Our Favourite Childhood Books Worth a Second Read

At this point in the year, everyone is back into the habit of course readings and academic journals, so we’re all in need of a reminder of what reading felt like when it was a hobby and you could read pretty much anything taking as much time as you pleased. Remember those days where you’d cosy up in bed with a hot chocolate and a good book? Or sit in the window as it rained with your favourite story? Well, I’m talking about reliving those moments and reminiscing about some of those books you read prior to uni!

1. Rebecca

Author:​ ​Daphne Du Maurier

Rating:​ ​5 Stars Favourite​ ​

Quote:​ ​“​If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like a scent.”

At number one, Rebecca is my personal favourite. The protagonist of this story falls in love with the prestigious Maxim De Winter and has the privilege of residing at his country mansion, Manderley. However, Rebecca overshadows all that she does and she must fight for who she is as the mistress of the house despite the wishes of Mrs Danvers. I love the mystery element of this book, but also how well it runs alongside the romantic side. It’s a little different, but a beautiful classic, and almost epitomises the struggle of a young girl in finding herself and her own confidence.

2. Harry Potter

Author:​ ​J.K. Rowling

Rating:​ ​5 Stars Favourite​

​Quote:​ ​“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of places, if only one remembers to turn on the light…”

A childhood literature list would not be complete without Harry Potter and I love this literary masterpiece! Harry Potter learns he is a wizard and embarks on an amazing adventure at Hogwarts, fighting for the futures of every witch and wizard. Across seven books he builds incredible friendships and learns that there is more to magic than spells. We meet some extraordinary creatures and characters, as Harry battles dragons, giant spiders, giants, Death Eaters, Dementors, and of course Lord Voldemort. No matter how many times I read these books they never get old! And if you love the films then you will love these books even more!

3. The ​Hunger Games

Author:​ ​Suzanne Collins

Rating:​ ​4​ ​Stars Favourite​ ​

Quote:​ ​“Fire is catching, and if we burn, you burn with us.”

Follow the series as Katniss Everdeen fights for her life, the people she loves, her freedom, and justice for the people of Panem. Split into 12 districts, and pooled from the nation, each year 24 young tributes fight to their death for the amusement of the Capitol under the presidency of Snow. As Katniss fights to free them from oppression, she learns that the enemy is not always as clear as it seems, and it is questionable of whether Panem will ever be free. She faces challenges of friendships and loss as the battle becomes more real than ever. I love how compelling this series is, the message behind the books and the fast paced storyline. They’re an easy easy read and hard to put down.

4. 1984

Author:​ ​George Orwell

Rating:​ ​5 Stars Favourite​ ​

Quote:​ ​“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

In this dystopian novel, Winston Smith faces an oppressive society and leadership of Big Brother, with his every movement monitored. In Airstrip One (Britain) the public are manipulated and governed by a Socialist society (Ingsoc) where their every movement is surveyed and monitored, the government invent a new language (Newspeak) and heavily promotes a cult of personality. Winston’s job means he has to publish propaganda to promote the party, but he secretly hates it and wants nothing more than to rebel against the totalitarian state. This novel is one of the most life changing novels I have ever read, not only for the story line, but for the truthful parallels and realism that Orwell is able to convey.

5. A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author:​ ​Khaled Hosseini

Rating:​ ​4 Stars Favourite​

​Quote:​ ​“You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.”

Mariam grows up in Afghanistan with her oppressive mother in a small shack, whilst her father enjoys a privileged lifestyle in a mansion with her other family. After unfortunate loss, Mariam is forced to marry widower and abuser Rasheed and move to Kabul. Adjusting to her new lifestyle is more than difficult. Laila grows up in a privileged family until she finds herself in the middle of a warzone and her life takes a despairingly downhill turn. The two women find themselves in an unbelievable situation, where they must fight for their own freedom and dignity. This book is beyond moving, but also had a sadly truthful undertone to it. The historical context is heart-breaking, and Hosseini encapsulates life in Kabul.

Sasha Williams

Image: Wikimedia Commons