Book Recommendation

10 Reasons Why I Love My Favourite Books

Hey there, it’s Sabrina!  I want to quickly start by thanking everyone that has welcomed me to the blog – it is much appreciated! And, since I’m new around here, I thought I would start with a simple post – so today I am talking about 10 reasons why I love my favourite books of all time.  I think it’ll be a good way to get you to read them! 😛

For a long time, I had only one book on this list, but a couple of years ago another came along and its sequel also made it here.  But without further ado, let me introduce to you my top three favourite books in the world:

Howl's Moving Castle Strange the Dreamer Muse of Nightmares

As you can see, they are:

  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Both are whimsical books filled with magic and beauty and if you keep reading, you’ll find some more reasons why I adore them along with some images from the Howl’s Moving Castle Movie (which, by the way, is very different!). Also, don’t worry – there’s no plot spoilers in this post.

RELATABLE MAIN CHARACTERS THAT SPEAK TO MY HEART

Sophie is the main character in Howl’s Moving Castle and I felt an instant connection to her when I picked up this book.  Sophie is the eldest of three (as am I), feels she’s destined to be mediocre at best, and typically makes choices that I would see myself making.  She loves her sisters, even when she is exasperated by them, and likes things to be perfectly clean.  She’s guarded when it comes to her true feelings, but most people see right through her anyway.  Even when she makes questionable decisions, it is easy to understand why she makes them.  So basically, I love her.

The main character in Strange the Dreamer (a little less so in Muse of Nightmares) is Lazlo Strange and he is impossible not to love.  A librarian with a vivid imagination and a great appreciation for fairytales, Lazlo always does everything he can to help everyone else.  He has one of the biggest hearts and a crooked nose – because a heavy book fell on it.  I mean, I’ve never broken my nose from a book, but I have sustained several book-induced injuries – such as a bruise on my foot, and dropping my phone on my face while enjoying an ebook – and I’m sure many of us can relate to that.

UNIQUE SETTINGS

From fields of flowers to demon graveyards, moving castles to citadels in the sky, there are many different settings in both Howl’s Moving Castle and the Strange the Dreamer duology, but they are all as wonderfully realised and beautifully described as each other.

SCENES THAT MAKE ME SMILE

This is a bit of a difficult thing to explain, but I love any media that gives me a homely, cozy kind of vibe.  And Howl’s moving castle – as in, literally the castle itself – is the homeliest of all.  I love all the scenes that take place there, especially when the castle’s occupants are simply going about their days, or eating bacon and eggs with the fire demon.  There’s some homely scenes in Strange the Dreamer too – one in particular that comes to mind is when Lazlo shares a meal with an elderly woman (a metaphorical angel!) in her home.  I love that scene to pieces and it always leaves me feeling warm inside.

Both books have plenty of other scenes that leave me smiling – especially emotional moments shared between characters.  Sometimes you’ll even find me laughing while reading them – drunken Howl gets me every time.

PACING THAT KEEPS ME INTERESTED

I think one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen about Strange the Dreamer is that it is slow, and honestly – I don’t find that to be an issue!  Every sentence served a purpose in my eyes.  The plot kept moving forward, but there was also space to breathe in more relaxing moments.  And as you may have surmised from my previous point, these relaxing moments ended up being some of my favourite scenes in the book.

Howl’s Moving Castle moves at a similar pace to Strange the Dreamer, in my opinion, though it is a lot harder to see where the plot is going a lot of the time.  I’d say that makes it all the more impressive that I am able to just read and enjoy it, without worrying about what’s going to come next.

WONDERFUL SIDE CHARACTERS

In Howl’s Moving Castle you’ll find Calcifer the fire demon, a snarky bundle of flames that lives in the castle’s fireplace and Michael, the wizard’s young, likeable apprentice.  They are my two favourite side characters from the book, but there are plenty more, each with their own distinct personalities and purposes.

Strange the Dreamer is chock-full of side characters, some a lot more likeable than others.  I was fully invested in the subplots revolving around these surprisingly complex characters and even loved some of them almost as much as Lazlo himself.

GREAT ROMANCE

Yes, both Howl’s Moving Castle and Strange the Dreamer have a romance plot to them.  They are both very different, and though I like the tropes found in the former’s most (hate-to-love, anyone?) and it is a lot milder, I still love them both.  Another complaint I see about Strange the Dreamer is that there is insta-love, and while to an extent, I agree, I also adored both characters involved so much by the time they got together that it didn’t bother me in the slightest.

MAGIC AND MYTHOLOGY

Of course, no fantasy story is complete without some form of magic. Howl, of the moving castle, is a wizard, so naturally he has some control over magic. There are also witches and enchantments and cursed objects – and as previously mentioned, a fire demon. There isn’t any obvious or developed mythology in this book, but there are clearly widespread beliefs that your destiny is shaped by your situation in life, much in the way of fairytales – such as the belief that being the eldest of three means that you will fail.
In Strange the Dreamer, however, there is a deep and rich mythology that is further explored in Muse of Nightmares, and magic works in less traditional ways. It’s all very captivating.

