After a few weeks of no-shows for Top 5 Wednesday, I am firmly back on the bandwagon. For those who are unaware, Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge organised by the wonderful Lainey, in which participants devise their Top 5 books based on a given topic – because who doesn’t love a good list?
This week’s topic is ‘Best Suggested Books You Loved’. So, this week, I will be choosing the top 5 books that other people have recommended to me, either personally/directly or indirectly through videos and blogs.
5. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
I’d heard a little buzz about this throughout booktube but I believe the one video that really recommended it to me was Lily from lilypad’s wonderful review about the book. And it truly is a wonderful book too! It doesn’t shy away from discussing serious and somber life-changing topics but it likewise also seeks to capture the beauty and fulfilment in even the smallest things about living life with a mental illness. Were it not for Lily’s indirect recommendation I might not have read this yet (if at all) so I’m certainly glad her video review showed up in my Subscriptions feed one day.
4. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
After seeing a Bookbreak episode dedicated to this book’s release, I knew I needed to check it out for myself. Besides that promotion of it, I’d also seen it mentioned by Max from welldonebooks – and, often, it’s that final push from a booktuber’s review that will get me to actually pick up a book. True to form, Jenny Lawson’s second book is a funny memoir about the darker side of living with mental illness. It doesn’t sound comedy gold but any book that features a taxidermied raccoon riding a very confused pet cat is certainly funny, if in a slightly off-beat but wonderful kind of way.
3. Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
I don’t know who hauled this book on Booktube, I just know someone must have, otherwise I wouldn’t have casually picked this up in the library one day. Since then I haven’t seen many reviews (video or otherwise) which really makes me sad because I adore this book and I wish more people did too. My gushing review attests to that level of love so I suppose since I can’t recall who indirectly recommended it to me I must recommend it to you!
2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
This was a recommendation from my English teacher who taught me (in some capacity) from when I was 12 until I was 18. So, when she discovered I was partial to be a bit of Austen, didn’t mind getting stuck into a good ol’ Victorian novel, and loved Richard Armitage (he stars as the hero, Mr Thornton, in a BBC miniseries adaptation of the novel). I’d say those prerequisites mark out the tone of the novel, as well as the people who will probably enjoy it. It is a 19th-century novel so it can be quite a trudge at times, but the main characters of John Thornton and Margaret Hale clash perfectly, representing the values of the industrious, industrialising, emerging north and the established, middle-class sensibility of the south respectively. It’s not all about poverty and class politics though, there is a romance amidst all the mills and the smoke!
1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This was a personal recommendation from my English teacher and probably not a surprise on this list since I mention it on this blog all the time. She heard I liked a bit of Gothic-y influences and had recently read Jane Eyre, so she recommended me du Maurier’s books. Not only this, I own a beautiful Virago Modern Classics edition of Rebecca and, although my memory fails me on this, I’m 90% sure it was gifted to me from both my English teachers as one of their parting gifts to the class at the end of sixth form. For that reason the edition will always have sentimental value but when I then picked up Rebecca, I adored it! Definitely an apt recommendation from Miss Colabella since it turned out to be one of my favourite books of all-time.
And on that very high note, I shall end my Top 5 Wednesday post for this week. Do you have a Top 5 Wednesday list for this week? Share below, I’d love to check it out. If not, perhaps comment below with either: which book have you loved that was a recommendation from someone else or (more controversially) which book have you hated that was recommended by someone else?