Top Ten Books That I Absolutely Adore

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together.

This week’s list is a love freebie, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I decided to promote my favourite books! There are more than 10, so it took me a while to narrow them down! But here they are…

As ever, click on the book image to take you to Goodreads!

Me Before You- Jojo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

This book will always be one of my favourites. It broke me! I didn’t enjoy the sequel as much which was a shame.

Lord Of The Flies- William Golding

Lord of the Flies

I first read this at school and I’ve reread it numerous times since.

To Kill A Mockingbird- Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Another school read that I’ve reread often!

Rebecca- Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca

I adore this classic ❤

Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

Goodnight Mister Tom

A very special, moving book.

One- Sarah Crossan

One

I absolutely adored this book about conjoined twins.

A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

Another heart-breaker!

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda- Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Love, love, love. I am so intrigued to see what the film is like.

The Girl Who Walked On Air- Emma Carroll

The Girl Who Walked On Air

Most of Emma Carroll’s books could’ve made this list.

Reasons To Stay Alive- Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

I adore how raw this book is. A very special read.

What have you done for your Top Ten Love freebie this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

 

 

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Talking About ‘How To Stop Time’ with Bibliobeth!

How to Stop Time

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

CHRISSI: We have now read a few of Matt Haig’s books. What did you make of this one compared to this others?

BETH: We certainly have. Previously I’ve read The Radleys, The Humans, Echo Boy and his amazing non fiction Reasons To Stay Alive. I think apart from the latter book I mentioned, which really effected me emotionally, How To Stop Time has to be my favourite thing he has ever written. It’s beautifully poignant, I love the characters, especially our main protagonist Tom Hazard and in almost every paragraph, there was a sentence I wanted to fix in my mind forever.

BETH: I fell in love almost immediately with the character of Tom. How well do you think he was drawn by the author?

CHRISSI: I absolutely loved the character of Tom. I think Matt Haig has done an exceptional job of writing his story and creating such an ever so lovable character. I immediately loved Tom and wanted the best for him. I thought he was such a thoughtful, insightful character who was desperate to find that love he once had, even though he’s governed by the rules by those that look out for him. Truly, Matt Haig has created a stunning character.

CHRISSI: Is Tom Hazard’s condition a blessing or a curse? Is a long life always a good life?

BETH: Great question! I think a lot of people would definitely see Tom’s condition as a blessing. He’s got to see some amazing periods of history and meet some fascinating people, William Shakespeare and Captain Cook to name a few. However, as soon as he joins the secret society for others like him, his life becomes even more restricted in a way. He can only spend eight years in a particular place, he has to carry out an assignment for the society after this time and he can never, ever get too close to people or fall in love. I don’t think long life is always a good life, especially if you’re suffering because of it.

BETH: How did Tom’s relationship with Rose suffer because of his condition?

CHRISSI: Tom’s relationship with Rose was my favourite relationship in this story. I think it suffered because Tom knew inevitably that Rose would pass on and he would have to live life without her. *sob* Tom was caught up on the romance with Rose as he wasn’t supposed to fall in love as per the rules of the Albatross Society. Rose was special to him because of their daughter.

CHRISSI: Matt Haig has said that this book was partly inspired by his own experiences of mental illness. In what way has this shaped the novel? What are the consequences for Tom of having a condition that is invisible to the outside world?

BETH: That’s very interesting and I’m such a strong advocate of speaking out about mental illness. Matt opened up and put so much personal stuff in his non-fiction book Reasons To Stay Alive that it must have been quite a difficult writing process and it was nice to see hints of mental turmoil in How To Stop Time. One of the trickiest things for our character Tom is that he is forbidden to get close enough to people to share what he is going through for fear of what people might do to him and indeed, who would ever believe him? At the same time, he has a horrendous time trying to cope, feeling completely out on his own without anyone to talk to and having to move on regularly to prevent people making comments on his lack of ageing.

BETH: The novel is set amidst multiple time periods, did you have a preference for Tom’s story in the past or the present?

