14 Books To Read Before You Die + GIVEAWAY #booklove #ThePerfectFriend #mustreads

As bucket lists form a part of the storyline in The Perfect Friend, I thought I’d have a bit of fun and put some authors and book bloggers on the spot. I asked probably the toughest question anyone can ask a bookworm: what’s the ONE book you’d recommend someone should read before they die? The answers are fascinating – and I’d love to hear your thoughts, too…


Liz Eeles

Today’s answer – tomorrow’s might be different – is The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. The poignant ending reduced me to a blubbering wreck.

Richard Parker

Catch-22 is just so damn clever. It’s one of those books where you relish every single word.

Valerie Dickenson

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is my recommendation.

Pam Howes

For me, Georgia, by Lesley Pearse. It inspired me to write.

Vikki Patis

Oh God. If I had to choose, it would have to be Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.

Tilly Tennant

The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly – it never moves from my top five no matter what else I read!

Graham Smith

HMS Ulysses is the perfect mix of character, pace and plot.

Emma Robinson

The book I’d recommend people to read is Small Island, by Andrea Levy, because it’s a fantastic story with great characters and stirs compassion in your heart. The one book I want to read before I die is The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I studied Dostoevsky at university but this one escaped me!

Clare Wartnaby

I’ve been thinking about this ever since you first asked me and I still can’t decide! Maybe The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver?

Patricia Gibney

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I read it years and years ago and really would love to read it again. I can remember the vivid descriptions of the trenches of World War One. It’s atmospheric and heart-breaking.



Joanne Robertson, My Chestnut Reading Tree

This is such a tough question! I’m going to be very boring and recommend Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None. I read it when I was 10 and it’s probably the book that affected me the most ever! It was my first ever experience of twist.

Linda Hill, Linda’s Book Bag

I would like to recommend Mary Anne Sate, Imbecile, which is by Alice Jolly, because it is a book that will pass by the majority of readers, but it’s the most extraordinary book I’ve ever encountered. It’s over 600 pages, yet it’s totally accessible!

Shell Baker, ‘Chelles Book Reviews

The Wronged, by Kimberly Chambers – because me and my family are in it and its bloody class!

Anne Williams, Being Anne

This might be a bit of an unexpected one, but I’d like to recommend The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. It’s years since I read it, but it made a mighty impression – despite everything tellingme it wouldn’t be a book for me. It’s a slightly frightening 700 pages long, but has a cracking story (although I’ll admit it does slow in places, but I rather like that) and far more information than anyone could ever want to know about East European vampires. I found it mesmerising.



GIVEAWAY! How to enter

From 28 July until 8 August inclusive, my posts on this blog will be followed by a question about the content. Find the answer, and then either comment on the post or email InvisibleAuthor@outlook.com

Every person who answers correctly will be entered into a prize draw. The competition closes at midnight UK time on Friday 3 August. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on Friday 10 August.

** Today’s question is: Tell me the one book YOU would recommend people read before they die? Let me know! **

What am I giving away?

ONE lucky winner will receive a SIGNED COPY of The Perfect Friend.

TWO lucky winners will receive a SIGNED COPY of Her Last Secret.

ONE lucky winner will receive a SIGNED COPY of Flowers For The Dead.

ONE very lucky winner will have a CHARACTER NAMED AFTER THEM in my next book. *


As well as this competition, check out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, for more ways to enter over the next seven days. You can enter as many times as you want!

* Please note that the character will have your name but will not be based in any way upon you or any person living or dead. Any similarities are coincidence. They may be a good person or a bad person – they could even be a killer. So be prepared! The part they play may be large or small. Entry into the competition is taken as agreement to these conditions. Thank you.



My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.

My husband has left me.

My children won’t speak to me.

My friend Carrie is the only person I have.

She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.

She’d never do anything to let me down.

Would she?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page.

THE PERFECT FRIEND is available on: AmazoniBookstore; KoboGoogleplay

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Priyasha says:

    Lovely books ..I have to read them ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Audrey Gibson says:

    I would recommend The Green Mile by Stephen King. My all time favourite book xxx


  3. I hate these types of questions. I always draw a massive blank when asked. 🤣

    I’m just going to go with quite a recent one and say The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. (But really everyone should read all of Karin Slaughter’s books 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, why do you think I’m asking other people instead of answering the question myself 😉 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. yvonnembee says:

    Oh this is tough to answer so I am going to choose one of the books off my shelf that I have read several times over the years…. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I had to read it at school then several times since because I wanted to.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Such a great book, and one I’ve reread several times over the years. I love discovering people’s choices – thank you for yours! x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post Barbara. Great idea! I’m with Patricia Gibney. Birdsong struck a chord with me many years back. I bought it very recently again as I could not find my old copy. Incredible book. None of his other books have had same impact on me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I need to read it again. It’s definitely a book that haunts. Lovely to hear you enjoyed the post! x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie – my favourite author, and the first book I ever read by her!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sheila McGirr says:

    SO hard to pick just one. So I’m going to select one which I loved, but I haven’t heard that many people talk about. The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo. Book one in a trilogy and I really need to read the other two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a really tough question, isn’t it, Sheila! I’m getting some wonderful recommendations for books I haven’t heard of – it’s really exciting! Good luck in the competition.


  8. Penny-sue Wolfe says:

    The Marvels by Brian Selznick. Incredible story and even more incredible illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to check this book out! Thank you for commenting – and good luck in the competition.


  9. Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor – a fantastic Restoration romp and the only book I have ever read twice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My mum loved this book when she was young! Thank you for the recommendation. Good luck in the competition.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Richard Callan says:

    I’d recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, one of my all time favourites. I love the way the story is told from a different point of view. I know you only asked for one book but one of my other favourites is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, one of the few books that made me cry. Not so much the book but more like it gets one thinking about life and such.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I’ll have to try it (before I die!),but I agree that The Book Thief is a fantastic book. Thanks for your comment. Good luck in the competition.


  11. Anne Haverda says:

    The boy in the striped pyjamas was a book that I have never forgotten. It had a huge and lasting impression on me after a visit to Auschwitz and what is currently in the news.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. An incredible book that definitely left its mark on me, too. I still well up when thinking of it x


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