Picking favourite books is a hard challenge. I’m very bad at picking favourites. I seldom have all time irreplaceable favourites, but I do have things I very much like! So I picked four books I’ve read either this year or in the last two years and I really loved. I also illustrated them (which, to be fair also sort of narrowed down the options because I couldn’t make illustrations of all the books, some have really difficult covers).
Stardust was the first Neil Gaiman book I picked up and I fell in love! I really loved the writing style and the way the story was told. It felt completely different from other fantasy novels I read before. I think Gaiman has the tendency to make normal people into the heroes of his stories, but without giving them any secret powers. They just have to struggle and grow throughout the book. I also read The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere by Gaiman. The first I found too simplistic, the later I also absolutely loved!
Seconds is a graphic novel about growing up and finding your own place in the world. It’s a story about magic mushrooms (not that kind), about ghosties and owning and running a restaurant. I got this one for my birthday this year and read it in one sitting. I loved it! I also love the illustration style, which is so quirky. Brian Lee O’Malley also wrote the Scott Pilgrim series, which I also really want to read.
I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
I read I’ll Give You the Sun last year in November and, oh my, I loved every single bit of this book. I loved the characters and the story and I loved the writing style so much! I felt like Jandy Nelson painted a story rather than wrote it. I also cried a lot whilst reading this book. The story just hit me in the feels over and over again. Maybe I felt a little too connected to the main characters, but still, it was a wonderful book. I highly recommend it! (ps: the Dutch edition is as pretty as the English edition and is called Ik Geef je de Zon)
Flowers for Algernon is one of the books I read during my cover designing process and for which I designed a new book cover. I had started reading the book once before, but I couldn’t get into the story at that time. And now look at it, it’s one of my favourites! It’s the story of Charlie, who wants to be smart, and who participates in an experiment that’ll make him so. As a reader you read the reports Charlie himself makes about this experiment and you can only feel for him.
If you’re interested in reading these books, I recommend reading them in English, as this is the original language for all of them. Stardust and Flowers for Algernon are translated in Dutch (as Ster en Het Genie in de Muizenval), but I think they’re out of print.
What are your favourite books you read this year? Which is your all time favourite?
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