In my 26 years of life on planet earth I’ve flitted between being a bookworm and barely even looking at a book. I’m a huge book lover at heart but in the last eight years or so I’d barely read a thing. That all changed last year on Holiday. There was nothing to do but read and I devoured book after book, after book. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time soaking up the words carefully typed onto the pages. I guess I’m falling back in love with reading. In honour of World Book Day (a real highlight in my childhood calendar) I thought I’d write about the books I’ve been loving and how my tastes have changed over the years.
As a child I was an avid reader, one memory that springs to mind was getting the new Harry Potter book and spending the day on the sofa glued to it. I can remember my mum shouting me for lunch and dinner continuously but I didn’t want to leave the magical world of Hogwarts. I’m pretty that wasn’t the first or last time that happened. I’d go as far as saying it was a regular occurrence.
I can still remember the excitement of World Book Day at school, my actual substantive memory is a little hazy, but I can still remember the feeling of seeing what the special books were and trying to pick just one for me to read. I’m pretty sure we dressed up too, I vaguely remember wanting to be a character from a Jacqueline Wilson Book or Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. You can probably tell it wasn’t so much the dressing up but the reading I loved.
This year for World Book Day, they’re encouraging people to go beyond reading and dressing up to encourage people to tell a story, reignite their love or books and chat about the sense of wellbeing it brings. I think that’s an incredible idea.
During University I stopped reading for fun all together. I consumed legal textbook after legal text-book for my degree. So my idea of fun was not to sit and read for another four hours! I guess my degree instilled a sense of fear and made me see books as boring. I knew at some point I’d end up falling back in love with reading, I’d hoped it would have been sooner! Almost four years on, I’m slowly dragging myself out of that mindset and I’m on the path to discovering the genres I love. It turns out that I love non fiction. I’ve always been a bit of a geek and I love hearing other people’s stories, life lessons and more about brands or certain genres. I guess I like my books to be useful and arm me with as much knowledge as possible.
You won’t find any ground breaking classics and I’m pretty sure any serious literary lovers will be rolling their eyes at my book choices. But hey, I’m reading something that makes me happy and that’s what matters! Here are seven that I’ve recently read and really stand out to me.
For beauty lovers
I’m massively late to the party with this one, so much so that’s it has pretty much reached cult status in the beauty book world. Sally Hughes’ first book breaks down all of the beauty bullshit and gives you an easy to navigate guide through the beauty world. From working out your skin types, to hair woes, make up tips, motherhood, acne, gifts and more, Sally has you covered. It’s a wonderful read whether your new to the world of beauty or a bit of a beauty junkie. It’s the kind of book you end up going back to again and again. I guess you could call it an honest beauty bible.
For fashion fiends
I’ve been a huge fan of the Vogue On Series for a good few years now. I love peeking behind the doors of fashion and learning more about some of my favourite designers. They are another easy, but absolutely fascinating read. The books are beautiful too – I know hat shouldn’t matter but it’s nice to show them off! As the title suggests this book delves into the personal and professional life of Coco Chanel, covering her childhood, rise to fame and beyond. She was such an interesting person, very smart and a bit of a rebel in her day. I found the rise, almost demise and rise again of Chanel absolutely fascinating.
Vogue on Alexander McQueen and Gianni Versace are also highly recommended.
The flame haired Grace Coddington rose to fame after the huge success of the September Issue documentary. Grace started off life in North Wales, before moving to London to become a model, it’s here she started her career at British Vogue, before moving stateside. The book is her memoir of all of the important and interesting parts that shaped her life and career. It’s a huge book – but don’t let that put you off. I found it really easy to read, at times it was hard to put down, but it’s definitely one you can dip in and out of. It’s an incredible insight into how the fashion industry has changed over the years, from the golden years to the present day. There’s a follow-up book too, but it’s so out of my price range!
For behind the scenes in Hollywood
I always remember looking up to Drew Barrymore. She seemed like a bit of a rebel and a badass when I was younger. Wildflower documents little snippets of her life, from her unconventional childhood, to her Hollywood escapades, ET and more. What I really loved about this book is how ‘scatty’ is. It is like you’re sitting down in a bar with Drew and you’re having a conversation about life, the book jumps backwards and forwards – there’s no chronological structure. You never knew what you’ll read next and I love it. I guess what I’m trying to say is reading it was like hearing the conversations you have on a night out with good friends.
Like most people my age, I was absolutely obsessed with the film Matilda when I was a kid. No matter what mood I was in, I’d stick on my video of Matilda and instantly be happy. Mara famously disappeared from the limelight of Hollywood and re-appeared a year or so ago when this book came out. It’s paced fun of hilarious anecdotes, stories of being a child on set and growing up in the front of the camera. However, the stories I loved the most were the ones about her adult life and her beliefs. Mara is so smart, like smarter than Matilda smart! I just wanted to soak up more and more of her wisdom. I was a little bit sad when the book ended. It’s a fantastic memoir about the struggles of growing up, it’s oddly relatable too, considering I’m not a child star!
Last year I fell in love with a series called Gilmore Girls. Again, I was a bit behind the times, but I was far too young to watch it when it first came out. Anyway, I completely fell in love with Rory and Lorelei. When I saw this book I knew I had to have it. It’s written like a no holds barred diary about Lauren’s life, from growing up to drama school to behind the scenes of Gilmore Girls and beyond. She hilariously sat down and watched all of the old Gilmore Girls episodes and made notes on it for us, before she filmed the year in the life of. The insights behind the making of year in the life of are so fascinating. It’s such a heart warming and hilarious book. I could imagine Lauren sitting and reading it to me as I went along.
For some good life advice
This is the first book I’ve ever read digitally! I ran out of books whilst on holiday and downloaded this one. Boy am I glad I did! I was unsure about how useful I’d find it, as I tend to be someone who gives no f**ks about the opinions of people who aren’t important to me, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much this has changed my mindset and outlook on life. I sped through this one. It’s a really easy read. Essentially this book teaches you to how not to give f**k without being a complete a****le. By the time I finished reading I felt like a weight had lifted off of my shoulders. In theory this is such a simple idea, but sometimes the most simple ideas are the best! It is life changing – something I never thought I’d say!
Those are just a few of the books that sparked my journey of falling back in love with reading. What are your favourites? I’m keen to add more titles to my reading list!
World Book Day is on the 1st March. This year’s £1 Books which can be redeemed with the World Book Day token, include titles by Clare Balding, Nadiya Hussain, Tom Fletcher and Julian Clary, as well as stories from Paddington Bear, Mr Men and Marvel’s Avengers. Special edition Young Adult favourites by John Green, Benjamin Zephaniah, Taran Matharu, Penny Joelson and Frances Hardinge will be released at the price of £2.50 or £1.50 with the World Book Day token.