I always gravitate toward the staff picks section in bookstores, since there are always a few gems tucked within those shelves. Today is a special BookClubbish staff picks post, focusing on books that have changed our lives. Enjoy!
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
“As an editor, I read 24/7—I have to!—but after finishing this book I was so ruined that I couldn’t read anything else for a week. If not being able to read for a week is not a life changer, I don’t know what is!”
When Louisa Clark takes a job working for Will Traynor, a wealthy man in her village who became paraplegic in an accident a year ago, she finds him to be moody and frustrating. Over time, though, his happiness comes to mean more to her than anything. When she learns a secret about Will’s future, she comes up with a plan to prove to him how amazing life can be.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
“It’s so difficult to pick just one book that has had a profound effect on my life, but one that I’ve recently read is The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. Sometimes you really need an uplifting, feel-good book, and this was the perfect one for me. It reminded me of what’s important in life and appealed to the wanderlust in me.”
Widower Arthur Pepper’s life changes forever when he finds a mysterious golden charm bracelet of his late wife’s. Finding the bracelet leads him to embark on a journey from London to Paris, and even as far as India, searching for the truth about his wife’s life before they married. Along the way, he finds hope and healing.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
“Her book changed my life because it was enthralling and had everything I liked—a strong heroine, an amazing cast of characters (Sorcha’s six brothers were all so very different), an evil sorceress and an impossible love story. It’s a retelling of the Celtic swans myth, but it’s done wonderfully! It has heartache and love in it, which never fade no matter how often I reread it.”
Sorcha must embark on a quest to save her six beloved brothers by breaking a spell that requires her to stay silent throughout her quest. When she is kidnapped and taken to foreign land, love complicates her quest to save her brothers.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
“I know it sounds like a cliché, but the book that changed my life was J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Ironically, I wasn’t much of a reader when I was young—I struggled with comprehension in school and never had a teacher who made reading fun. But in high school I turned to The Catcher in the Rye, as many jaded teens do, when I found my mother’s old copy, so worn that it was held together with a binder clip. It was the first book I’d read that truly spoke to me, and that was the turning point in my relationship with books. I’d eventually go on to study English in college and graduate school, and ultimately follow a career in publishing—where I now get to share my love of books with readers all over the world.”
After being kicked out of his boarding school, teenaged Holden Caulfield returns to New York City alone, not telling his family he’s back. A classic coming-of-age story about the end of childhood, the distinct voice and themes of The Catcher in the Rye have made it timeless.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
“I first read Little Women when I was in middle school. It’s such a wonderful coming-of-age tale, it solidified my love for powerful stories and memorable characters.”
In this classic story of sisterhood and growing up, the four March sisters grow into women during the Civil War as they each follow their own path in life. Meg is kind and motherly, Jo is a hot-headed writer, Beth is sweet and musical, and Amy is an artist.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
“It was probably the first “serious” and realistic novel I read as a teenager, and it just floored me—so expertly written and heartbreakingly poignant. It never fails to move me, several years and re-reads later.”
The story of one woman’s breakdown even as she seems to have the perfect life, The Bell Jar is also an exploration of life for women in the 1950s. Esther’s life mirrors that of Sylvia Plath, who was also a talented young woman battling depression. Plath is perhaps best known for her poetry, and her poetic phrases shine through her prose.
What books have changed your life? Let us know in the comments below!