Staying In 2nd November 2020 by Adele Miner
Looking For Some November Reads? Team STELLAR Share Their Favourite Books Of All Time
We all have that one book we never forget
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, there is no better time to curl up with a great book than winter time. While there is quite literally no time like the present to get cracking on a good read (what else is there to do?!), knowing where to begin can be daunting.
With so many classic ‘must-reads’ and even more contemporary new-releases, choosing the right book for you can be a mammoth task. But, here to help is Team STELLAR, who are sharing their ‘books that changed my life’ picks. From books that impacted us, childhood favourites and modern greats, there’s a book to suit just about everyone’s needs in there.
Megan Roantree chooses ‘Fat Chance’ by Louise McSharry
“Written by 2fm presenter Louise McSharry, Fat Chance documents her life from childhood, through family issues, teen struggles, love, her career, cancer and so much more. She also discusses body positivity throughout, which changed the way I thought about what ‘fat’ really means. She explains how when she lost weight due to her illness, people automatically thought it was a good thing. It made me think more about the way I talk about my weight, and compliment or comment on someone’s body changing, most importantly my own body, and it’s been pretty liberating. ”
Adele Miner chooses ‘Such A Fun Age’ by Kiley Reid
“You know those books that are so good you place them down beside you after finishing them and stare off into the distance to process it all? Yeah, this’ll do that for you. Such A Fun Age explores so many hard-to-swallow topics like race, class, and white saviourism, without letting ant of them override or define the narrative. It follows the story of a young woman who is wrongly accused of kidnapping the little girl she babysits and the events that follow as a result. It made a lightbulb go off in my head that’ll never be switched off again. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, listening to stories in all their formats is essential, and Such A Fun Age is a wonderful place to start. ”
Vicki Notaro chooses ‘Forever’ by Judy Blume
“Judy was writing YA before YA was a thing, and after reading Starring Sally Freedman as Herself aged nine, I started reading through her back catalogue. Unbeknownst to my poor mother though, Forever was one of Judy’s books aimed at older teens (along with the great Tiger Eyes) and OMG – there was riding in it! I learned so much about normal, honest teen sex and love from the book. Think of it as 1970s American Normal People. And the beauty of Judy is that she also writes wonderful books for adults. If you haven’t read Wifey or Summer Sisters, do so immediately. ”
Valerie Loftus chooses ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’
“I first picked this up when I was around 10 after reading a Jacqueline Wilson book (Secrets) in which it featured prominently. I don’t think I knew very much about WWII or the Holocaust at that time, and couldn’t believe it was all a true story. Anne’s diary is an important historical artefact, but also a really honest portrait of a teenage girl – every time I dipped back into it over the years, I could relate to her more, from her relationship with her parents to her all-consuming crushes to her ambition to be a writer. I even gave my own diary a name inspired by her ‘kitty’. Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and seeing the little bedroom where she used to write was incredibly moving – it’s so sad that she never got to see how her words have impacted the world. ”
Katie Gilligan chooses ‘Feel Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers
“When I was 19 and my dad bought me a copy of Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway. It is now a well-thumbed, constant companion, littered with post-its and highlighted passages. I’ve managed to sneak this into most of my friend’s birthday gifts over the years and would recommend it to absolutely everyone. None of us are exempt from feeling overwhelmed or stuck at some point in our lives, and this book is the perfect companion when things get tough. Whatever it is you’re up against, Susan Jeffers teaches us the many ways in which we can adapt to change and change our pain to power. ”
Hannah Hillyer chooses ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee
“Although Harry Potter was what got me into reading, it’s Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird that made me think about books differently. I’d always grown up devouring every book in sight, but it was studying Lee’s book in first year of secondary that made me see that books can be so much more than entertainment. It was the first time I had ever analysed and discussed a novel with others and it created a deeper love of reading and led me to study English Literature in college. I re-read it earlier this year, and it’s still one of my favourites, but I may be in need of a new copy as mine is looking pretty battered..”
Amie Edmonds chooses ‘Dying to Survive’ by Rachael Keogh
“I come from a family of readers, so there was always an endless amount of books to choose from in our house. I remember a few years back, I came across Dying to Survive. It’s a book that has stayed with me throughout the years – I think that’s because it really opened my eyes to the struggles of drug addiction. It tells Rachel’s story of growing up in Ballymun, struggling with various types of addiction, seeking help and her recovery journey. I don’t know if I was too young to have picked up this book, all I remember is that I was really drawn in and completely gripped. Far from a feel-good story, but an amazing read nonetheless.”
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