Some of my favourite books

I love books. More than that though, I love stories. My grandfather told us such amazing stories (which probably explains my current affection for audiobooks); my mom bought me loads of comics as a child (better reward than candy, etc.) as well as book/tape read along – possibly more evidence of my audio affinity. You will also notice that I often buy books based on their covers, even though we’re advised against it.

So these are some my favourites (because there really are too many to choose from, or sort in rank of preference) from the past 30-odd years, randomly listed:

Where'd you go, Bernadette

Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

It has a cool cover, but the story is even better. I adore Bernadette and want to be like her when I grow up. I happily spent an credit on this audiobook – it was completely worth it! I’ll be posting a full review of it soon.

Good OmensGood Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

I’ll read anything by Neil Gaiman – twice! This was a very fun take on the end of the world. I see a second reading of this very soon in my future (yes, despite the masses of other books still waiting to be read a first time).

The Hobbit The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien

I have some confessions here – I read the book after seeing the movie; I actually think this should be how to approach the whole book/movie thing – that way you get to appreciate the cinematic glory of the movie, without judging it for all it’s left out/changed in the storyline. Then you go back to the book and get the big picture. I also have not yet read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I’m ashamed to admit. But that will be remedied soon though. Perhaps after I’ve watched the movies…

Big Fish Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

This is the kind of story my grandfather used to tell us – completely fantastical, but somehow very believable. This book, even more than The Hobbit, which I think he’d have loved, reminds me of him.

Olivia JoulesOlivia Joules And The Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding

This is one of the first audio CDs I bought. I enjoyed this so much – much more than the Bridget Jones books (although the movies are still a perfect pick-me-up, and I’m looking forward to the third one). I’d love to see this book made into a movie, and I expect Rachel Weisz (narrator of this CD) to play the title role. I’m not very demanding or anything, you know.

Making LoveMaking Love: A Conspiracy Of The Heart by Marius Brill

Just look at that cover! How could I resist? And the story is even better – a laugh-out-loud romcom told by a book (who has fallen with its reader). You get two books in one convenient packaging. And I was thrilled by the news that Mr Brill finally released a second novel (another intricate combination of news clippings, manuscript, and other bits of material). I’ve started How to forget, but it’s not a quick read.

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book must be on the list of favourites of everyone who’s read it. It is beautifully haunting. Very few people are aware of another great novel by Zusak, written years prior to The Book Thief. I am the messenger gives the reader a glimpse into the future of fantastic literature produced by this man. You can read my review of it here.

The Time Traveller's WifeThe Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This book was the first I’ve ever read that had me in tears. I’ll never forget that I finished at work one night shift, and how grateful I was that there wasn’t anyone to see me cry over a book. Her fearful symmetry was another surreal and beautiful book, but The Time Traveller’s Wife is the one that will always haunt my memory.

MoxylandMoxyland by Lauren Beukes

Lauren is one of my favourite local authors and having met her in person, I can say she’s smart, pretty, and a genuinely nice person. I liked Moxyland better than I did Zoo City, and I’m looking forward to The Shining Girls, due for release later this month. I am also the proud owner of an autographed stuffed Moxy. This is a great piece of futuristic science fiction, written by a petite blonde female. And that is how we rule the world in the end 😉 (You can decide who the “we” is: South Africans, women, SciFi lovers, or blondes, although even my natural hair colour is slightly darker than what can generally be categorised as blonde!)

Hell's KitchenHell’s Kitchen by Chris Niles

Oh I loved this dark book. Again, it was the cover that caught my interest, but the cross-dressing serial killer kept me turning the pages. From all the books on this list, this was the first (or second; I might have read Big Fish before this) I read. I haven’t been able to find anything else by Chris Niles. I’m also not sure of where this book is now – I’ve moved a couple of times and still have loads of books in storage, and that’s the only place I think where it could be; I wouldn’t mind a second read of it.

Honourable mentions

I am a huge Stephen King fan and have read a fair deal of his books, with the rest definitely scheduled for the future. Another favourite South African author (actually two authors writing together under this pseudonym) is S.L. Grey, who’s book The Mall is not for the faint-hearted. I’ve got the second book The Ward, but still have to read it. The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness was a fantastic literary journey, as has the first two books from Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy.

What is your favourite book (or ten)?


  1. Jacqui Malpass

    I am always fascinated by peoples book choices, I seem to have gone from Little Women and the Famous Five to other books about strong women. Love Thousand Splendid Suns and anything about Henry VIII or more importantly his wives.

  2. pewterrose

    Interesting mix of books. I always enjoy reading books across genres too. Really enjoyed The Time Traveller’s Wife.

  3. kaymac13

    I love more of the paranormal romance genre. However, it truly is not what it used to be. Alot of people assume it is smut but the stories are very involved and many have maybe one actual sex scene. Many I read are based on greek mythology etc. But I think I will add some of these to my nook/library wish list thanks


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2021 Reading Challenge

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Martha has completed her goal of reading 120 books in 2021!