Tanya Reads The Five People You Meet In Heaven

I’d like to introduce you to another favourite book of mine – The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Mitch Albom’s more famous book is Tuesdays with Morrie, but I much prefer this one. The Five People You Meet in Heaven begins with a recap of the last hour in the life of maintenance man Eddie, who works in the amusement park at Ruby Pier. Eddie is killed in an accident and sent to heaven, and there he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive. The book is a fictionalised account of what happens after you die – the five people you meet in Heaven who guide you and explain their impact on you or your impact on them. No matter your religious persuasions, this book is filled with beautiful truths and profound observations – it makes me cry every time I read it, so be prepared for that! I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book – one of those profound observations I mentioned earlier;

“’You have peace,’ the old woman said, ‘when you make it with yourself.’”

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Tanya Reads Three Wishes

I first discovered Liane Moriarty when I was on holiday, browsing a local bookshop. I’d already finished reading the books I’d brought with me, so I had to buy something new, naturally. I bought a copy of her first book, Three Wishes. The book opens at a birthday dinner between three triplets, Cat, Lyn and Gemma, that devolves into a violent argument and a mad dash to the hospital after one of them sticks a fork into another’s pregnant belly. We spend the rest of the book learning why and how these events came about. I spent the rest of the day finishing that book and rushing back to the bookstore to buy more of Moriarty’s books – I must have bought another three or four of them – and I promptly read all of them over the next few days of my holiday. Moriarty writes intriguing stories that are so easy to read and her characters are loveable, believable and quirky. I don’t think I’ve ever discovered an author where I can say, without a doubt, I love all their books equally. Her books are perfect for holiday reading, so when you’re next packing for a trip away, don’t forget to pack some Moriarty.

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Tanya Reads The Woman in the Window

Sometimes, when I’m meant to be putting books away in the shop, I’ll do that thing considered so scandalous – I’ll judge a book by its cover and start reading it. One day, I picked up The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. I have to say, whoever coined that phrase got it wrong. I think you can quite often judge a book by its cover – that’s why authors employ the best designers to create their book covers. This book captured my interest in the first few pages. It’s dark, suspenseful, compelling writing full of unexpected twists, and it’s a bit of a thriller. It’s another of those books that are so easy to fall into, and I read the whole thing within one day. Every few pages I was convinced I had worked out the next twist in the story, and every time I was surprised by the outcome. If you love books like Gone Girl, Apple Tree Yard, The Girl on the Train and Before I Go to Sleep, you’ll love The Woman in the Window. Consider these all essential reading for fans of suspense and thrillers.

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Tanya Reads Running With Scissors

I know I say this a lot, but ‘Running With Scissors’ by Augusten Burroughs is one of my all-time favourite books! He’s another of those authors where I love everything he has ever written (especially also ‘Magical Thinking’ and ‘This is How’). ‘Running With Scissors’ is the second book Burroughs published and it is a memoir that explores his childhood from about the age of 12. The thing about this memoir is that it’s the most outrageous, incredible, hilarious true story – so much so that it seems completely unbelievable. But that’s what makes it so good! Essentially, the story is about how at 12 years old, Augusten’s mother sent him to live with the family of her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, who then acquired legal guardianship of Augusten … and also, Dr. Finch believes that children become adults at the age of 13, so there are no rules imposed and the children run wild in the Finch household, doing whatever they want. That alone should be enough to entice you to pick up this book if you ever see it!

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Tanya Reads #GIRLBOSS

I was drawn to this book partly because of the title – hey, I’m a girl boss! – and partly because I’d heard about the author, Sophia Amoruso, and about how she was the founder and CEO of the fashion business, Nasty Gal. This book was an absolute rollercoaster of a read. Amoruso seems to have lived a million lifestyles; dropping out of high school, working various odd jobs such as at Subway, in a bookstore and a record shop, a stint of dumpster-diving and shoplifting – before opening an online eBay store, which became the springboard for Nasty Gal. While I’m inclined to prefer to see myself as ‘boss’ as opposed to ‘girl boss’, I can’t fault Amoruso for her fascinating and unique business acumen – one that was not gained in the traditional way of school, college or university.

As she so aptly puts it; “Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.”