CHRISSI: I don’t know what it was about it, but I preferred reading about Tom’s story in the present. I wanted to see what life was like for Tom now. I also loved him being a teacher, being a teacher myself, I always like to read about teachers. His wealth of knowledge as a history teacher must’ve been incredible! I’m envious! 😉

CHRISSI: What made this book stand out for you?

BETH: It was a lot of things I think. It was the gorgeous writing, the beautiful character development and how Matt Haig made me feel so much for Tom and for his situation. Then there’s the way it was set out as different chapters jumped around hundreds of years in Tom’s life where we get a real sense of how much he has seen and how much he has suffered.

BETH: How would you describe this book to a friend? Would you say this was a historical novel, science fiction, literary fiction or something else?

CHRISSI: Oh my goodness, that’s such a hard question because it really is a mixture of all of those things. It’s historical because of the elements of history within its pages. It’s also science fiction, again, because of some of the content. It certainly reads like literary fiction as well (and literary fiction) is not my thing. The something else? Just Matt Haig. Can he be a genre? No? Well, what I mean is that it’s just so lyrically written and so utterly quotable. It’s moving, unique and makes you think deeply about your own life. Written by a true master of his craft!

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: Without a doubt!

CHRISSI: Without a doubt!

This Week In Books #94

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

How to Stop Time The Girlfriend Eliza and Her Monsters

NOWHow To Stop TimeMatt Haig– I’m currently 70% through this book which I’m hoping to finish tonight! I’m really enjoying it. I find Matt Haig to be such a quotable author.

THENThe Girlfriend- Michelle Frances– I loved this thriller! 🙂 I sometimes find them very same-y but this one stood out for me. Some awful characters! I mean awful as in pretty messed up…

NEXTEliza and Her MonstersFrancesca Zappia– I know this book was on my post last week, but I slipped in How To Stop Time for a review with my sister, Beth. I’m so looking forward to this one.

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

 

Stacking The Shelves #180

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Bought

Sky Chasers

I love Emma Carroll’s writing, so I’m super excited to read this book. I’ll try to get to it as soon as I can. Too many books, too little time!

How to Stop Time

I do love Matt Haig’s writing. I am looking forward to reading this book for Beth and I’s feature ‘Talking About.’

Before I Let Go

I’m intrigued to see where Marieke goes with this book after thoroughly enjoying her debut, This Is Where It Ends. 

A small haul for me this week, but I’m okay with that! What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your haul and I’ll stop by!

Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten books that we’re thankful for! Here are mine…

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads!

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda- Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I’m thankful that this beautiful book is out there for everyone to enjoy. It’s an incredible book with such wonderful characters.

Harry Potter- J.K.Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

I absolutely loved growing up with this amazing series.

One- Sarah Crossan

One

Such a heart-warming read.

A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

A simply beautiful book!

Reasons To Stay Alive- Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

I’m forever thankful that Matt was so honest in this memoir.

Me Before You- Jojo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

This book broke my heart. I absolutely adored it. It’s a book I highly recommend to many, even those that don’t enjoy women’s fiction.

The Reason I Jump-Naoki Higashida

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

This book struck a chord with me. It made me think differently about autism.

Matilda- Roald Dahl

Matilda

I was happy to discover Matilda, the wonderful bookworm, when I was younger! I still love her now!

Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

Goodnight Mister Tom

I remember reading this for the first time in secondary (high) school. I was absolutely blown away by this book. It captured my attention and has a very special place in my heart.

Lord Of The Flies- William Golding

Lord of the Flies

Another book I discovered at school. I loved it then and it’s a book I’ve reread a few times.

Which books are you thankful for? Let me know! Happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating this week!

Book Tag- Shelfie by Shelfie #1

I was tagged in Beth’s Shelfie by Shelfie book tag. I thought it was a great idea… so here we go!

The idea of the tag is that you share a picture (‘shelfie’) of one of your shelves and then answer some questions about them.

