room, which is quite often a talking point when we have people round for dinner.
We made the decision when we put our bookshelves together that we were going to arrange our books in a completely random way- something we’d seen in others’ houses. It gives the impression of a well-used, well-loved collection rather than a showpiece.
It puzzles our friends to see, as Sam and I are two of the most organised people in all other aspects of our lives; however in this case, we are more than happy to have a fluffy piece of chick-lit flanked by a Spanish language guidebook on one side and the review of the 1987 Formula One season on the other. It does make finding a certain book quite a challenge though!
I’ve never written about my love for the written word, and I thought I would share with you books that have “spoken” to me in some way. It may even be that I have read the book only once, but it was enough for it to make its mark.
So here, in no particular order, is my list of 6 books that have got under my skin and I could not put down!
Book 1: The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (series) by Sophie Kinsella
Now if there was ever an author I would want to write my life, it would be Sophie Kinsella! This series had me right from the word go. I have been a loyal reader of Sophie Kinsella for years, and even though she has written other books (and under the name of Madeleine Wickham), I could get lost in this series about the young woman Becky (Rebecca) Bloomwood time and time again.
I think it’s because the character of Becky is representative of so many women and their foibles that it’s hard not to like her and get caught up in all the trouble and mishaps that seem to occur in her life.
Oh and Luke Brandon comes across as a bit of a dish…well in my imagination he is anyway!
Book 2: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I read this first when I was in secondary school and I fell in love with the story very quickly. A likeable, strong female lead in a time where women were not considered “strong” and how she came across all sorts of obstacles from such a young age.
It opened my young eyes as to how cruel life could be, and how lucky I was not to experience what Jane did as a child.
Book 3: 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Yes, yes you can just hear me out on this one: give me a moment to explain before you click off the page in disgust.
It cannot be denied that this book caused a sensational stir. And if you’re honest, you probably engaged in some sort of conversation about the book/story/characters/author, maybe even just for a few seconds at some point over the last two years, whether you wanted to or not.
I wasn’t one of the first people to go and buy it, I hadn’t even heard of it until I stumbled into a debate in the staff room at work one day. The story literally divided the room, and as I stood by the microwave heating my lunch I heard the words “mummy” and “porn” being catapulted to and fro. I was really glad that our Head Teacher didn’t walk in just at that moment.
Well of course I had to find out for myself exactly what all the fuss was about. I quite enjoyed it actually. It was easy to read and a bit of escapism after being at school all day. I had not read anything like it before, which might have helped to explain my liking for it.
In fact, I am part of a very small group at work who went to the cinema to see both films. Not that we advertised the fact, but it was a bloody good laugh!
Book 4: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I also read this book back in secondary school days and loved how the story was told through the eyes of the child character, Scout. Another eye opener as to how the world varied and how differently people were treated.
I thought that Gregory Peck portrayed Atticus Finch brilliantly in the film; just how I’d imagined he’d be.
Book 5: Tales from End Cottage by Eileen Bell
This book transports me right back to being a child. How I wished I lived in Mrs Apple’s cottage, surrounded by all her wonderful animals. Life in the country seemed to fantastic and idyllic. It was warm, comforting reading, and so easy to imagine actually being there.
Book 6: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
Oh my golly. Well this book was right out of my comfort zone. I had been told and warned by my mum about how emotional this story was. Before I’d read it, I was always a bit dismissive and yes ok you said it was sad etc.
But, it wasn’t just sad. It was heart-breaking, gut wrenching sad. One day I was up in my mum and dad’s bedroom and had come across the book on mum’s shelf and started flicking through the first couple of pages.
Well, I then found I couldn’t actually put the book down. I was gripped. I was being held captive by the most emotional story line ever, and it wasn’t about to let me go.
Then came the tears.
Just so we’re clear, the tears were not the gentle one or two drops. I’m talking great big gushing tears; I wanted to climb in to the book in a sort everything out, I-want-a-happy-ending-damn-it kind of way.
Isn’t it annoying when your parents are right and have been right about it for so long?
And then of course I made a huge mistake.
I found out that there was a sequel book. My mum had that on the book shelf too!!
I was in pieces for days. I’ve never howled over a story before. Never.
There is definitely a first time for everything!
There are so many other books that I could add to this list. In fact I am sitting here with my list of books that I really wanted to include in this post, but it would turn into a novel itself!
What this post has shown me is how much I love reading. It is something that I used to do all the time, and now do so very little of. I look at reading lists and wander around Waterstones and think there is so much I still need to read.
I read to my class practically every day and I ensure that they read by themselves every day. I always explain to them why reading is just so fantastic and why they should be making the most of it. Most of them agree with me.
I love that you can forget exactly where you are and what you should be doing and just let your imagination drift.
I don’t have a book on the go at the moment, but I’d love to know what your recommendations are. I am a total creature of habit, so if you can, recommend something that will take me out of my fluffy comfort zone and transport me on some magical literacy rollercoaster ride.
Thanks Donna – great guest post 👍🏻 If you like the sound of Donna – head on over to her blog.
Here’s a pic below of Donna looking all posh!