May 29, 2017, by Words on Words

My Life in Literature

This blog post was written by second year English student, Josie Severn.

With it being exam and deadline time of year, a tough time which can often make you question why you are here working so hard at this degree, I thought it would be fun to reflect on my life in books. I will be sharing with you all the literature that has had a significant impact on my life, from just a tiny baby to what has led me to be here, finishing my second year of this English degree at the University of Nottingham.

1. Babyhood
I can’t say I particularly remember this one well and I admit I had to ask my family for some advice, but apparently my favourite picture books as a baby were Alan Ahlberg’s The Baby Catalogue and Peepo! Little did I know it would be these books that would start off my love of literature. We all have to start somewhere…

2. Enid Blyton- The Magic Faraway Tree
I still to this day shyly admit that this is one of my favourite books, and the only book I’ve ever read at least ten times over. Adventures up the tree with Moonface, Silky the Fairy and Saucepanman are the best adventures I’ve ever had and are happy memories of my childhood. I’ll definitely be first to the cinema when the rumoured film adaptation is released and I’m not afraid to admit it. A special mention also has to go to Blyton’s Naughty Amelia Jane series and Mallory Towers. I have fond memories of my mum reading Amelia Jane to me, and memories of wanting to rebel and join in with the midnight feasts in Mallory Towers.

3. Jacqueline Wilson
There’s not much more to say than were you really an early teenage bookworm if you didn’t read Jacqueline Wilson? Wilson transported us from a fantasy childhood world to dealing with issues of the real world we would later encounter in literature and in real life. I doubt I will be alone by saying that her books had a significant impact on my life. I don’t like to show off or anything but I still have her book Kiss signed by Wilson herself.

4. The Notebook- Nicholas Sparks
We’ve all seen the film adaptation, but this novel is a definite case of the book is always better than the film. This book deserves a special mention because it’s the first book that I ever cried at and evoked a major emotional response from me.


5. Frankenstein- Mary Shelley
This novel has had the most major impact on my life so far and this is why I’m going to boldly claim that it is my favourite book. I discovered my love for the gothic genre during my A levels, something I’d never dare venture in to before. There’s much more to this book than just a monster. I grew so passionate about this book that I’m convinced this came across in my A level assessment, therefore I got that all-important grade to get me where I am now, studying this wonderful English degree at the University of Nottingham.


6. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
This one deserved a mention because it is the text I’ve most enjoyed studying throughout my second year during the From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries module. Many people love it and for good reason. Austen satirically deals with issues of gender, class and money but will make you fall in love all at the same time.


Which works of literature have most impacted your life and led you to where you are today? I’d love to know.

Josie Severn

Posted in Student Words