There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book when the weather’s getting colder. It’s not always easy to find great new books to transport you to a sunnier place though, so hopefully this month we can help.
This October we’ll be sharing our love of reading with real readers who will be recommending their favourite women’s fiction books and sharing them with you over on Facebook at The Book Boutique and The Page Turners. Authors, bloggers, editors and more will be getting involved to champion the books and authors they love, revealing new favourites and giving you the chance to join the conversation and share your recommendations with us.
To kick off we asked three real readers, author Cathy Bramley, editor Harriet Bourton and blogger Laura at She Loves to Read what it is they love about recommending books.
“There is absolutely no way I can survive a single day without reading. Reading is a huge source of pleasure to me and also the most effective form of stress relief that I know of. At night, I get into bed, pick up my book and lose myself for an hour or so in someone else’s world – sheer heaven. I dabble in a variety of genres, from Scandi-crime to Rom Coms but the books that I cherish the most are the ones that make me laugh, cry, send shivers down my spine and have me gripped with concentration all within a few pages.
My favourite authors are Marian Keyes, Jojo Moyes, Deborah Moggach and Julie Cohen. These women inspire me with their wonderful characters and their clever ways with words and I can easily read their books over and over again. When I finish a book that I’ve loved I get a bit evangelical about spreading the word and there’s no shutting me up. Yesterday I dropped off Life After Life by Kate Atkinson at a neighbour’s house with strict instructions to start immediately and last time my mum was here, I sent her home with my copy of It Started with a Kiss by Miranda Dickinson. At the moment I’m reading Julie Cohen’s latest, Where Love Lies but it’s a signed hardback and I adore it too much to part with, so this time I’ll be recommending my friends to buy their own copy!”
“I have a bit of a reputation amongst friends and family for being extremely enthusiastic when it comes to recommending books. When I’ve read something I’ve loved, I find it terribly hard to shut up about it! But the pleasure of finding a novel you love is almost matched by the enjoyment you get from sharing it with someone and then being able to have a good natter about it afterwards. I do love that. The books that tend to get me most excited have either made me laugh or cry in great measure. I want to be affected by what I read, to have something to think about after I finish it. At the moment I’m reading The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be one that people hear me wanging on about afterwards!”
“I can’t remember the last time I read a good book and then didn’t bombard everyone I know with the phrase ‘you just HAVE to read this book’. My family, friends and also work colleagues have an unwavering level of patience when it comes to me talking about books. They all know when to nod at the right time and have all perfected their ‘this conversation is so interesting face.’ However, sometimes you just HAVE to tell people about a book you’ve read – a book that has affected you in some way – a book that has maybe even changed your life: you HAVE to share this book with the world.
Not only that, having other people reading the same book as you gives you the chance to have those joyously tense conversations about characters and plot and have minor disagreements about what did or didn’t happen. Reading is seen to be a solitary experience but when shared with others it becomes so much more. I love recommending books, shouting from rooftops about authors I can’t get enough of, plots that have bought me to tears and characters who I’ve wanted to be best friends with.
I’ve recently started reading Lucy Robinson‘s latest novel and already I can tell I’m going to be screaming its name at the top of my lungs when I’m finished. EVERYONE READ THIS BOOK. And read it NOW!”