Back to my #WeeklyBlogChallenge for this week. Let’s take a break from work during this Holy Week season and reflect or at least chill at home. I have spare time and thought about writing a list about my favorite books. Yes I am a bookworm too. I don’t have any particular genre of stories that I read. I explore so many things so here are my top 10 favorite books in no particular order. It may be a classic, suspense, religious or whatever, so just take a look. 😉
1. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Almost everyone I know loves Harry Potter. Haha, just kidding, not everyone. But who doesn’t even know The Chosen One, the famous Harry Potter? I’m talking about the book here, but I love the movie just the same. Probably, you all know his magical story and journey to the wizarding world that we, Potterheads fantasized too. But I’ll tell you my secret of how I came to love books. When I was in first year high school, I have no idea HP was a book series but I have watched the first two movies and loved it. I was never a fan of novels by then and reading was not yet my hobby. But one day, I went to the library and found the second book screaming at me from the book stand. That was the day realized HP is a book series. I grabbed it and borrowed it, started reading it that night after school. Then, from the second book, I read the first, then third and so on. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the first book I’ve ever read. So HP will always hold a special place in my heart. Awwww.
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I love classics! Hamlet, The Odyssey, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Dolittle and all the other ‘boring’ books other people may find. But my favorite among them? The heroine, Jane Eyre! This is a story of a young orphan raised by her cruel aunt, became a governess at Thornfield hall where she meets her wealthy, mysterious, mean, moody and arrogant master, Mr. Rochester. What I love about this book is that it is somehow half relatable and half not. And by ‘relatable‘, I mean being a girl so plain and simple (and so dull like the usual grey dress outfit of Jane), being so poor who struggles most of her life that sucks but winning her way out, falling in love with her wealthy, ugly and mean master who really is soft inside (typical bad guy/hero image less the ugly part), then knowing later on that you are not the only one (aww that sucks, again), then trying to move on and fix your life through nonsensical decisions. Haha. And by half not relatable means we-don’t-end-up-with-our-wealthy-masters-because-we-are-boring-and-blunt love story, and we don’t hide ‘vampire’ in our attic thing. But still, this book captured my heart with its dark turns and twists. Not a typical beautiful and perfect couple love story but I find it intriguing and romantic.
3. The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
Now we go to Philosophy. Apart from Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, this book really kept me thinking and reignites the fire of curiosity in me. This is a story about Hans Thomas, a boy on a journey with his Dad to find his lost mother who left them when he was just four. On their stop-over in a bakery, an old baker gave Hans Thomas sticky buns where a tiny book was hidden inside. He also met a dwarf along the way who gave him a magnifying glass. The sticky bun book tells another story parallel to the life of Hans Thomas but with a little mystery: the story of a Joker, and the 52 Playing Cards. How I wish this book would have a movie counterpart really. It will leave you thinking and hanging, and will let you wonder if ever you’ll meet that playful and silly Joker who’ll asks you the questions “Who are you?”, “Where do we come from?” and you will then ask yourself what really is your purpose in this life.
4. The Shack by William Paul Young
People love and hate this book. It was self-published in 2007 (though it was never really intended to be published publicly but just a gift for the author’s children). I guess, this book is not for everyone but I loved it. It is about Mack, a saddened father who lost her daughter in a murder, receives a mysterious note from ‘Papa’ whom he thought was God, asking him to meet at the shack. He spends the week at the shack and met the Holy Trinity and helped him forgive and recover from his past hurts. Some part of this book will make you raise your eyebrows but this is purely the interpretation of the author, which is what I love the most. We don’t know what God looked like, nor the Holy Spirit. We always see Jesus portrayed as a hot, good-looking guy you won’t have trouble looking in a crowded place — our Jesus is so handsome He will always stand out! This book is not a life-changing for me but it offered an insight and comforts my heart as well.
5. Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen is one of my favorite authors! Ever. I love his wit and humor in his writing and his crime fiction novels are never dull just like this book. It is filled with amazingly crazy characters and happenings at the same time you will laugh out loud. Two people won a $28 lottery ticket that they should split. One is a black woman, JoLayne and the other half won by two dumb militia members who thinks JoLayne doesn’t deserve her share of wins because she is black so they plan to steal her ticket. An addition to these crazy characters, a sexy journalist who wants to divorce his wife but who refuses because it might look bad for her image, a group of religious fanatics who reaped other people’s money by doing ‘handmade miracles’, and the rest. Yes, this book is huge circus!
6. The Testament by John Grisham
The Testament was my first ever Grisham books and I was not disappointed. Troy Phelan is a ruthless billionaire who wants to cut his spoiled children and family out of his will and giving all of his estate to his illegitimate daughter, Rachel Lane (who no one knew about). After Troy committed suicide, Nate O’Riley was put in charge of finding Rachel, who was a missionary in Brazil. Lesson from this book? Money is the root of all evil, seriously. Among Grisham books that I’ve read, The Testament is my favorite. Will reread it again and again.
7. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is a crowd favorite. I loved his bestselling The Alchemist as well as Aleph, but among his books, my favorite is this. This book is simply poetic, peaceful and filled with love I can’t keep my tears from falling (ugh). The plot is just simple, two childhood friends reunite and embark on a journey together to self-discovery and love. But on a deeper note, Coelho again reminds us that love is not bound by anything. And there are no rules in worshiping God. I think, to love is a way to see God. May we see His sparks in love.
8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Yes, I was looking for a book that is somewhat magical, just like how HP series have made me feel. But of course, I shouldn’t compare, there is no other book like HPs haha. But somehow, The Night Circus was in lined with my category: “magical”. This book is hard to summarize, with all that magical things happening inside those big, black and white striped tent of Le Cirque des Rêves (which only magically appears at night, without a warning and leaves without notice). I can only make my mind work and imagine. The two main characters, Celia and Marco are magician’s proteges who competes inside the circus. But they don’t know the rules, nor how one will win until they fell in love with each other and things get complicated. But I don’t see this book as romance. For me, it is more on its own magic. Actually, after reading this book, I was like looking in a distant, imagining a black and white tents set up in front of me in the middle of the night and you can hear cheerful laughter inside, fairy lights illuminate the tents, smells of almonds, jasmine and moss… (sigh) I just want the magic to last longer.
9. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Of course I am not limited to adult novels. I loved children stories too and I am a total fan of Roald Dahl. His classics has been part of our childhood. The illustrations of Quentin Blake is iconic as well, makes me want to get those paintbrush and watercolors working. But among Dahl’s light and happy children stories, I like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the most. Now I remember the first movie adaptation I watched, starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination… and the song goes on in my head, I do memorize all the songs from that movie! But I’m not THAT old.) We all love Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka but come on, watch the 1971 adaptation too, you’ll surely love it! But I almost forgot, back to the novel. But Mr. Wonka, I think really hates children haha. Now I’m thinking again of the movie. Haha.
And last but definitely not the least:
10. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
This book for me is a little bit sad but intriguing. Tells the tale of a 15-year-old boy, Michael and his affair with a 36-year-old woman named Hannah who later on disappeared and years later was seen again by Michael in a court where he was observing as a law student. She was accused of a Nazi war crime. As to why the book is entitled ‘The Reader’ you should read in order for you to know (Don’t want to give you spoilers but you probably watched the movie as well, if not, include it in your movie watch list).
So far, that is 10 of my favorite books. I love a lot of books but I can’t enumerate them all. Haha. If you have interesting books to recommend, please let me know in the comment box. I will certainly give time to read it. 🙂