GORGEOUS WRITING

I have yet to read a book with writing that gets to me like Laini Taylor’s does.  Everything she describes becomes vivid in my mind and I can feel exactly how her characters are feeling.  Particularly in Muse of Nightmares, I found that even the most brutal scenes become beautiful through the lens of her prose.

On the other hand, Diana Wynne Jones’ writing always keeps me interested and entertained.  It’s fun, whimsical and light, which suits me perfectly.

MEANINGFUL THEMES

There are some pretty complex themes in the Strange the Dreamer duology, and a lot of them revolves around the sacrifices and the atrocities of war, how no one side can be completely “the good guys”.  I found it to be highly nuanced – nothing was neat.  I also like the way it is shown that you should get to know someone before you judge them, and this is a major theme in Howl’s Moving Castle as well.

ENDINGS THAT PERFECTLY PIECE EVERYTHING TOGETHER

As mentioned, there are no spoilers in this post, so I will keep this little section brief.  I absolutely love when small details throughout a story all tie into the conclusion, and both Howl’s Moving Castle and Muse of Nightmares do this masterfully.


And that is everything I have to say today!  In case it wasn’t clear, I could ramble about these books all day.

What do you think?

What are the books at the top of your favourites list?  What makes them so special to you? Also, have you read any of my favourites?

26 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Love My Favourite Books

  1. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series and my ultimate favourite is Kingdom of Ash! I love this series so much because there is such a fabulous development there! You can feel it with every book.
    I also bought recently Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and I can’t wait to start it 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed Kingdom of Ash so much! I have been putting it off for the longest time (along with Tower of Dawn) because I’m so scared to read it, lol. I agree that there is a lot of development in the series – by the time you get to Empire of Storms (or even Heir of Fire, really), the books are almost unrecognisable from Throne of Glass.
      Oh yay! I really hope you love it – obviously! :’)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For me, magic and mythology is probably one of the top reasons I love the books that I do. That and the writing or prose. Also, Howl’s Moving Castle is one of my favorite Ghibli films and I have NEVER read the book. I should really get on that, shouldn’t I? Awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am starting at the end of your list, because endings really influence how I will rate a book. I have been known to knock a star or two off for messy or unfulfilling endings. I also usually have to like and care about the characters. I need to want to take this journey with them, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand that – I’ve knocked off stars for bad endings too. It’s just a shame to have read a whole book only to be disappointed in the end. That is a very reasonable point about having to like the characters too – particularly if you’re reading from their point of view!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Howl’s Moving Castle is a favorite of mine too and it is so precious! Sophie’s banter with Howl and his spoiled brat attitude had me laughing throughout the whole thing. The movie is a favorite of mine too but I’d love an adaption that’s more accurate to the book. 😭 I can dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved hearing about what makes books your favourite and I can relate to all of them 😂 I have never read any of these books though, I’m sorry!! I have been meaning to read the Strange the Dreamer books for a while though. And yes books can certainly inflict injuries on more than just your heart 😂 A broken nose is quite extreme though!!
    I love lots of side characters too especially as they can also bring out different sides to the main character!! Basically a massive cast of characters is my weakness 😂
    i love meaningful themes too, it can make you think about a topic really differently and helps you to get invested in the story and makes it more real!!
    And yes endings that piece everything together are the best!!
    Wonderful post, I loved reading it!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad to hear that! Well, you have plenty of time to get to them 😛 I of course hope you get around to reading the Strange the Dreamer books soon. Lol, I 100% agree that a broken nose is extreme.
      Ooh yes, I didn’t even consider that point while writing this. I love seeing all the sides of a main character when they interact with different people. I agree about the meaningful themes making stories more real too!
      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a lovely post! I never realized how important relatable characters were to me until I read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. There’s something that’s just wonderful about being able to connect with something and know that someone has felt the same things or experienced the same things that I may be going through, even if that someone is a character in a book 🙂
    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this post so much! I have some steadfast favorites that I love, such as Fangirl and The Kiss Quotient, and it’s been fun figuring out what my favorite books have in common. I also loved reading this because it reminded me that I really need to read Muse of Nightmares. I read Strange the Dreamer last year and adored it because of so many of the reasons you mentioned. The writing was majestic, the worldbuilding was fantastic, and the pacing was amazing. I definitely need to finish the duology sometime this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like you wrote a post about the reasons why I love the raven cycle and the gone series by Michael Grant 😉 And also Noughts and Crosses! I think we look for similar things in our favourite series. Must be why all three of these books are on my TBR already 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Strange the Dreamer truly does have gorgeous writing and the world that is build is so unique and soft with a very whimsy feel that I love! I hope to get to Muse of Nightmares this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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