Last week I left you with my Top 5 Book Series, but after the need to write some expressive poetry, I’m back with my Top 5 Books. As I mentioned before, reading has always been one of my favourite things to do and I love getting lost in a good book. So here they are, my Top 5 Books.
5. Among the Hoods: My Years with a Teenage Gang by Harriet Sergeant
This is the only non-fiction book on this list, because of the huge impact it had on me while reading it. Among the Hoods delves into the years Harriet Sergeant spent with a South London gang, showing how the system has failed these young men and getting to the heart of some of the issues that society are unaware of or choose to ignore. This book touched me deeply and I was in tears by the end, as I read about the circumstances some of these young men ended up in. I think reading Among the Hoods was what set off the spark within me to work with young people and get them to share their stories, so others would see young individuals the way I see them.
4. Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson was one of my go-to authors as a child and Midnight was my favourite book growing up — I remember reading it numerous times, never getting tired of the story. There was something about the creative and fantasy elements in the story that I really liked, being a creative myself and someone who likes losing myself in fantasy tales. Although I wasn’t entirely keen on the main character, Violet, I really liked Violet’s best friend and the interactions with Violet’s brother in the novel.
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I love, love, love reading the classics and Jane Eyre is definitely one of my favourites. I actually love the works by all three Brontë sisters, but Jane Eyre stands out the most for me. Although this novel can be very sad to read at times, I loved watching Jane push through her adversities and eventually get her happy ending. I was also intrigued by Mr Rochester and the mystery of his house, which led to a great ending. However, one of the greatest things about Jane Eyre was the social and historical context, which I enjoyed learning from.
2. Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews
I briefly mentioned Flowers in the Attic in my post outlining my Top 5 Book Series. Flowers in the Attic is the first in the Dollanganger series and the best, immediately becoming one of my favourite books. This a novel that provokes reactions and tugs at your emotions throughout. I was disgusted and horrified by the behaviour of the mother and grandmother, I was willing the four children to escape from their attic prison and I teared up at the devastating moments. Flowers in the Attic grips you from beginning to end and that for me is one of the best qualities in a book.
1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
So my it may surprise you, but my favourite book is Gone with the Wind. I was inspired to read this book by my amazing English teacher, who is also one of my favourite teachers ever, and I’m so glad that I read it. This is a thick book, but like Flowers in the Attic, the story does not slow down and it grips you from beginning to end. The story of Scarlett O’Hara is an interesting one — her strength and determination as a woman living through the period of civil war and unrest in the USA is amazing, but her deceit, manipulation and desire for a man who is not her match can be frustrating. There is also a great set of surrounding characters in this novel and the descriptions are gorgeous.
I’ve got to give a special mention to The Diamond Girls by Jacqueline Wilson, another one of my favourite books while growing up, and Dracula by Bram Stoker, which is a book I read recently and really loved. If you haven’t read any of the books I’ve mentioned, I recommend you do, because they are great. But tell me, what are your favourite books?