On my Goodreads shelves I have rated thirty-five books (to date) as a 5 star read. These books struck a chord with me because of their plot, characterisation, exceptional descriptions or talented writing.

Nine of these books have been singled out and categorised as ‘wowzers’ because they stimulated an emotion within me which could not be defined.

Only one of these is non-fiction, (Quiet by Susan Cain) which challenged my perception of my own psychological behaviour. I had always recognised, understood and accepted the way I behaved, even when it didn’t fit with traditional society, but giving it a name – introversion – made it so much easier to believe that I could succeed with my life plans instead of having to disguise them.

The other books are all fiction, although some are based on true incidents, so it is surprising that I still feel a psychological influence within the emotions aroused by the stories they tell. These are the books I have shelved:
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (John Boyne)
Room (Emma Donoghue)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)
The Island (Victoria Hislop)
The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult)
The Zahir (Paulo Coelho)
11/22/63 (Stephen King)
Before I Go to Sleep (SJ Watson)

Immediately you can see that each book is completely different from the others but they all had a profound effect on me as I read them. I’ve only had a book hangover (the inability to move on from a book) a few times in my life and these books were responsible for those periods. Even now, when I see one of these titles, or hear of someone reading one of these books, I remember how each one made me feel and how it affected my view on the world for some time afterwards.

I appreciate that not everyone will react in the same way I did and these books would never appear on the reading list for some people, but that just makes me love them even more. It’s because I feel they spoke to me in a specific way and changed how I was feeling that marks them out as special and exactly what I needed to read at that moment in time to enrich my mind and my emotions.

I know from experience that we all enjoy different genres and the prose which has one person elated will leave another flat (which is why The Girl on the Train did nothing for me!) but I welcome those differences and I’m glad that there are plenty of books out there to fulfil each predilection. I still refuse to rate a book as 1, 2 or 3 star for this specific reason, preferring to shelve them as ‘not for me’ or ‘average’ if people really want to discover my response.

I would be interested to know if any of you have any ‘wowzers’ of your own that you would like to share. I often receive book recommendations from my friends here on Goodreads, which I am grateful for, but I’d really like to know about those books which gave you a hangover and have left their mark on you in some way.

I look forward to hearing your views but, for now, happy reading xx
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Published on February 19, 2017 02:07 • 332 views

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