1998: NEW BORN –
- Guess How Much I Love You
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Peter Rabbit (This actually terrified me at the time)
1999: THE FIRST STEPS –
- 5 Minutes Peace and Peace at Last (my mum was often praying for this herself so I think I ended up being read this all too often as she could relate to the mamma elephant in the tub!)
- Where’s Spot?
- Whatever Next (probably what quick started my interest for astronomy and my desire to travel the world)
2000: THE TURNING OF THE CENTURY AND NEVER, EVER SHUTTING UP –
- We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (I still sing the rhyme now whenever I walk through any type of woodland area; the song sure does stick)
- The Smartest Giant In Town (this inspired this poem many years later)
- Room On The Broom
2001: A CHANGE OF SCENERY –
- The Mr Men Series (it was around this time that my Dad started reading me bedtime stories and the Mr Men. I distinctly recall Mr Tickle, Mr Bump and Mr Chatterbox being the favourites. I’m no ashamed to admit that even to this day, occasionally when I am feeling rock-bottom and need to regress, my dad does still treat me to few chapters before shut eye. However these days the books we read deal with bigger problems than cartoon characters who are ticklish)
2002: STARTING NURSERY, THE TIME FOR PLAYING IN SANDPITS, FINGER PATING AND SHOW AND TELL –
- The Tiger Who Came For Tea (to this day my all time favourite children’s book. I’ll most definitely be reading this to my kids in the future. This story had such a huge impact on me that even spoke about it in my personal statement fro university)
- The Rainbow Fish
- (I think it’s safe to say I was attracted to books with bright colours, pretty pictures and images which I could touch. The different textures just baffled me and I learnt that I HATE HATE HATE felt)
2004: A PEAK INTO POETRY –
- Dr Zeus EVERYTHING (e.g. Green Eggs and Ham, Cat in the Hat. I fell in love with the strange stories and the quick-witted lyrical nature of his works. This was my first insight into the world of poetry; it seems I’ve been hooked ever since…
2005: ENTER THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN MY LIFE –
- Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Twits, BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine (basically Roald Dahl ANYTHING!) By far Mr Dahl is my favourite children’s author and even one of my favourite authors OF ALL TIME. I love him. I love his humour, his quirky stories, his bizzare imagination. Whilst I was introduced to this wonderful world of his in 2005 I still read his stories and watch the adaptations often. One day I promise to do a post devoted to the magnificent man himself as one mere paragraph is not enough to cover all bases.
2006: MY FIRST FAD –
- Lauren the Puppy Fairy (I became OBSESSED with collecting the ‘fairy’ books. There were a GAZILLION of these bad boys lurking on the shelves of book stores. The short stories that followed the lives of different fairies with different powers were short ‘n’ sweet allowing me to escape the present day into my own fairy-tale. Alongside my best-friend Saffron I collected about seventy of these books before finally giving up. With the benefit of hindsight, this was probably a good idea of my part as there are too many books in this collection to even fathom now with new ones still being written (my bank account is thanking me i’m sure.)
2007: FLEEING THE LAND OF FAIRIES AND INTO INGO I GO –
- The Ingo Series (I loved these books with every bit of my heart, in fact I still have them today although they are on loan to one of the girls that I babysit.) Helen Dunmore’s beautifully descriptive writing style combined with the eeriness and page-turning plot had me captivated. This series has been re-read many a time and not once have I not enjoyed the wonderfully weird world of memaids and mystery.
2008: CONSUMED BY COMFOMITY –
- Goodnight Mr. Tom
- Adolphus Tips
- Basically lots of World War/historical fiction books recommended by our teachers. Whilst I did adore these books, they were set texts to read and during this time I didn’t really read much for ‘pleasure.’ No, not because I fell out of love with reading but merely as I didn’t want to seem ‘dorky’ if you will. Whilst I realise this sounds stupid ten year old me was far more concerned with wanting to have friends and fit in. Sadly this meant ditching the wonderful world of literature for the advice columns on boys and horoscopes in Girl Talk and Shout.
2009: ABSOLUTE MAYHEM –
- Holes (a book passed down from my brother and probably the only book he’ll ever pass on as he doesn’t really read much. I still find it cool that the characters first name is his last name but backwards *STANLEY YELANTS*)
- The Twilight Saga (I binge-read this on a holiday to Northumberland and recall reviewing all the books in a A4 Journal for my teacher. My mum and I bonded over how we both fancied 23 year old R-Patz and I spent much of my time day dreaming bout being a vampire much to my embarrassment.)
