Today’s post is all about the books that make me, me. It’s pretty hard to choose just five; I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember and it’s a key part of my life both at home and at work. But these five are the ones that stick out most in my mind- I’ve tried to pick ones that reflect all aspects of my life and who I am.
Matilda- Roald Dahl
I loved all of Roald Dahl’s books as a kid, but as someone who was badly bullied, Matilda gave me hope. I would burrow myself in books and escape, dreaming of a teacher like Miss Honey and have telekinetic powers in order to bring my tormentors down. Dahl was excellent at making children feel like they could survive anything and I will always be grateful to him for helping a small girl in 1990s Leeds get through an unhappy phase
To Kill A Mockingbird- Harper Lee
It’s a complete and utter cliche, but this is the book that inspired me to get into teaching. I read it the summer after I finished uni and I was living alone; I think I read it in one go one lazy Sunday. I was inspired by Atticus Finch and loved Scout’s observations (it can be really hard to write from the perspective of children and I find authors don’t always get it right- I remember Room driving me mad in this respect. Lee gets it just right.) I even bought and enjoyed Go Set A Watchman.
Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights got me through a bout of serious homesickness when I first moved south; I grew up in West Yorkshire and the dialect and scenery made sense to me. I’ve never taught it (although I have taught Emily’s poetry), but it sparked an interest in the Brontes that has stayed with me ever since.
Marie Antoinette- Antonia Fraser
I picked this up in Shakespeare and Co. on my first trip to Paris. I’d always enjoyed reading historical biographies (seriously, if you were a tragic queen who met an untimely end, I’ve probably read the book), but I became addicted to Fraser’s writing. Her biographies are some of the very best I’ve ever read and the ones that I recommend again and again.
The Miniaturist- Jessie Burton
I decided to include one of my favourite recent books and The Miniaturist was the book I enjoyed most last year. It was one of those books that I didn’t really fancy until I saw it was half price. It then sat on my bookcase for half a year- but then blew me away once I read it. I loved it because it was a brilliant historical novel; well written and about something I knew nothing about. I like to learn something new when I read a book and this taught me stuff in spades (I remember I fell down a bit of a Wikipedia hole researching different elements of the story.)
So there you have it. Five books that tell you a bit about me and my reading habits. Which books have influenced you?