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Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to a Friend. Top Ten Tuesdays.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesdays is about book recommendations. I have chosen to do my top ten about books I’d recommend to a friend. I’ve already recommended most of the books I’ve mentioned on the list to friends. I love chatting about books and getting recommendations. I urge anyone reading this blog to try any of these, and to let me know if you like them!

1. One Day, David Nicholls. This book is simply brilliant. I passed this on to quite a few friends so my copy looks very well-loved. This is one of those books where you force people to read it so you have someone to talk to about it, and constantly pester them asking which bit they are up to. I got very attached to the main characters, Dexter and Emma, and didn’t want to leave them at the end of the book.

2. The Colour Purple, Alice Walker.
This is a classic, and for very good reason. Everyone just has to read this book.

3. The Help, Kathryn Stockett. I read this just before the movie came out, and loved both.


4. The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. I stayed up extremely late reading this book, and I remember crying a little too hard throughout the last few chapters. It was amazing.

5. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn.
Wonderfully written, interesting structure and gripping throughout, an excellent who dunnit.

6. You Had Me at Hello, Mhairi McFarlane. Fairly light and funny. This would be perfect for a holiday. Particularly recommend this to any fellow Mancunians as it is set in Manchester.

7. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins. This whole trilogy just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It has it all. And of course, there’s a love triangle. I love all three of the books, and the last film was brilliant. I can not wait for the new film to come out, and have cinema tickets booked to see it! (3D Imax, too excited!).

8. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini.
Hosseini is a master story teller. It’s hard to put into words just how wonderful this novel is. The Kite Runner is also wonderful and nearly made this list. Unfortunately I don’t have an image of this book as I read a library copy.

9. How to Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran. This book is awesome. Moran’s honesty and humour is fantastic. A must read.

10. You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney. This book is a bit different from the rest as it’s non-fiction. It is a psychology book, and comically explains that we are all a bit deluded. It’s very funny and will leave you with lots of fun facts to share, who doesn’t love a fun fact?

I’m really enjoying Top Ten Tuesdays so far! Looking forward to reading what books will be recommended on other peoples blogs.

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‘You Had Me at Hello’ by Mhairi McFarlane

I have been obsessed with my Kindle lately. One night last week I was flicking through my recommendations on the Kindle store. I was looking for something a bit lighter than the murder and crime stuff I’ve been reading lately! Then ‘You Had Me at Hello’ popped up and I liked the title. It seemed a bit cutesy but smart at the same time. After downloading a sample, I knew I was going to enjoy it. Sometimes all it takes is a few pages. I love that you can download samples, it makes me feel more inclined to give a book a go.

‘You Had Me at Hello’ is about Rachel and Ben, who met at university and were very good friends/could-be-more-than-friends. However, during uni Rachel had a boyfriend. Despite liking Ben, she kept missing the signs that he really liked her. Ten years pass, Rachel is newly single and a not-so-chance bump into Ben brings back the feelings she had pushed aside for so long. However, Ben is now married. Once again the pair can’t be together. They are a bit like Ross and Rachel from ‘Friends’, the timing just is never quite right. A bit frustrating I suppose, but if it were easy there would be no story!

Perhaps the story line sounds all too familiar, but what makes this book stand out is the gentle humour throughout. The novel also flicks between present day, and back to uni days, so we learn more about their relationship then/now as the book goes on. It is also set in Manchester, which for me (with Manchester being my closest city) was a huge bonus! McFarlane really used the setting well, and I loved that Rachel and Ben saw each other for the first time in years at Manchester Central Library! Other places around the city and uni were so well described, I felt like I could really get involved in the story. McFarlane mentions Manchester’s ‘special’ rain that ‘manages to be both vertical and horizontal’ which made me chuckle. Too true.

This novel reminds me a bit of ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls, which I was also a huge fan of. If you liked One Day, give this book a go! I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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