MY LIFE IN BOOKS BY TRISH HILLS @TISHYLOU
Charlotte's Web by EB White. This is the first book I remember reading as a child. I still have my really old, battered paperback copy and also found a beautiful old hardback too. This book is so beautifully written and so poignant. I can't read it any more, it makes me cry, but I still hold it fondly as a favourite.
The Babysitters Club Series by Ann M Martin. This series basically shaped my “tween” years. They were fun, clever, inspirational. The girls (Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Mallory, Jessie, Stacey, Dawn) formed a club to give childcare to all the neighbourhood kids. They were organized, professional, caring and most of all, fun. I started babysitting aged 12 because I wanted to be like them. I even became a qualified first aider and got my babysitting certificate!
Pet Semetary by Stephen King. This was the first “grown-up” novel I ever read. I was terrified but wanted to read something naughty that I wasn't supposed to. I was hooked! I quickly devoured every Stephen King book I could lay my hands on. I started collecting them and even when I moved from Canada to the UK in 2000, I brought my collection of around 20 hardbacks and 30 paperbacks with me. That was half of my packing allowance, but I wasn't letting them go! I now have over 100 SK books, many of them multiples. I don't read them so much any more. I find his style has changed since his life threatening accident. But I still get his new hardback for Christmas every year!
Jemima J by Jane Green. One of the first books I bought when I arrived to start my new life in England. Aged 23, I'd never heard of “chick-lit” and the cover was pretty so I picked it up. A whole new world opened up for me with that book! I was hooked on these happy, fun, realistic books. I kind of related with Jemima and wanted her to have her happy-ever-after. I'd never had such strong feelings for a character and their out-come before!
The Alchemist by Pauolo Cohelo. If ever a book enhanced my life, it was this one. I read it when I was at a particularly low point in my life and it really opened my eyes. It changed the way I was looking at things and made me re-evaluate my situation. It taught me that “when you want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” If you really want something and you are willing to work for it, you will get there. It's a moving, emotional and inspirational read. One that I recommend to anyone who is struggling to find their path in life.
Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman. I adore Rowan, I really do. I think she's kind, funny, down-to-earth and a brilliant writer. I read Dearest Rose in about 2 days, which is quick for me. I didn't want to put it down. I cared so deeply for Rose and Maddie. I cried, I laughed and best of all, I cheered for her. (I actually did!) This was such a moving, heartbreaking, empowering story. I think every woman should read this book and then go tell Rowan how much you loved it!
Like Bees To Honey by Caroline Smailes. I stumbled across Caroline by accident while tweeting with Rowan Coleman. I noticed Caroline is from the North West, like me. So I emailed her. I hadn't read her books but we started chatting. Long, easy emails were exchanged and I found out she was doing an event in my town. So I borrowed Like Bees To Honey from the library. I devoured the book in one sitting, something I had never done before. I was haunted by the characters, the words and the setting (Malta). No author had ever given me chills like that before! If you haven't read this, I urge you to! It will grip you and you will be hooked by the unique style of writing and the beautifully flowing words.
Wish You Were Here by Victoria Connelly. Ok, I put this on the list for a different reason. I loved this book. I really, really did. I adored the characters and the male hunk Milo. I loved the setting, the Greek Island of Kethos. But most of all, I loved that this was the first book I was ever asked to review. Handbag.com sent me this in the first bundle of review books and I was so proud and excited to be doing something I had always dreamt of! This was the first of many books and it has opened up so many doors for me.
Sunlounger Stories by Various Contributors and Belinda Jones. I've never been a huge lover of short stories, but having been offered the chance to review this, I was quite excited as it features some of my favourite authors. I changed my opinion completely! The stories were all fabulous and fun! Love, lust, passion, excitement, sun, sea, sex and sangria. What more could a reader ask for?? Each story was just long enough to make you care but short enough to make you desperate for a bit more. Delicious!! Added to that was the fact that my blog review got more hits than I'd ever had before and the banter on Twitter surrounding it was amazing! As was the long, fun email chat I had with Belinda! So much fun!
Secrets And Rain by Cally Taylor. As I said, I was never a fan of short stories. I am now. I love Cally's writing anyway so was excited to get a review copy of this collection of 12 short stories. I started reading it on my phone in a local tea rooms. Big mistake! I was sobbing into my brew after just a few lines of the first story! So beautifully written and so emotional! **Totes Emosh!** I adored every single story and even fell for one of the male leads! Sigh! Heartbreaking, sweet, full of hope, sad, joyous, adorable, I don't even have the right words! But this collection did more than just make me cry. It made me write! I, like most people who read a lot, have always wanted to write. I knew of the New Rose Prize short story contest but never thought of entering. After reading Sunlounger Stories and this one, I decided to give it a go. And I wrote around 1500 words in one sitting, barely even having to go back and make any changes. I decided to submit it (after some encouraging words from another author friend). EEEK! Turns out I didn't win, but I won't give up!
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon. I basically begged Georgina Moore for a review copy of this book and she was lovely enough to indulge me. I read this book pretty quickly and it couldn't have come at a better time for me. I was in a very bad, dark place in my life. My 14 year relationship was crumbling, my confidence was gone and I felt alone and desperately sad. Reading Mad Girl gave me the courage to leave my ex, restart my life and get help for (what turned out to be) anxiety and depression, which had led to me self-harming and hating myself in the past. Thanks to Bryony, I am now on medication, finding what makes me happy and feeling better about myself than I have in years! Read this book!!
So there you have it! My life in books... I hope there's something in this lot that makes you want to read one of my favourite books.