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Tanya Reads Kiss Kiss

Today I’d like to introduce you to a book by an author I’m sure you all know; Roald Dahl. You’ll probably be well aware of his children’s books, but what you may not know is that he also writes books for adults. Roald Dahl’s adult books are all a little dark, sinister or macabre. We see a little bit of Dahl’s twisted side in his children’s books – Miss Trunchbull forcing a child to eat a giant chocolate cake in front of the whole school in ‘Matilda’, the children turned into mice in ‘The Witches’ and Violet expanding into a giant blueberry after chewing gum against Willy Wonka’s instructions in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. ‘Kiss Kiss’ by Roald Dahl is a collection of short stories showcasing Dahl’s most macabre stories. There’s ‘The Landlady’, patiently waiting for her next guest at her charming bed and breakfast, there’s ‘Royal Jelly’, the strange tale of just how useful this bee’s product can be, and there’s ‘Pig’ – I’ll let you discover just what ‘Pig’ is.

My favourite story from this collection is based on a true historical event – ‘Genesis and Catastrophe’. What’s yours?


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Tanya reads The Art of Happiness

I’ve never been one to have an all-time favourite book – especially considering I own an entire bookshop; there’s just too many to choose from – but The Art of Happiness comes really close. It’s one of those books where you can flip through to any page and find some beautiful pearls of wisdom to guide you on this journey through life. The book takes the form of a series of questions and answers, posed by renowned psychiatrist Howard C. Cutler to the Dalai Lama. Through this combined wisdom of psychology and spirituality, we learn about the true purpose of our life – to seek happiness – and that this happiness is determined more by our state of mind than by anything external. The messages conveyed are powerful and uplifting, and I could read this book over and over again. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book – and a life lesson to live by.

“If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion.”

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Recommended Reading List

Recommended Reading List

1] The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler

2] Of Love & Other Demons – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

3] Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins

4] Tales of The Night – Peter Hoeg

5] Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson

6] Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

7] i, Lucifer – Glen Duncan

8] Q & A – Vikas Swarup

9] A Scanner Darkly – Philip K Dick

10] Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

11] The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time – Mark Haddon

12] The Secret History – Donna Tartt

13] Princess – Jean Sasson

14] Calvin & Hobbes – Bill Watterson

15] Fairy Tales – Hans Christian Anderson

16] The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy – Stieg Larrson

17] A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers

18] Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs

19] Lorna Doone – R. D. Blackmore

20] An Unquiet Mind – Kay Redfield Jamison

21] The Little Prince – Antoine St Exupery

22] 1984 – George Orwell

23] You Shall Know Our Velocity – Dave Eggers

24] Girl With A Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier

25] The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

26] The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

27] The Surgeon of Crowthorne – Simon Winchester

28] Bedlam – Dominic Bosco

29] Go Ask Alice – Anonymous

30] Lord of The Flies – William Golding

31] The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

32] Interview with The Vampire – Anne Rice

33] The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet – Benjamin Hoff

34] Misery – Stephen King

35] Othello – Shakespeare

36] The Hitchhikers’ Guide To The Galaxy series – Douglas Adams

37] The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins

38] Daughters Of The Vicar – D.H. Lawrence

39] The Peter Principle – Peter & Hull

40] Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

41] The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

42] Alice in Wonderland – C. S. Lewis

43] The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton

44] Watchmen – Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

45] Rabbit-proof Fence – Doris Pilkington

46] The Other Hand – Chris Cleave

47] The Witches – Roald Dahl

48] Geek Love – Katherine Dunn

49] The Blue Bedspread – Raj Khamal Jha

50] Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

51] The Point of Rescue – Sophie Hannah

52] Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow – Peter Hoeg

53] The Woman & The Ape – Peter Hoeg

54] The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

55] The Dice Man – Luke Rhinehart

56] The First Stone – Helen Garner

57] Joe Cinque’s Consolation – Helen Garner

58] A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

59] Hurry Down Sunshine – Michael Greenberg

60] Tell Me I’m Here – Anne Deveson

61] My Lobotomy – Howard Dully

62] King Lear – Shakespeare

63] Nausea – Jean-Paul Sartre

64] Rosie Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls – Danielle Wood

65] Prozac Nation – Elizabeth Wurtzel

66] The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

67] We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

68] Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs

69] The Trial of True Love – William Nicholson

70] Leila’s Secret – Kooshyar Karimi

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