The books I read last month

I find so much joy in reading a good book, it allows the mind to relax on a story rather than worrying over the daily stresses. Thursday was World Book Day, a yearly charity event with the aim of promoting reading. They are on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own.

I am constantly amazed by the books I read, by the authors who pour everything into their narrative and the messages they give to the reader. These are the books I read in the past few weeks.

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A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess follows Sara Crewe, the daughter of a kind and wealthy father who lives in India and sends his daughter to Miss Minchin’s boarding school in London. Sara is an intelligent and compassionate child but after her father dies she loses everything and is worked and starved. She becomes a slave of the school and is treated increasingly harshly. Yet she still has a pure kindness in her heart, and maintains a strong-willed positivity through her imagination. Perhaps if everyone read this book the world might be a better place – the story is incredibly uplifting, and shows how kindness can change someone’s life. The determination and love of Sara is to be admired.

‘Somehow, something always happens,’ she cried, ‘just before things get to the very worst… The worst thing never quite comes.’

– Sara Crewe

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Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke

I read this bestselling book a few years ago and remembered liking it. It was really nice to sink into a fantasy world again, I always come back to fantasy as it allows you to have a quiet escape when you start reading. The book follows the journey of a dragon looking for the ‘Rim of Heaven’, with the Brownie, Sorrel, and a human boy named Ben. Cornelia Funke has an engaging and beautifully descriptive writing style which is what makes the book such a pleasant read.

Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman

I am rereading the His Dark Materials series so I can go on to read Phillip Pullman’s new ‘companion series’ – The Book of Dust. The plot of this book is so incredibly creative and inventive, Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pantalaimon, live in a parallel world to our own. They set out to search for children who are disappearing and learn about Dust, a powerful elementary particle with surrounding mysteries. Despite being a fairly long book I finished it quickly as it is an absorbing, even exhilarating read. The intertwining ideas of theology, science and religion also provide a new perspective of the world.

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The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (narrated by Karen Gillan)

I often listen to audiobooks and was exploring the free ones in the Apple store when I found The Secret Garden which I have never read despite meaning to, so decided to give it a listen. Karen Gillan’s Scottish accent is very calming and so she is a perfect narrator for this charming audiobook. I really like classic literature because it is a complete break from the modern world – a portal back in time. This book highlights the importance of nature and how it can completely change an individual. It persuaded me of the healing impact of a garden and the idea of spending time outdoors to help the mind and body. A peaceful listen, about growth, simplicity and happiness.

Those were the books I read last month. What have you been reading?