FAVOURITE YA BOOKS

Fly on the Wall by E Lockhart

I love all of E Lockhart’s books, but I think this one is my favourite. Funny and feminist.

Dear Zoe by Phillip Beard

I read this on a plane. I cried and cried and made a holy show of myself.

Slam by Nick Hornby

Well-written, funny and incredibly touching.

Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

Funny, inspiring, original, moving and sweet. And I’m not just saying that because Luisa’s my friend 🙂

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Heartbreaking and brilliant.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Just the most charming, sweet and funny series.

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Relentlessly entertaining, sensitive, sweet and wise.

Big Woo! by Susie Day

The funniest YA book I’ve ever read.

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

Written in verse, but don’t let that put you off. It should be compulsory reading for all teenage girls (and probably boys too).

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

The writing is brilliant, the characters are totally convincing and it totally captures the excitement of a night out in New York.

More soon…

FAVOURITE BOOKS

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

I’ve read this series of six books (seven if you include the recent – and wonderful – Michael Tolliver Lives) so many times and they’re a total joy. Set in 1970s San Francisco, they’re like the funniest, sweetest, most entertaining soap opera with added exclaim-out-loud-in-public moments. My desert island books, I think. (Tales of the City is the first in the series.)

small_10_pic1 The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

I read this years ago and loved it so much that I dreamed about it and cried when I finished it. The film version’s a bit rubbish though.

6a00d83451956869e200e54fdaf9c48833-75hiIn Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

I seriously considered taking the day off work and staying in a cafe all day to finish reading this book. Love Jennifer Weiner. This one’s my fave.

millington

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington

This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. I’ve read it twice and both times there were a couple of scenes that left me gasping with laughter. Fab.

6a00d83451956869e200e54fdaf9f98833-75hiFrank Skinner by Frank Skinner

Whatever you think of Frank Skinner, his autobiography is still worth reading. Like Mil Millington’s novel, it’s absolutely hilarious, but it’s also interesting, gripping, moving… it’s got everything, really. And everyone I know who’s read it has loved it (and developed a crush on Mr Skinner).

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

I love Marian Keyes and I’ve read and enjoyed all of her books to varying degrees. Until The Brightest Star in the Sky came out, my favourite was Anybody Out There? (although I do need to re-read Rachel’s Holiday since that’s everyone else’s favourite), but this latest book is on another level. The plot is gripping, it’s genuinely emotional and it’s extremely well-written with a fantastically satisfying ending. Loved it.

Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman

I can’t tell you how much I love this book. I read it when I was considering having a second child and then read it again when I was pregnant with my second child – and, yes, the book helped me make the decision to go ahead. It’s hilarious, heartbreaking and inspiring and I can’t imagine anyone not loving it.

An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

I read this on the recommendation of one of my old bosses and it just blew me away. Brian Keenan was one of the Beirut hostages and this book, while terrifying and depressing, is also funny, inspiring and uplifting. I loved it so much I went on to read all the books by all the other Beirut hostages, which, yes, is a bit weird. Anyway, this one’s the best. Everyone should read it.

The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures by Michael Hoeye

This series – about watchmake, part-time detective, and, yes, mouse, Hermux Tantamoq – has been described as Indiana Jones meets Beatrix Potter and that does sum it up neatly. But they’re also charming, funny and romantic. Perfect for big and little kids (and, you know, 38-year-old kids).

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

I love Anne Lamott. This book and her parenting memoir, Operating Instructions, are just amazing in their “Oh my god, do other people do that too?” honesty. If you only read one book about writing, this should be the one. It’s a memoir, not a manual, but it contains invaluable writing advice. It’s also, like all of Lamott’s work, very funny. This “Conversation with” is also well worth watching.

FAVOURITE FILMS

movie-when-harry-met-sally11When Harry Met Sally

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this film, but I never get tired of it. I love every single thing about it apart from the line that starts, “Because I hate you…” And New York looks gawjuss!

The Sixth Sense

I don’t usually like scary movies, but I absolutely love The Sixth Sense. Brilliantly acted and properly scary, it’s also genuinely moving. There are four bits that make me cry every single time and I still find the opening (with Donnie Wahlberg!) shocking.

Singin’ in the Rain

My nan was mad about musicals and introduced me to loads of them. Singin’ in the Rain is my favourite, closely followed by Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Calamity Jane. It’s given me a lifelong love of Gene Kelly and taught me to never jump out of a cake wearing a swimming costume and a helmet.

Juno

Love, love, love this film. Ellen Page is amazing in it and who doesn’t love Michael Cera? The script is hilarious and so clever and it’s got Allison Janney. What more could you want?

August Rush

This was recommended to me while I was pregnant last year and on bed-, well sofa-, rest and I loved it. It’s got gorgeous Keri Russell and even more gorgeous Jonathan Rhys Meyers an it’s just magical. I was transfixed and I cried and cried. Gorgeous.

Finding Nemo

I could claim I watch so many children’s films because I’ve got two small children, but the fact is I’ve always watched children’s films, particularly Disney. I still love the classic Disney films (apart from the too sad ones like Dumbo and Bambi), but Pixar has taken over as our family’s favourite. It’s hard to pick just one, but I think I’d have to go with Finding Nemo. It looks beautiful, is funny, sad, and inspiring, and I never tire of watching it (and I’ve seen it hundreds of times). Oh and it’s got Ellen Degeneres. Just keep swimming!

Gregory’s Girl

This is one of my husband’s favourite films and now it’s one of mine too, not least because he quotes from it All The Time. It’s sweet and funny and has lots of cute little moments that you miss the first time you watch. And the dancing lying down scene is just fabulous.

10 thoughts on “Favourites

  1. But the film version of The Power of One does have Stephen Dorff in it which is always a bonus. I’m with you, I adore the book. Did you read the follow up Tandia too?

  2. I am so with you on In Her Shoes and An Evil Cradling. I can really recommend (if you haven’t already read it) Grey is the Colour of Hope by Irina Ratushinskaya, a Russian poet who was sent to a labour camp. It is beautifully written and full of hope.

    1. I haven’t read that one, no, Anne-Marie. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll stick it on my list. And I’m glad you feel the same about In Her Shoes – everyone else seems to like Good In Bed the best.

  3. Me again (can you tell I have a deadline?) Why don’t you like the line ‘Because I hate you’, do you mean the line at the very end? I think that’s the best last line of any romantic comedy ever. (I know, there’s the little postscript but I don’t count that)

    1. At the New Year’s Eve dance when he’s telling her why he loves her “the little line you get at the top of your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m crazy” and she says, “Because I hate you, Harry. I really hate you.” And then whispers “I hate you…” That. I just think it’s enormously cheesy and it bugs me every time.

      (And I love the postscript. I love all those little love stories in between.)

  4. Yep, that’s the line. I just think it was smart to end a love story with those words and I wish I’d thought of it. (*coughs* though I’m fairly sure there’s no ‘because’…)

    When I used to watch and rewatch the film on VHS aged 15 I’d fast forward over the little love stories but now I adore them.

    I wish Meg Ryan was still a big movie star. I blame Russell Crowe.

    1. I just watched it again and you’re right. It’s “And I do hate you, Harry. I really hate you. I hate you.”

      It’s not even the line so much as her delivery, I think, particularly of the whispered bit when she softens her face into a smile – I just don’t find it the least bit convincing.

      (And he says, “… looking at me like I’m nuts”. I love the rest of it though: “When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want that the rest of your life start as soon as possible!”)

      Yes, I blame Russell Crowe and the collagen. Those Fizz-from-The-Tweenies lips are very distracting.

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