The best books to escape reality

Who am I?

I have always been a very imaginative individual and even now I think of my imagination as a place I can escape to. I build worlds and dimensions in my head and visit them often especially when I'm writing my own books, poems, or drafting characters. I'm a very visual individual and pay attention to detail so these imagined worlds can become quite complex and intricate. That's why I have always loved adventure, it's such a privilege to be given access to other worlds and minds through the medium of books. You get a chance to wander around someone else's imagination – what a way to escape, what an adventure in and of itself!


I wrote...

Book cover of The Tunnels Below

What is my book about?

The Tunnels Below is a rite of passage fantasy adventure about growing up and facing up to whatever the world throws at you however weird and wonderful. It follows the story of Cecilia who’s twelfth birthday takes a very unexpected turn when she finds herself at the centre of a plot to save a community from the brutal Corvus rule in an unfamiliar underground world. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Amari and the Night Brothers

Nadine Wild-Palmer Why did I love this book?

With Amari as the feisty young underdog driving this story, in a world where the real collides with magic in an everyday setting, it’s hard not to love this book. It’s a reminder of the possibility that lives in the impossible and a heart-warming, racy fantasy adventure that is at once empowering and enthralling. I don’t want to give too much away but it doffs its hat at the magical world of Harry Potter with a twist of the uncanny undercover agents in the film Men in Black and it does it beautifully. B.B. Alston reminds us that there’s a richness to life even though Amari is growing up coming from a disadvantaged background. The message is clear, you can do anything you put your mind to as long as you never let others define you. And this sentiment is portrayed through beautiful, witty, and imaginative prose. A must-read

By B. B. Alston,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Amari and the Night Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"AMARI IS MAGICAL!" ANGIE THOMAS

An epic middle grade supernatural adventure series, soon to be a major movie starring Marsai Martin. Perfect for readers aged 8+ and fans of Percy Jackson, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief and Men in Black.

Amari Peters knows three things.

Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret...

So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau,…


Book cover of Whizziwig

Nadine Wild-Palmer Why did I love this book?

I loved this book for many reasons growing up but I think first and foremost because it was one of the first books I had ever seen with an illustration of a black child on the front cover aimed at children around my age. It was also turned into a TV series and I remember realising at this point in my early teens that there are so many ways that a book can be interpreted. Not just in the minds of their readers but through different creative mediums and this really excited my imagination as I have been acting since I was small and very involved in many different forms of music. This made Whizziwig, a story about possibility at every turn as the subject matter is also about chancing upon an alien life form in your backyard with whom the protagonist becomes friends. Plus, it was the first Malorie Blackman book I ever read!

By Malorie Blackman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whizziwig as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whizziwig is an alien - a very special alien who makes wishes come true, but only wishes made for someone else! Every wish granted gets his space ship one step nearer to becoming repaired. But every wish granted also causes chaos for Ben and his family.


Book cover of The Hobbit

Nadine Wild-Palmer Why did I love this book?

The Hobbit was the first book I could not put down. I have always been a slow reader and I found it hard to focus on chapter books and was quite embarrassed by this, so I tended to stick to learning and reciting poetry, writing, and singing songs. I found out later at University that I was dyslexic and dyspraxic although by then I had become so determined to at least keep up with my peers that I hadn’t let it stop me. However, I digress.

The Hobbit marks a pivotal moment on my journey into reading. Given to me by my year seven English teacher Ms. Antony, I read it over one weekend which for me was unheard of. I have loved fantasy adventure stories ever since. It taught me that reading is very personal to each individual and to stop trying to race through books and make it a competition. The whole point of reading a book after this became about going on an adventure, immersing myself in the unknown, and enjoying the power that comes with being engulfed in an imaginary lived experience. For that, I am forever grateful!

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

40 authors picked The Hobbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…


Book cover of Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Nadine Wild-Palmer Why did I love this book?

This book has been part of my life since I was a small child and its words have resonated with me all through my life. A story about the ups and downs of life set in a weird and whacky parallel world and told in rhyme with colourful witty illustrations as its backdrop, it is a real one of a kind that sticks with you on your passage through life. There have been many times when a line or phrase from this quirky and emotionally intelligent book will come back to me that aptly describes exactly how I am feeling or where I am at. It is more than a book, it is a self-reflective tool too. It is also a book that I have gifted to both children and adults all through my life and it is likely that I will continue to do so.  

By Dr. Seuss,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Oh, the Places You'll Go! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate life's ups and downs in this exquisite slipcase and hardback edition of the bestselling Dr. Seuss classic!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

For more than thirty years, this Dr. Seuss classic has carried us through life's ups and downs - from fun times and triumphs, to lurches and slumps!

Take an entertaining look at the adventures life has in store for all of us in this very special slipcase and hardback edition of the beloved classic.

The perfect gift for every moment in life, from graduations, weddings and birthdays, to…


Book cover of The Murderer's Ape

Nadine Wild-Palmer Why did I love this book?

A real tour de force that for me was reminiscent of Phileas Fogg's adventures in Around the World in 80 Days. The story follows the life of an intelligent gorilla who although lacking the power of speech is an extraordinary, loveable protagonist. It is accompanied by black and white illustrations that feel like etchings and that only enhance the wistful and nostalgic window through which we observe this gorilla’s world and life experience. It's a lengthy book and so at first may seem like a big commitment especially as it is aimed at children (it also have some grown-up themes) but once you begin the journey I defy anyone to try and get off as the mystery and magic unfold alongside a powerful story of friendship and love. Another brilliant example of how to escape the reality of the every day and be whisked into a world of mystery, mayhem, and magic!

By Jakob Wegelius,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Murderer's Ape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.

For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.


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The Fornax Assassin

By J.C. Gemmell,

Book cover of The Fornax Assassin

J.C. Gemmell Author Of The Fornax Assassin

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Inclusive What-if worrier Eco-warrior Mountain trekker Ten-mile runner

J.C.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In 2038 a devastating pandemic sweeps across the world. Two decades later, Britain remains the epicenter for the Fornax variant, annexed by a terrified global community.

David Malik is as careful as any man to avoid contact with the virus. But when his sister tests positive as an asymptomatic carrier, she must relocate to Fornax Island to join the isolated population of contagious untreatables. Fortunately, the British prime minister’s latest manifesto includes reintegrating the islanders with the nation. Yet, he does not survive a visit to Fornax Island to unveil his new policies.

The military suspects one of its junior officers is responsible for his death. Malik seizes his chance to represent the possible assassin, allowing him to protect his sister. Yet within days of taking on the case, he finds himself accused of masterminding the assassination. 

The Fornax Assassin

By J.C. Gemmell,

What is this book about?

2038: a devastating pandemic sweeps across the world. Two decades later, Britain remains the epicentre for the fornax variant, annexed by a terrified global community.

David Malik is as careful as any man to avoid contact with the virus. But when his sister tests positive as an asymptomatic carrier, she must relocate to Fornax Island to join the isolated population of contagious-untreatables.

Fortunately, the British prime minister’s latest manifesto includes reintegrating the islanders with the nation. Yet, he does not survive a visit to Fornax Island to unveil his new policies.

The military suspects one of its junior officers is…


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