World Book Day is a day to celebrate the great writers from around the world.
It is a day where children, and adults alike, pay homage to their favourite books often by dressing up as their best-loved characters in order to spark conversations about the literary world.
It is a day to revisit the pages of your best-loved novel, re-reading the words that have resonated in some way with you. Perhaps the storyline has gripped you more than any other novel, or maybe it is a heartrending narrative that touches you.
With so many books currently out there to choose from however, it is amazing that anyone can pick just one as their all-time treasured book.
My Favourite Books
For me, as a child, I vividly remember spending hours trapped in the wonderful worlds of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. Whether it was the BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Enchanted Wood or The Magic Faraway Tree I loved the creativity of the authors and the ability they had to capture the imagination of children everywhere.
As a adult however, my reading preferences have changed and whilst I still enjoy the whimsical worlds of many authors I also enjoy a gritty crime thriller that makes me think. For that reason, my favourite book today is The Collector by John Fowles.
I first read The Collector at university and was completed hooked after the first chapter. Trapped in a cellar with Miranda Grey after she was abducted by Fredrick Clegg, the reader becomes enthralled with the strange relationship that begins to develop. Split into three sections, we read about the experience through both Miranda and Clegg’s eyes before it reaches a terrible climax resulting in one of them losing their life.
I have read hundreds of books since The Collector, but for some reason this story remains with me, making it a firm favourite. However, I do appreciate the storyline and contents may not be for everyone, so with that in mind, I have reached out to others to find out what they would recommend to others.
World Book Day Recommendations
Aoife from Pretty Purple Polka Dots
One of my favourite books of all time is Roald Dahl’s Matilda. As I was growing up, I felt Matilda and I were like kindred spirits – we both loved to read. We were outsiders. We were both the only girl.
I may not have had the magic powers Matilda possessed, but when the two of us were together I felt less alone. My Dad and I used to read the books together, with me taking Matilda’s speaking parts and him taking absolutely everyone else. It’s a very special book for me.
Christina from Writing Round the Block
Hard as I tried to narrow it down, my favourite books of the last few years have been The Corpse Role by Keith Nixon and Bedlam by BA Morton, both crimes, unexpected, pacy, and brilliantly written.
The Corpse Role is a story of corruption, and how the discovery of an old corpse brings the public and internal political focus onto the dirty dealings of the police department. I loved how the story is originally written, with parts from both the present and the past points of view, and how the author plays with us.
Bedlam is a story of how disappearances of people we love can play havoc with our sanity. I loved the originality of both the writing and the way the story of this part psychological thriller, part crime novel unfolded.
Virginia King, Author of the Selkie Moon Mysteries
My favourite book is The Quiet Woman by Terence Faherty
From the very beginning I fell in love with The Quiet Woman by Terence Faherty. The writing has the lightest touch — superb — and the portrayal of the characters is so subtle and real that you can’t spot the bad guys because Faherty keeps revealing the depth of their humanity. Brilliant.
The quest of the two American siblings, Kerry and Danielle Furey, landing in Ireland to track down their roots (at short notice because Kerry is ill) is a quirky take on the road trip with unexpected twists. The prose carries you along and you’re turning the pages wanting to know what really happened to the ghostly woman on that foggy road fifty years ago, but at the same time not wanting the writing to end. The links to the movie The Quiet Man, filmed in Ireland in the fifties, give the book its name and the quest a loose structure which works for both the protagonists and the reader. But fate keeps knocking the quest off course and taking the reader with it. Danielle Furey is a romance writer and the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter quoted from the Camelot Guide to Romance Writing are a delight, heralding the flavour of the action to follow and reflecting the subtle humour that pervades the pages.
For me this book has everything I expect in a mystery novel — gorgeous writing that, like a ghost, slips past you but leaves you changed, quirky but real characters full of both humanity and surprises, unpredictable twists that keep you turning the pages, existential musing that gives the story depth, and mystical elements in a mystery deeply embedded in its cultural setting.
Matilda from The Travel Sisters
The book I would choose is Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna.
The book’s magical realism, the heroine’s gift of storytelling and the women’s issues reflected in the novel all make this my all time favourite read.
Natalie from Food For Bookworms
My favourite book is Wuthering Heights because I just love how raw and passionate the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff is. It was also one of the main texts I studied during my a-levels and my teacher’s enthusiasm for the book was contagious!
Stephanie from The World As I See It
My favourite book is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
The Diary of a Young Girl, created by the journals of Anne Frank while in hiding with her family in Amsterdam during WWII, has held the coveted title of my favourite book since I read it as a child in school. Her beautiful prose and unabashed honesty always struck a chord within every time I read it. She was wise beyond her years. Her hopefulness and not so much fearlessness but desire to live her life – however slight it was being locked in an attic with near to none privacy – always inspires me. With no freedom per se she was still able to make the most of each day, surrounding herself with posters of her favourite movie stars, writing and ever so dangerously peeking outside a window to look upon a tender tree in the backyard. The Diary of a Young Girl holds a special place in my heart. It has inspired me to write, to be open to the world, to be hopeful and of course to visit Amsterdam. Never before, nor after, has a book, a story and a writer ever seeped into my heart and my soul as Anne Frank and her journal.
Joanne from Portobello Book Blog
Bill Bryson is one of my favourite travel writers. I love his gentle and self deprecating style. I think I have read all his books and he makes anything and everything interesting and entertaining. I think my favourite of his books is probably the one I read first The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America. Only an American could get away with being so sarcastic about the people and places he came across!
