Hey guys! I’m here with an interesting post today. With book blogging and working in a bookshop, I’m around books and reading an awful lot of the time and decided that I wanted to expand my reading horizons by asking some of my colleagues for one reading recommendation per month.
I had no influence on the recommendation and gave them no clues to what kind of books I like to read, simply asking…
What book do you think everyone should read, no matter what?
So, here are the 12 books that I was recommended this year!
*disclaimer: These recommendations came from twelve people in one branch of the bookshop I work for. I took their first recommendation (unless I’d already read it) and these choices, as well as not being tailored, probably don’t represent the loves of all booksellers. We’re a diverse bunch!
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Recommended by: Becca
Blurb: On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a wealthy, handsome widower. But as they arrive at Manderley, his Cornish mansion, a change comes over Max and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated house, she realises that she barely knows the man she has married, and in every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca.
Perfect for getting into classics if you enjoy a twisted edge. See my other post on this here!
- All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Recommended by: Chris
Blurb: For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge hen the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.
Perfect for if you fancy a deeper read, something to sink your teeth into and for a hit of emotional, historical fiction.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Recommended by: Cat
Blurb: Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamourous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Determined to use this opportunity to jump-start her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to leaving show business in the ’80s – and, of course, the seven husbands along the way – Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Perfect for fans of thrillers, mystery and a pair of strong, badass female leads.
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Recommended by: Ian
Blurb: Set in the deep American South between the wars, The Color Purple is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped in an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery – singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
Perfect for getting an honest and courageous look at faith, forgiveness and hope.
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Recommended by: Mark
Blurb: Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and an absent father, miraculously survives a catastrophe that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Theo is tormented by longing for his mother and down the years he clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.
Perfect for those wanting a story that will stay with them long after the last page.
- The 13.5 lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
Recommended by: Jon
Blurb: No official blurb for this one, but it’s summed up so well by a quote from the Daily Telegraph.
“Some Minipirates find a baby bear with blue fur inside a walnut shell floating on the ocean towards a giant whirlpool. They rescue him and teach him about knots and waves, and that a good white lie is often considerably more exciting than the truth. Then, when he outgrows their ship to such an extent that he is in danger of sinking it, they abandon him on an island with a bottle of seaweed juice and a loaf of seaweed bread. Thus Bluebear comes to the end of his first life and embarks on his second. By the end of the book, he has expended exactly half of his 27 lives.”
*note: This book was very kindly recommended to me when I was going through a rough time after losing my dad with the hope that it would make me feel all of the warm and fuzzies.
Perfect for a complete pick-me-up if you’re in need of a smile.
- Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Recommended by: Emily
Blurb: The Darling children are tucked up in bed when Peter Pan bursts into their nursery. Peter and his mischievous ways fairy Tinker Bell entice Wendy and her brothersnto fly away with them to a magical world called Neverland. There you can swim with mermaids and play all day with the Lost Boys. But you must watch out for pirates, especially Captain Hook. And how do you find Neverland? Second star to the right and straight on till morning of course…
Perfect for getting back in touch with your childhood via this absolute classic.
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Recommended by: Eleanor
Blurb: Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.
Perfect for fans of the Breakfast Club meets How to Get Away with Murder!
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Recommended by: Amina
Blurb: Estha and Rahel, seven-year-old twins, are growing up admist vats of banana jam, mountains of peppercorns and scenes of political turbulence in Kerala. When their beautiful young cousin Sophie arrives, their world is shaken irrevocably. An illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and international expose things that lurk unsaid in a country drifting dangerously towards unrest.
Perfect for those looking to branch out into more poignant storytelling where no themes are off limits.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Recommended by: Alison
Blurb: Christmas won’t be the same this year for Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, as their father is away fighting in the Civil War, and the family has fallen on hard times. But though they may be poor, life for the four March sisters is rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble.
Perfect for seeing how women can be so different, yet all are worthy of love.
- Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
Recommended by: Jodie
Blurb: What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The word will never be the same again. Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened. If civilisation was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?
Perfect for those who love to contemplate what would happen if the world as we knew it ended.
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Recommended by: Rob
Blurb: Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block. He is also a psychopath. A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare…
Perfect for horror fans who can’t help but be intrigued by the darker side of human nature.
So, here are twelve recommendations from twelve fabulous (definitely not biased) booksellers! Are any of these books your favourites too? Or have I succeeded in giving you more ideas of what to read next?