I can’t remember how long ago it was that I first stumbled across Bookish Bronte’s beautiful Bookstagram account, but suffice it to say I’ve been somewhat obsessed with it ever since. A YA author, book reviewer and book photographer, her creativity is boundless and her bookish pictures truly are every book-lovers’ dream. From the weird to the wonderful to the whimsical and beyond, it’s a favourite past-time of mine to while away an entire afternoon glued to her account, and I love watching the behind the scenes videos she offers her followers of each and every pic she posts. I was thrilled when Bronte agreed to reveal her Desert Island Books on The Literary Edit, and so, from the book that ignited her passion for reading to the tome that started her love for feminist fiction, read on to find out which eight books she’d take with her to the sandy shores of a desert island.
The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
I’m not much of a classics reader, in fact it’s very rare for me to finish a classic without being forced to. But there was something so wonderfully weird and bizarre about The Master and Margarita that I absolutely loved. The characters are odd and not much makes sense but I adored Behemoth (he is a talking cat, how can you not love a talking cat?) and I could read this over and over again – even if its just to understand what on Earth is going on!
The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Whenever I recommend a book to people that don’t read a lot, this is one of two books that I will always recommend without a second thought. This writing style is so lyrical that it almost sounds biblical and I feel like I left half of my heart inside this book when I finished it. It shows how far people will go in order to blame someone for an horrific event and how dangerous group thinking can be.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
This is my other half to my book recommendation trio. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a character so much in my entire life or ever felt so invested in a story. There’s something about Weylyn that is so endearing and magical that I can’t help but fall in love with this book more every time I read it.
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nichols
Things a Bright Girl Can Do is the book that started my love for feminist fiction. Of course, I had read feminist fiction before, but none of them created this spark inside of me the same way that this book did. Things a Bright Girl Can Do opened the door to feminist fiction for me and into a whole new genre for me to enjoy.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Contemporary YA romance novels tend to be quite same-ish (trust me, I’ve read a lot of them) but Aristotle and Dante is one that has always stuck out to me. It is the first book I read about an LGBTQ relationship and with that came a lot more emotional pain that your regular YA romance. Even though I don’t identify as LGBTQ, this book really made me feel the characters struggle and hurt which only impeccable writers are capable of doing.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Before reading Bone Gap, I had no idea that magical realism was even a genre. But because of this book, magical realism is now my favourite genre to read. This book is another great example of how great characterisation can save a not so great ending to a book. On top of that, this is a retelling of Persephone and I can’t resist a good retelling.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
It’s fair to say that Shiver is what ingnited my love for reading all the way back in 2009. It was the first book, and then became the first series, that I ever loved and for that reason it will always have a very special place in my heart that no other book will be able to fill.
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
If I was going to be on a desert island for the rest of my life, it would be a crime not to take a book with me that reminded me of my childhood! I’d take my first edition with me and read it with the same funny accents as my dad did when he read the to me when I was a child.
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