I really like that, as well as Bill Bryson’s musings on the people and places he encounters, the reader gets a bit of history and background too. Despite poking gentle fun at people (and making me laugh out loud) his love for his native land shines through. He is such a naturally funny writer and I have enjoyed travelling to various places in the world with him. I am very much looking forward to his latest book The Road to Little Dribbling. I have been patiently for it to arrive in the library for the last two months and apparently I am now 6th on the list!
Sara from Wanderlusting Elizabeth
Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books captured my heart and imagination as a child.
This series is about 4 children and a dog that spend their school breaks exploring Britain’s countryside and consequently happening upon mysteries in need of solving. Besides beautiful rolling green hills, foggy moors, and quaint cottages, the settings in the book include a broken and abandoned castle and caves that lead to dark and exciting tunnels. Blyton effortlessly wove inspiration from Britain’s Dorset region into these settings.
The castle is actually based on the crumbling remains of Corfe Castle. The caves and tunnels are based on the region’s many abandoned quarry caves that historically provided havens for smugglers. While children often outgrow desires, like wanting their own dog (I wanted one exactly like the one in the books!), I never outgrew the desire to one day see Corfe Castle and the area that inspired my favourite books. Visiting Dorset was a dream come true.
Mark from Carstairs Considers…
This is an easy topic for me. What is my favourite book? It could truly change at any time. But I have picked two that have had an impact on my life in some way.
One is The Gatehouse Mystery, the third in the Trixie Belden mystery series for kids. I loved this series when I read it because of how great the characters were and the strong friendships they established. To me, this book perfectly captured that more than many of the rest in the series.
The second is The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, which introduced me to Mrs. Pollifax, a widow, grandmother, garden club member, and part time CIA agent. Her boss at the CIA is Carstairs, which is the name I’ve been using on the internet for close to 20 years. The book is filled with cold way spies and plenty of great twists and turns.
Jamie from The Daily Adventures of Me
My favourite books are:
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See because I love reading the story of women in a different time and place than that in which I live. This a beautiful story about a friendship and I learned about foot binding, an unbelievable practice that I was previously uneducated about.
I also enjoyed reading Beach Music by Pat Conroy. I absolutely adore the way Conroy weaves words. This book travels throughout time and place to locales I love- Italy and the Southern United States.
This is a long book that sweeps you away.
Ruby from A Journey We Love
My favourite fiction book is Anna & the French Kiss – it is a young adult book that is based in Paris and I literally read it within 3 days. It was that good, and it made me want to go to Paris (I still wasn’t able to go!).
My favourite non-fiction book would have to be The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss- simply because it showed me there’s more out there beyond the 9-5 in a cubicle. You can work anywhere remotely!
Jane from Jane & Bex Book Blog
My favourite book is usually the one I have just finished. Well, it feel like it, there have been so many great books recently. However, my favourite book ever is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and it has been since I was about seven years old.
It became my favourite when I was given two different editions for the same occasion (but I can’t recall if it was birthday or Christmas) and was fascinated by the fact that the same story could have two completely different illustrators. I still have both books and they form a small part of my ever-expanding Alice collection. I am still entranced by the way that illustrations can change the whole tone of a book – from cutesy Helen Oxenbury to really quite scary Mervyn Peake. The words are the same but the feel is always new – and my collection just keeps getting bigger.
Alice could well be an obsession (I have been wearing my collection of Alice t-shirts to work every day for the past year and a bit) but I think it is a good one. And it is a sign that, with the very greatest children’s books, you never have to grow too old for them.
Hannah from Book362Worm
My Favourite book is Darkmere by Helen Maslin.
I really enjoyed this book because it was a rally fun and exciting reach i also found that the chapters got a whole lot more intriguing it’s next twist is only a page away. Page after page more twist and turns were thrown in till finally, the ending was a four chapter away, now I was gasping and screaming with annoyance and as , wait no, they surely can’t die! But the book didn’t end , as the last few pages draw nearer, I found myself wanting more and more until I ran out of pages. The story could not just lay her !
This book was filled with adventure, laughs and screams. With 6 cocky teenagers on a holiday they will never forget, no matter how much they tried. Ghost revenging the past and dead bodies floating this is a must read recommendation.
Catherine from Heroine Chic
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a wonderful theatrical fairy tale set in a strange Victorian London, featuring a Circus of Dreams, duelling magicians and a thwarted love story. The language is amazing and the imagery will stay with you long after you finish it.
Patti from The Savvy Globetrotter
I love Aesop’s Fables, reading it over and over again as a kid. I still appreciate the wisdom and moral lessons found in the stories.
Linda at Linda’s Book Bag
My favourite classic is Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy because it was the first time I really ‘got’ a classic writer. I read it in the hot summer between O and A’Levels and found myself transported into the world of Tess. Almost 40 years later I still want to punch Angel Clare for his treatment of Tess.
More recently, I have adored Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon.
Renee from Hey Said Renee
My favourite book so far this year is Kakadu Sunset by Annie Seaton I have posted a review on my blog with more detail, but in a nutshell…
It’s not often I get the chance to read a novel set in my own backyard. Kakadu Sunset captured the atmosphere of living in the Northern Territory of Australia. The romance and suspense plots were well balanced and fast paced, keeping me turning the pages.
With so many books out there, it is no surprise than no two people have opted for the same title, but it is wonderful to see the diversity in peoples’ choice, highlighting that there is no right or wrong answer when the question – What is your favourite book? – is posed to you.
Do you share the views of anyone above? What book would you recommend to others this World Book Day?