- This was the year I also started secondary school and much like the previous year, reading took a back seat to my desire to be cool. Despite my sacrifice I never quite succeeded in reaching this status however and probabaly would have been better off just reading anyway…
2010: YEARNING TO BE A WIZARD
- Harry Potter.
- Harry Potter.
- Harry Potter.
- This was the year that I was introduced to the wonderful world of wizardry and boy was I OBSESSED. I re-read and re-read. I re-watched and re-watched. I had to own every piece of merchandise as if it was a way of proving my devotion to the franchise. I even created my own Facebook page in order to interact with other ‘Potterheads.’ Looking back, the whole fad was slightly scary and sad but at the time I didn’t care and I was happy in my little bubble of magic and mischief. Despite no longer being as addicted as I once was Harry Potter will always hold a special place in my heart. Always.
2011: A SPIDER IN A WEB.
- This was a difficult school year yet again and I was still very much trapped (willingly) in the spider’s web that was the potter fandom.
- I struggled a lot with friends and remember spending a lot of time in costa after school on Wednesdays with my mum crying over bitchy girls and arrogant guys.
- However, one BRILLIANT thing that did come from this year is I began to realise that English might seriously be the path I venture down in the future. The idea had always been in the back of my mind but became something I was constantly toying with,.
- I really enjoyed my English lessons that year for two main reasons A) I fancied my teacher and B) we read Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Whilst absolutely heart wrenching and devastating I found the writing style so mesmerising, so poetic. The author was able to get me to relate to the character Bruno despite never having gone through any of the experiences that he did. At times the book filled me with warmth and made me feel all mushy and gooey inside and at other times it has me balling my eyes out and screaming over the injustice of the whole thing. Truly a masterpiece.
2012: CLASSICS AND PRESTIGIOUS NOVELS ONLY PLEASE:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- A Christmas Carol
- Great Expecations
- Peter Pan
- Lord of the Flies
- After realising that a career in English was something I’d most likely end up doing I became a bit of what I call a ‘bookish snob.’ I refused to read anything that wasn’t a classic, hadn’t won an award or wasn’t quoted in a film. I closed my mind and shut myself of from my beloved world of fantasy and YA and instead waltzed about with my nose in the air and eyes glued to a variety of crticially acclaimed stories; some fantastic like Peter Pan but some also a REAL SNOOZE like Lord of the Flies. Thankfully I quickly snapped out of this pretentious phase of mine as began reading for pleasure soon enough *wipes forhead I relief.*
2013: AMERICAN LIT. ALL DAY, EVERYDAY AND A SUCKER FOR SHAKESPEARE.
- Of Mine and Men, The Great Gatsby. The Grapes of Wrath, Little Women
- Romeo and Juliet, The Twelfth Knight, Hamlet
2014: 19TH CENTURY CENTRAL:
- Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice
- Wuthering Heights
- Tennyson’s Poetry
- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
- Alice in Wonderland (really?!?!?!?!?!)
- I studied Victorian Literature for AS and so obviously the majority of the books I read during this year were books from this era both for purpose and pleasure. A handful of the novels that I read I didn’t exactly ‘enjoy like Bleak House by Dickens or Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad which both had me snoozing away. It was most likely because I read them towards the end of the course I was so fed up with the repetitive themes of Victorian texts rather than the fact that they were ‘bad’ books. Nonetheless they’re certainly not ones that I’ll be re-reading in the foreseeable future.
- On the other hand many of the books I read during this year have made their way to my list of top twenty. Surprisingly I enjoyed the lovey-duvey stuff written by Bronte and Austen with their strong female rpotgaonists and chivalric men. I dream of meeting my very own Captain Wentworth or Mr Darcy one day, one can hope right?
- Frankenstein also became one of my ALL TIME favourite books. I’ve since recommended it a dozen times and re-read it about half a dozen however I’m yet to find a film adaptation that I think is adequate.
2015: THE YEAR IF BIG DESCIONS AND THE BIRTH OF MY BLOG
- The Bell Jar
- Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Love Letters’
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles
- 1000 Splendid Suns + The Kite Runner
- All My Punny Sorrows
- I Am Pilgrim
- This was a year of diversity and decisions. I read a lot of different books from different genres, different time periods and from different perspectives. I read some of my favourite books this year and this was probably my favourite year reading-wise.
- I also really developed my writing style, creating this blog, entering competitions, doing some work for some projects – It was all very exciting.
I honestly cannot wait to see what the rest of 2016 has in store as I await my A2 results and flee from the nest that has had me cucked up for so long i’m beginning to feel suffocated. Whether I hated them or loved them these are a short snippet of the books that made me and often the very books that saved me.