Jelly says: Books, dude. Just, just, books.
I am literally writing this so someone can talk in depth with me about fictional characters and how insignificant and infinitely beautiful our lives are. These are my favourite books and they hurt me inside in a pleasant way, like a bruise or a really intense back massage. You know what I’m talking about. Read these please
Building stories is an amazing graphic novel that comes in a box filled with pamphlets and leaflets and comic strips, not in any particular order, that build up the small and fractured lives of tenants in an apartment building. It is incredible how human life is so perfectly summed up in this.
Anything by Virginia Woolf, but start with Mrs Dalloway and then swiftly progress onto To The Lighthouse (my favourite). It is very readable and real from the very start as long as you believe her utterly.
Anything by Sylvia Plath. Her poetry is (dare I say it?) better than The Bell Jar, but since The Bell Jar is one of my favourite books ever, that is really saying something.
Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys – it’s a take on Jane Eyre (which you should also read, btw) written by a awesome PoC lady in modernish times, told from the point of view of the mad wife. It’s intense in the best possible way.
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche – amazing and worrysome- anything by Alexander McCall Smith – fabulous – anything (but especially The Labyrinth, a collection of essays, as well as Senor Vivo and the Coco Lord) by Louis de Bernieres, who is dark and curls around your ribs and makes you laugh.
The Cloud Atlas, Birdsong (which made me cry and think of terrible things), The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson (a lovely short novel about how people are not what we think they are), His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman (omg so much better than the movie that I fall down and whimper about the beauty of the characters and also – best fricking love story ever fricking told frick my life), White Teeth by Zadie Smith (hnng people people people).
Lost at Sea is a graphic novel about growing older not up. Ghost World is about much the same thing, but is spine tingling and very funny. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The Bloodstone Papers (about small lives and being Anglo-Indian and is written so evocatively), The God of Small Things (about love, about love, about love).
I also really like poetry, and I have lots of favourite poems and anthologies. To make this list I literally read of my bookshelf and typed the first thing that came to mind
Please tell me anything that you loved, will love, are loving right now, I have no money but I will get books by selling my clothes on the black market if need be.