Today (March 7) marks World Book Day. Parents up and down the country have been sending their kids to school in costumes as their favourite heroes, villains and everything in between. We've not seen a Christian Grey just yet, but we imagine there will be somebody making hilarious headlines before the day's out.
To celebrate the occasion, the staff here at Female First have been going through the archives to try and pick out their favourite book of all time.
Daniel Falconer, Entertainment Editor
It's super hard to pick a favourite book. I'm somebody who will pick up something from most genres out there, and so the types of books I read are always so different to one another. In recent memory however, there's one that really sticks out; The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
Author Stuart Turton has masterfully woven together a series of narratives, all taking place within the same day to frame a modern-day mystery masterpiece. The inspiration he's taken from Agatha Christie is clear, but dare I say that his work is even more impressive than that of the woman who birthed Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple?
There are characters you'll love, those you'll loathe and a whole handful of people who you'll never fully understand in Seven Deaths. It's that which makes it so darn brilliant throughout.
If you like books with twists around every corner, unrelenting chaos and a story that will stick with you for months after your first read, then this is one to add to your reading list.
A mention must also go to the brilliant Matt Haig, whose book Reasons To Stay Alive is one of the most honest and relatable pieces I've ever read.
What I'm currently reading: In At The Deep End, a debut novel from the brilliant Kate Davies. It's hilarious and has taught me more about female same-sex relationships than I ever thought I would know. The characters are relatable and recognisable; you'll know someone who shares traits with at least half of the players on the field. It's a great piece, and one I can't wait to finish.
Holly Mosley, Features Writer and Contactmusic.com Editor
Most people are fully aware that Harry Potter gives me life. My life would literally not be the same without J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts adventures. However, there is one book that chases close behind the series in terms of books that stole my heart forever.
John Wyndham's 1951 sci-fi novel The Day of the Triffids is one of the greatest books I've ever read. I have found a lot of people to be quite understandably cynical about it; I can't say I've met too many people who find the concept of flesh-eating plants especially thrilling, but there's far more to this story than that.
In fact, the Triffids themselves are a mere background feature for a beautiful love story between two people who see clearly in a world that is almost totally blind (thanks to observing an unusual green meteor shower in the sky). These two people must defend themselves against the few still-sighted tyrants who are putting themselves in power and enforcing polygamist colonies, while trying to make a happy life for themselves in a fresh dystopian world.
There's something truly poignant about two people who find each other in times of utter crisis. Because things never seem quite so bad when you've got someone with whom to share the pain.
What I'm currently reading: Everything!
Simon Wilkes, Head of Publishing
What’s your favourite book is a great ice breaker - and it’s one we’re asking our Female First writers on World Book Day…
I’m an avid consumer of books, whether they be on our Kindle Fire or paperback, so it’s a tricky question to answer, especially as I’m now in my 40s so have a lot to choose from.
There are the classics we studied at college and university, such as Equus, In Cold Blood, 1984 and Heart of Darkness.
But when it comes to a favourite book, I think I’m going to judge it based on the last book I simply couldn’t put down, hungrily hoovering up the chapters until there were no more to consume.
I read the hilarious Hurrah for Gin in two days - but the book that keeps tapping me on the shoulder is Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, which was released in 2003 and had sold 80 million copies by 2009.
Brown is not a writer for the purists - but you cannot deny he knows how to construct and pace a thrilling story, and in Robert Langdon he created a character you can like and root for, while also finding him slightly annoying.
I’m an atheist so really bought into the Holy Grail concept of the Da Vinci Code, and I sped through the book in a week, then bought his back catalogue and romped through them too.
Brown’s Angels and Demons pushed the Da Vinci Code close, and inspired my wife and I to book a week in Rome, such was the wonderful way he described the city’s stunning statues and memorable monuments.
But it’s the Da Vinci Code that takes top spot for me - and it’s just a shame Ron Howard made such a plodding mess of the film starring Tom Hanks.
What I’m currently reading: I tend to have a few books on the go at the same time, and I’m currently wading through Game of Thrones, Ready Player One, and The Rules of Life.
Vienna Bottoms, Features Writer
My favourite books are actually part of a trilogy, so I've broken down each one!
Me Before You
In the first book of the series, Louisa starts a new job as a carer for a man with quadriplegia. Will is stubborn and rude while Louise is bright and full of life. The pair struggle to get on but slowly they become friends. She finds out that Will is planning to go to Switzerland to euthanise himself and she wants to stop him. She tries to show him the brighter side of life and all the things he can enjoy and love; including her.
This is one of my favourite books because it really makes you feel and it helps you see what it’s like for people living with disabilities like Will’s, but also what it’s like for the people closest to them. It’s also intriguing because you don’t know what’s going to happen next and what the ending will be.
The second book is all about Lou’s life after Will. She’s moved away and got herself into a rut of drinking and hiding herself away. One night she falls off her balcony, but is saved by the paramedic, Sam.
The rest of the book explores her struggles of living with the judgement of what happened with Will and whether she can really move on.
It's a very bittersweet story as it helps show what people who lose someone so close to them go through and the guilt someone’s death can cause and how normal that feeling is. It’s great because you see how the relationship grows between Sam and Lou and how they get through all the obstacles thrown at them.
In Still Me, Lou moves to America to work for the rich Leanord Gopnik and his wife Agnes. She struggles between her life with Sam and her new life in the States and meets Josh who reminds her of her past.
It’s really interesting to see how it works out and how different things shape her decisions and whether her and Sam’s relationship really can work when they’re so many miles apart.