Five Friday Favourites – Books Received As A Gift

Five Friday Favourites

Five Favourite Books Received As A Gift

Compiling the list made me realise just how long it’s been since I’ve received a book as a gift… I receive bookish gifts for myself, from myself, all the time, that counts – right?? Guess this is going to be a bit of a throwback post then… In order of when I received the book:

Jodi Picoult Handle with Care Cover1. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult: Jodi Picoult can be  little  hit and miss (never thought I’d say that) but some of her books make my ultimate favourites list, we’re talking a 5/5 “must read” rating, the works. THIS is one of those books. I really like “issues” books and Jodi Picoult seems to have this genre down to a fine art. Some critics have begun to say that her work is starting to feel formulaic, but there are still corkers in there. I loved this story, I felt for the characters and I blubbed like a great big baby. I must have rattled on about Jodi Picoult at some point without realising I was doing it because my dad completely surprised me by picking this up for me at a secondhand bookstore, and I didn’t know that he knew I liked Jodi Picoult, so that was really nice. By the end of this book I was pretty much –

crying gif

The Princess Diaries Book Cover3. The Secret Princess Diaries Series by Meg CabotI don’t know if I ever fully finished this series actually, but I was obsessed with it! I loved  the movie and I was a huge Anne Hathaway fan right from the beginning (and don’t get me started on Fat Louie, that’s an amazing name for a cat!).  I was given most of this series as gifts throughout my early teenage years and kept them for a long time. I think I cleared out a lot of my young teen books when I last moved house to save space, while being constantly told, “Who needs that many books? You’re too old for those ones now. When are you ever going to read those again?” And silly-me, I listened. There are some books from my younger years I wish I had’ve held on to, particularly a series like this one.

The Mediator Series Cover4. The Mediator Series by Meg CabotAnother series I wish I had’ve held on to… Damn it. And who knew I was such a big Meg Cabot fan?? This was probably the first time I dipped my toe into paranormal waters, before paranormal was even cool, and I lurved it. I don’t know how these would hold up for a reread as an adult…but at 14 I adored this series.

Annnnd a *drumroll* please…

5. Harry Potter Series Books 1-6: I was given Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as a gift when I was about 8 years old and fell instantly in love. I was bought every book in the series as a gift when it was released until the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I purchased for myself, the joys of growing up, eh? These are probably the best gifts ever and have massive significant meaning for me. My Bloomsbury original hardcovers are starting to get a little tatty looking, so I’m considering investing in a cheap paperback set so I can read them without being paranoid that they will fall to bits.

Let me know if you do a Five Friday Favourites post so I can oogle at your goodies! (…Not in that  way!)

EDIT: I realised after posting this that I somehow managed to skip a number, so I’m including another because this would never sit right with my Bookish OCD –

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes CoverRoald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes: My dad got my this when I was quite young and massively into Roald Dahl, he used to read me them pretty regularly and I absolutely adored this book – it’s hilarious, and for a kid it was just the right amount of verging on the inappropriate. I recommend this to everyone, young and old, they are basically humorous re-tellings of popular children’s stories. One poem and line that has stayed with me since childhood is part of the Little Red Riding Hood re-telling below –

“That’s wrong!” cried Wolf. Have you forgot, to tell me what BIG TEETH I’ve got?

Ah well, no matter what you say, I’m going to eat you anyway.”

The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature’s head, And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.”



  1. I really thought this weeks topic would take some of us back, because we all seem to buy books for ourselves much less than receive them, so I thought it’d be great to look at them. You were quite the fan of Meg Cabot weren’t you? I’d always considered trying her work, but I feel too old for them now. I think most people received Harry Potter as a gift, but I didn’t, I took it out of the library instead. Fantastic list hun, and I might have to look at Jodi Picoult more now 🙂


    1. Hi Amanda! I think because we don’t have as many “Book Geeks” as friends/family IRL we probably don’t get given books as often as we buy them, but then we buy a lot of books! I definitely got books bought for me as gifts when I was younger but not so much anymore, but then I went through a book slump from around 18-22 with Uni overload. I didn’t realise how much Meg Cabot I’d read! Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite when I was very young and I guess Meg Cabot took over for me in my early teens – I haven’t read them in a looong time so I don’t know how they would hold up now, though she has written some adult novels too, the Boy series and Heather Wells series, they’re quite Chick Lit and I took a break from those a few years ago. Aww I loved the anticipation of a new Harry Potter book coming out! I haven’t felt that way about any other series (probably because until I started blogging I wasn’t excited or aware pre-release, I used to spot follow-ups in the shops just). If you like those “issues” types books I’d recommend Picoult (and Diane Chamberlain), The Storyteller, Handle with Care and House Rules by Picoult are my favourites (I’m planning to read all of her books) and Before The Storm and Secrets She Left Behind by Chamberlain are really good, you can usually pick them up cheap on The Works website or even Amazon. Do you use an eReader to borrow books from the library at all?


  2. When we were in our old house and space was getting tight (after the 2nd child came along), I donated a bunch of books. Now, I have room for lots of books, so I’m kicking myself for it! My husband surprised me with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I was LATE to the game, so that’s the only one that wasn’t out yet when I started reading them).


    1. I think it’s healthy to get rid of ones you don’t love or want to reread (or we’d all live in houses made of books) but when you have a whole series or regret it years later it’s quite sad! Especially because at the time I was getting rid of my “childish” books and now actually I wish I had them! Damn my teen-angst years when I didn’t think reading was cool anymore!! Have you read the last HP yet??? R x


      1. Yeah, I got rid of some L. M. Montgomery books (I kept the Anne books), and I really regret it.

        Oh yeah! He bought it for me on the release date, and I read it in 2 days. 🙂
        I’ve read the whole series through again, at least once, since then.


