Discovering my mother’s favourite books

I think it’s fair to say that we all have somebody that we would class as the reason why we love reading. I know I do anyway. For me that person is my mum. Now, don’t get me wrong, both my parents read to me and with me as I was growing up but it’s my mum that is a total bookworm just like me.

Because of this I asked her recently to let me know her top 5 favourite books…definitely easier said than done! I’m glad she didn’t ask me the same question, my head hurts just thinking about it now! Anyway, yes I asked her because I had this post in mind, but I also wanted to know just because. It turns out that the majority of her picks are books that I haven’t read before, they’re now on my must read list however.

I thought I would share them with you so you can tell me your thoughts and whether any of her choices would feature on a favourites list for you. Keep reading to find out what she picked and what my opinion on them are.

Related post – Reading with my daughter

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And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

What she said about it – “I’m a massive fan of Agatha Christie and would love to own every book she’s written. This is my favourite because it’s unbelievably clever, and, unusually for Christie does not feature a detective of any kind. This was also the first ‘adult’ book I ever read, (I was about 9 or 10).”

My thoughts – I’m ashamed to admit that I am yet to read an Agatha Christie book. I’ve watched many Poirot and Marple episodes, so to not have read any of Christie’s work by now is unusual for me. I’m usually the first to seek out an author if I have seen an adaptation. Of course, I now know what my first one will be! I’m picking up a copy asap. I love the little memory as well, this is something I wouldn’t have known about my mum had I not asked about her favourite reads.

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

What she said about it – “My dad recommended this novel to me when I was a teenager. It’s a gripping story which I loved then and still do. The TV adaptation was also good.”

My thoughts – This is a novel that I have heard of but am completely unfamiliar with. A short burst of research tells me that it is a Gothic Classic with an air of Jane Eyre about it. That’s all I need to know, I love Jane Eyre and I love Gothic literature so I can’t wait to give this one a try. I can’t believe I haven’t read it already!

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What she said about it – “I remember watching, and loving a TV series of this as a child and that led me to read the book. As a child with 4 sisters it struck a chord as a novel all about a family. I could see similarities between the 4 sisters and mine. I always liked Jo the best.”

My thoughts – At last, a book that I have read. This one popped up on my reading list when I was at uni and I loved it too! Jo always seems to be the character that most people like the most and during my first couple of readings of this I thought the same. However, I must admit that I do have a bit of a soft spot for Beth. She’s such an undervalued character in my opinion, but she is so inherently good, even in the face of such struggles and for that reason she might just be my current favourite sister.

Related post – Does a personal message in a book increase the sentimental value and should we all be writing them?

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The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley

What she said about it – “I studied this novel for O-Level English and just loved the story of a young boy on the cusp of adolescence and his experiences within an aristocratic family. It’s quite touching as his experiences affect him throughout his life.”

My thoughts – And just like that we are back to a book I haven’t read. To be honest I haven’t even heard of this one! My mum hasn’t given much away here but I’m definitely intrigued to find out more! I’m certainly going to pick up a copy of this and give it a read.

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Season of Passion by Danielle Steel

What she said about it – “I love all Danielle Steel novels. They’re generally ‘chick lit’, really easy to read and follow a tried and tested formula of a love story. I return to this one over and over since I first read it in the 80s. Great for a bit of escapism.”

My thoughts – I can’t comment on this specific title because I haven’t read this one, but, I can have an opinion on Danielle Steel books in general because I have read quite a few. Much like my mum said they are great for escapism! Yes, they are perhaps not the kind of books that you would want to admit to reading as a ‘serious reader’, however they are fun and what’s wrong with that? In my opinion, nothing. Sometimes a dose of ‘chick lit’ is exactly what the doctor ordered! I can’t think of a single Steel book that I haven’t enjoyed, they just need to be taken for what they are. The fact that my mum keeps going back to this one convinces me to give it a go.

Related post – My most memorable childhood stories

And that’s it. My mum’s top 5 favourite books. I find it fascinating how the majority of her picks have links to her childhood and family. That makes me more convinced that how far we enjoy reading is down to the influence of others, more often than not our family or our experiences growing up. Perhaps it’s nostalgia as much as the books. Who knows. Whatever the reasons it’s lovely to find out why people pick certain books as their favourites. I’m sure it wont be long before I’m bugging more family members and friends to share theirs as well!

In the meantime, perhaps you would like to share your favourite book or books with me? I would love to hear! Also, let me know your thoughts on the books listed here. Any favourites, or any that you really didn’t like?

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!

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Until the next time…Jess x

11 thoughts on “Discovering my mother’s favourite books

    1. Thank you! It was really nice to find out her favourites! I’ve never read Christie myself but she’s one of those authors that I’ve been meaning to check out, do you like her stuff? Ooh I will have to check that out, I love finding out what people like to read, particularly when they are bookworms like myself!

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