Monday, 9 April 2012

Musing Mondays #10

This meme is hosted by Should be Reading.

Every week a new 'musing' question is posted by the host for all participants to answer in their own posts.

This week's musing is:

What do you think are the top 5 books every woman should read?

Wow - okay, this is quite a difficult one. I kind of feel like there is a certain level of responsibility involved in this one!
Well, I guess most of the ones I'm going to choose for this are going to be my favourites - but not just because they are my favourites - also because they are great books that I think women would love and enjoy.
The first of these is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I think I chose this one simply because it does pull on your heart strings a lot, but it's not in an entirely sad/depressing way.
Obviously the whole premise of the novel is a little upsetting, but when you cry during the book, you don't cry because it's devastatingly upsetting, but more because it's a happy-sad kind of feeling, if that makes any sense. I'm almost certain that others that have read this book will understand what I mean. It's sad and optimistic all at the same time, mostly because Susie isn't bitter about her own fate - she just wants to see her family back together again, and continue their lives in happiness. Just thinking about it makes me go all goosepimply and well up! A truly poignant novel, and one for every woman!

The second I'd choose is another favourite of mine, and one I've mentioned on countless other occasions; The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. In fact, I think I'd say that all of the novels of hers that I've read (so far), are great for a female audience. Her characters are truly wonderful, and the stories are inspiring.
I've chosen The Poisonwood Bible though, because a) it was the first of her novels that I read, b) I was really surprised that I even liked it at all, let alone adored it, and c) the female characters are not just inspiring, but entirely tangible and believable.
The story follows the lives of a woman, the wife of an American Christian Baptist, and their four daughters, as each woman learns to adjust to their new lives in Africa, where their father/husband is working as a missionary. This was such an interesting and sometimes devastating read. I read it years ago now, and it's still with me - that's how powerful it is!

For the third novel, it's going to be another of my favourites, and another that I've mentioned countless times before, on the blog; Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
This is one of the most moving and powerful novels I've ever read, and I'm always flicking through my copy and reading my favourite bits again - I definitely think I'm going to have to find some time during the summer to re-read it.
This is another one where the characters are entirely tangible, and I think that makes all the difference with this book.
Ishiguro's writing is so emotive, that it's impossible not to get entirely consumed by it! Another beautiful, poignant read.

The next one I'm going to put on the list is another 5 star read - one that Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea has recently won from my blog. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson.
This, if you didn't already know, is written by a man, so it becomes even more amazing when you read it, and get to know Christine's character. She is so incredibly real, that it does become difficult to imagine that the author behind her voice is male.
It's an incredibly detailed, moving and exciting insight into Christine's life, and the book will have you gripped from beginning to end. An absolute must read! Click here to read my review.

Choosing the last book for this list is a very difficult one.... but I think I'm going to have to go with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
This is an epistolary novel, being written in letters, and this is such a clever way to tell this story. You feel, as the reader, much closer to the characters this way, as though you are a part of the story, somehow.
It tells the story of a group of women on the island of Guernsey, during the Second World War and the German Occupation.
These women are strong, even when faced with the danger of the war, and their loyalty to each other is really inspiring.
It's definitely a great read for any woman!

So there are my musings for this week. 
Let me know what you think of them in the comments below. Is there anything you'd add to this list?


Anonymous said...

The header on your site is beautiful! You have a great list. The Lovely Bones has been on my TBR list for awhile and you are the second person to recommend The Poisonwood Bible, I may just have to take a look at that! You can see my MM here: A Great Escape

caite said...

all good books..but I would recommend them to anyone who loves to read, not just women.

Kwizgiver said...

I haven't read Before I Go To Sleep; I'll definitely have to check it out.

Tanya Patrice said...

I've read 3 of these - most recently, Before I Go to Sleep, which was one of my top reads for 2011.

aleksandra said...

Hello, a new follower here. (:
That's a great choice of books! So far I've read 2 out of 5, but I own The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows so it's just a matter of time when I read that one. ^^

Aleksandra @ Divine Secrets of a Little Bookworm

So many books, so little time said...

I've read the lovely bones and before I go to sleep. I would have before I go to sleep on my list too


techeditor said...

Although I've read most of the books you chose, I'd choose differently:

ATLAS SHRUGGED by ayn rand
CUTTING FOR STONE by abraham verghese
22 BRITANNIA ROAD by Amanda Hodgkinson
GALWAY BAY by Mary Pat Kelly

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