      2. You should treat yourself sometime and re-buy them! Or scour charity shops to see what you can find. I got my hands on the last one at 12am on the release night and read it in just over 24 hours (I did sleep once I got it home, I just wanted to have it in my hands as soon as it was released!), and I cried too. I don’t know how many times I’ve read them over the years, I dip in now and then to different parts. I want to get a cheap second copy though, my poor originals need to be kept in better condition!


      3. I definitely want to get The Blue Castle again. That’s the one I miss most. I probably shouldn’t be too sad – I remembered that I didn’t just donate them, I have them to a friend’s daughter, who is a voracious reader. I’m quite sure that they were read, and loved, by both her and her younger sister. 🙂
        I probably would’ve read Deathly Hallows faster, except my husband kept taking it so he could read it too. It’s so rare for him to read books that I couldn’t really begrudge him. He does read, but it’s mostly technical stuff. Ugh.


      4. I haven’t read that one, and when they’re passed on to someone who will appreciate them it’s hard to feel bad about it. I would definitely say you should spoil yourself to a wee re-buy soon. It must have been nice that you could share that read though?? I witter on about HP allll the time and none of my close friends or family get it, none of them have read it, but my dad likes the movies, sigh.


      5. It sounds good, I was a fan of the Anne of Green Gables stories when I was younger but I had never heard of this one. Might just need to add it to my never ending TBR…


  3. Great list! HP1 made my list too, but really I should have put all 7 on there – my nan got me the first one but my parents bought me every other after that. They are my all time favourite books, favourite series, favourite characters! I feel bad for any child who didn’t get HP bought for them , they missed out!

    I also adore Jodi Picoult, and have been finding her books a little hit and miss as they go on. Handle with Care was one that I absolutely adored, even though I was pretty destroyed by the end of it. She knows how to write good “issue” books. Great picks, here’s mine.


    1. Harry Potter is my 5/5 rating book/series, so everything I read basically gets compared to that in terms of writing style, characters, world-building etc. I was around 8 when I started reading it too, and was bought the first one shortly after it came out so I literally grew up with the HP gang. I love seeing the next generation loving them as much as we did, but they’re missing all the buzz that surrounded them when they came out. I remember J K Rowling doing live readings the night before release, the 12AM book releases and the latest manuscripts being transported with a police guard – it was insane!

      I’m so glad to have found someone who loves “issues” books too! – I don’t even know what else to call them. I’m not reading her books in order of release, but I own practically all of them now, and have read quite a few, some of them were a bit “meh” and not what I was expecting, not as gripping or emotional, and some of them blow me away. I remember Handle with Care specifically because the ending shocked me, and I was left in bits for days. House Rules was brilliant, and The Storyteller took a little time to get into but it’s very well researched and very “raw”. I’d recommend Diane Chamberlain too if you like Picoult.

      Your list has so many books I want to read and haven’t gotten yet – I haven’t read any Colleen Hoover and have heard mixed reviews of this New Adult genre in general – but oh my God I’m so excited for a book that has its own soundtrack!! Sounds immense.

      Thanks for commenting!!


      1. I LOVE Diane Chamberlain! She’s amazing. I found her when I became obsessed with Jodi Picoult and had bought and read everything JP had out. I found The Lost Daughter and fell in love with it, instantly bought everything else Diance Chamberlain had out at the time. I have bought every new book she has released, she’s another favourite. Was also impressed by Diane Gudenkauf’s book The Weight of Silence.


      2. I just bought The Lost Daughter! It’s on my TBR pile for when I’ve finished a few eARCs. And The Weight of Silence is in my shopping basket for my next purchase after my non-official book buying ban I’m on!!! The Book People have it for 2 quid at the minute, how can I say no???


  4. This would’ve been a post that would include tumbleweeds and crickets for me, since my friends and family typically gift me a gift cert to the bookstore. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I struggled! Most of these were bought for me in my early teenage years! That would count though – whatever you purchase with those gift certificates count as a gift, and when I think about it it’s probably easier for family and friends that way, because they can’t keep up with what we buy ourselves, or with what’s at the top of our, “I NEED that book!” list. Thanks for your comment!


  5. I LOVED Handle With Care the whole way through. It was fantastic but then at the end… the ending? RIGHT at the end? I’m trying to stay spoiler free but you know what I mean. That part partly ruined the book for me. Why did it have to happen? She didn’t deserve it! Another one of those books I threw across the room when it was over.


    1. I do know what you mean, and for some reason I didn’t feel like throwing it at the wall (which I did do with Allegiant and Gone Girl), I think I was too traumatised. But as sad as it was it was also kind of beautiful in a weird way – does that make sense? If the book didn’t end like that it wouldn’t have made such an impact on us, I don’t think.


      1. That’s does make sense. It reminds me of The Old Man and the Sea. It’s such a traumatic and sometimes upsetting story and you’re expecting this uplifting ending but it just punches you in the heart. Definitely makes a bigger impact. And I guess given the circumstances of the book, the trouble would never really disappear. She wasn’t cured and life wouldn’t go on happy and untroubled. It was just a more dramatic (and super traumatising) way of showing it.


      2. It definitely was, and it has stayed with me, I first read this years ago and if anyone ever wants to try an “issues” book it’s probably the first one I will recommend, with a health warning, because it is traumatic, but kind of beautiful too.


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