1.) Is there any reason for this shelf being organised the way it is or is it purely random?

It’s my favourite shelf. Meaning every single one of these books is a favourite read of mine. On it is….

  • The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time
  • The Constant Princess
  • The Other Boleyn Girl
  • The Boleyn Inheritance
  • The Virgin’s Lover
  • The Queen’s Fool
  • Sarah’s Key
  • If You Could See Me Now
  • P.S. I Love You
  • Lord Of The Flies
  • Rebecca
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • The Last Leaves Falling
  • Cross Your Heart
  • Me Before You
  • The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
  • The Class That Went Wild
  • Reasons To Stay Alive
  • One
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • A Monster Calls
  • Only Ever Yours
  • Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
  • Good Me Bad Me
  • The Reason I Jump

2.) Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you i.e. how you got it/ a memory associated with it etc.

That’s a tricky one as all of these books are special to me. The Class That Went Wild has a special place in my heart as it is a childhood favourite. I have fond memories of Beth reading it to me when I was younger. I used to love being read to by my big sister!

3.) Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

I think perhaps Thirteen Reasons Why. I have a really weird relationship with this book, which I’ll address in a blog post and some point.

4.) Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

I hate this question! I would want to save them all, please? No? Hmm… I think it would have to be Me Before You. I push that book so very much that it has to be saved!

5.) Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

P.S. I Love You. I read it when it first came out!

6.) Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

Good Me, Bad Me read this year and promptly added to my favourites!

7.) Which book from this shelf are you most excited to read (or re-read if this is a favourites shelf?)

Me Before You… will it still be a favourite after a re-read?

8.) If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

Above the shelf are some ornaments that my friend (and wonderful author Alex Bell) got me from a holiday to many different locations. There’s so many cute trinkets from places in Europe. I also have a teaching assistant teddy from a child that reminds me of when life was easier as teaching assistant! 😉 I also have some Tinkerbell stuff from my nephew who knows I love Tinkerbell, I also have a best teacher wine glass. I may not drink, but it was the thought that counts!

9.) What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

My favourite books range from chick-lit and historical fiction to psychological thrillers and a few classics!

10.) Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

There’s so many that I’d like to tag, so I’d just say if you want to do it, please do and leave me a link if you do! 🙂 Please check out Beth’s original post HERE!

Ten Gems In Mental Health Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a hidden gems list. Now, these books aren’t so much hidden, but I decided they needed some airing on my blog this week because they are gems. I love reading books that centre around mental health/illness and think they’re worth airing even if some of them are quite popular!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book! 🙂

The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

This book is told in such a unique voice. I think this book is much deeper than the film. I enjoyed Matthew Quick’s portrayal of Pat.

Lighter Than My Shadow- Katie Green

Lighter Than My Shadow

This is a hefty book. It’s huge and it’s quite heavy going in its nature. It’s about Katie’s struggle with an eating disorder.

Am I Normal Yet?- Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1)

I absolutely adored this book. Holly Bourne is such a beautiful writer and she represented mental illness wonderfully. This is such an addictive YA read.

Reasons To Stay Alive- Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

I adore Matt Haig’s raw honesty in this book. There are some dark moments, but this book is hopeful.

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

There are some incredibly poignant moments and memorable sections in this book. I found it incredibly powerful to read.

Belzhar- Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar

I really enjoyed this book despite it having quite mixed reviews. It’s unique and wonderfully written.

Perfect Escape- Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape

I enjoyed reading this book which centres around a girl experiencing her brother’s problems with OCD. It was interesting to read about the impact it can have on a family member.

The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

This book doesn’t hold back when exploring mental illness. It’s such an intense, powerful read.

Undone- Cat Clarke

Undone

This book was so moving. It’s ending actually put a lump in my throat.

Highly Illogical Behaviour- John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior

This book was absolutely stunning. I was blown away by the writing. I shall definitely be reading more from John Corey Whaley.

What are your hidden gems this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!