What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Books are my friends!

Last weekend I was feeling tired, cold and overwhelmed by things.

So what did I do? I snuggled under the blanket, in a comfy chair, with a cup of tea and I read my book all day! I took this photo to send to my daughters showing them how cold it was here! I was reminded of this great quote below by CS Lewis.

A good book and a cup of tea = happiness

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

C.S. Lewis

In case you’re wondering, I was reading a book my sister lent me, called The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers. It was set in Tasmania and although dark at times, I enjoyed the story.

Set in the old-growth eucalypt forests and vast rugged mountains of southern Tasmania, The Orchardist’s Daughter is an uplifting story about friendship, resilience and finding the courage to break free.

The Orchardist’s Daughter Karen Viggers

There’s no better feeling in the world, than being all warm and cosy and reading the day away. Please note it doesn’t have to be cold and miserable to find me reading a book, I can read almost anywhere!!

For the love of reading and books

This week the theme for Sunday Stills is For the love of reading and books.

This blackboard sign caught my eye outside a book shop in Huskisson NSW, they often have good quotes. I thought this one was very fitting for this week’s For the love of reading and book prompt!

Travel sign outside a bookshop
Travel sign outside a bookshop

That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet!

Jhumpa Lahiri 

Books on my blog

I have whole pages on my blog dedicated to my love of books and what I’ve read over the years with book reviews, posts and links to my Goodreads account…..you can read more here – I love Books!

My post about my Top five favourite books for 2018 can be found here, with a twist! Top 5 books in 2018

I firmly believe books can be a form of escape and often feel that reading is a form of Zen – I wrote this post a while ago and shared it again recently. Losing myself in a book

The best book I’ve ever read

While on the subject of books, I thought I’d share with you the best book I’ve ever read. It’s a big call to decide what is the best book you’ve ever read, but I had no problem deciding.

It’s a book my father wrote, called Naval Gazing, about his time in the Royal Australian Navy from 1957-1978. He let some of his personal family life slide into his writing, under the heading ‘Personal Life Intrudes’. Such as this awesome quote below 🙂

While I was in training I realised that life without Sheila would be a drag so I asked her to marry me. Luckily she said yes and we got engaged on my first leave. we had a party at Sheila’s parents’ house in Enfield. All the family was there.

Noel Pittaway, Naval Gazing

Dad always kept quite detailed diaries and wrote this book from his memories and diary entries. My mother secretly arranged for my sister and brother-in-law to get the book printed, as a surprise for dad. Since then all his siblings and grandchildren have also been given a copy. The print run was very, very limited and the book isn’t for sale.

At dad’s funeral in 2018, we used his own words as much as possible, taken from his book. It was a lovely way to tell dad’s story.

This is one of my favourite bits – obviously because it’s about me!!

Once again we had Christmas in Hong Kong and this time I was given the good news that I was the father of a beautiful baby girl, who was born in Murwillumbah in mid-December 1960. I had just come back from seeing the move ‘Tammy’ starring Debbie Reynolds and when asked what my choice of name for the baby was, I immediately said Debbie.

Noel Pittaway Naval Gazing
1960 with dad
1960 with dad

It should be noted that due to Navy life, dad didn’t get to see me for many months after I was born. Don’t get mum started on these stories 🙂

I wrote this post after losing dad in January 2018 – Thoughts on Losing my Father

A collage of some of the books I read in 2018

Just for fun I created this collage of books I’ve read 🙂

Books read in 2018
Books read in 2018

What am I currently reading?

I’m currently reading a book of short stories, called More Glimpses, by an all time favourite blogging friend Hugh Roberts, I did a review of his first book Glimpses a while ago which can be found here. I am thoroughly enjoying getting caught up in Hugh’s stories again!

I’ve also just finished reading a book by another blogger, Stevie Turner, which I am featured in. The book is called Understanding, with contributions from bloggers and authors about significant events in their lives. Stevie interviewed each person and has compiled this anthology from the responses to her questions. More information is available here – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events

Nineteen authors/bloggers kindly answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, a cancer diagnosis, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more! 

All proceeds will go to Cancer Research. 


My story in the anthology is about my tragic school excursion many years ago.

What about you?

What’s your favourite book? Do you have an all time favourite or does it change?

It’s hard to decide at times and I know I go through phases of reading a variety of genres which makes it even more difficult.

I always enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Have a great week ahead.

Debbie 🙂

Reading a book

All my Sunday Stills posts can be found here – all photos by me

Sunday Stills photo challenge

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

68 Replies to “What’s the best book you’ve ever read?”

  1. That was a lovely post. The Orchardist’s Daughter sounds interesting. i can understand why your dad’s book is your favorite. My favorite is my late husband’s Pacific Viking. I can hear and feel his voice. Also I loved Neville Shute’s A Town Like Alice set mostly in Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks ever so much for the mention of More Glimpses, Debbie. I hope it’s not giving you too many nightmares?

    You’re a book-a-olic from all the books you read. Unfortunately, being dyslexic means, I find it difficult to get into many books. However, after a recommendation from another blogger, I recently finished an excellent book which had me on the edge of my chair over the two days I read it. I’ve now started another book recommendation, too.

    I’m so pleased about your dad’s memories and writing being captured in that book. What a lovely surprise it must have been for him to hold a copy in his hands.

    Great photo of you and your dad, too. He looks so proud.

    Happy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Hugh, I’m enjoying your stories particularly Murder in Evershot and hoping no nightmares ensue. Yes I think you could say I’m a book-a-holic and I read a vast variety which makes it interesting.

      I’m glad you’ve found some books you are able to get into – just out of curiosity what was the book?
      My dad was pleased with the book but always said he hadn’t quite finished it properly. Only he knew that though!

      Thanks, I love that photo of us too and it’s amazing how much my new granddaughter looks like me when I was a baby! Thanks for your visit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The book is ‘Call Drops’ by John F. Leonard. Book blogger, Teri Pollen did a review of it, and it sounded right up my street. It’s a short story but is gripping. I left a review on Amazon and Goodreads. The book may not be for the faint-hearted.

        Glad you enjoyed ‘Murder in Evershot’ Debbie. I wrote and serialised the story on my blog, over four weeks, while staying in Evershot in 2015. My editor recommended I rewrote the ending when I added it to ‘More Glimpses’. It took me weeks to come up with a suitable one which she thought fitted the story.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post and how lucky you are to have had your Dad write a book to be cherished by those yet to be born!! I chuckled when I read about how your dad named you as I am also named after Debbie Reynold’s…My Mother loved her!! LOL!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a great post and how lucky you are to have a book written by your Dad to be passed on to future generations!! I chuckled when I read about how you got your name because I too am named after Debbie Reynold’s!! My Mother loved her!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What is the best book I’ve read? I would have to say that it’s The Holocaust written by Martin Gilbert. It’s the true story of what the Nazi War Machine did to the Jewish people during WWII. It’s very graphic in the treatment of Jews. It’s horrible on the description of how they were shot, gassed, and murdered just because of their Jewish Faith. The book is about 2 inches thick and will last you way beyond a cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not really got a favourite book, it always seems to be the current one or the one I’ve just finished. How wonderful that your Dad wrote a book that you love. You can hear his words whenever you wish, that’s priceless.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi, Debbie – I’m also a big reader. My overall favourite book is Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods.’ Despite the number of books that I read, the only books on your photo list that I have also read are books by fellow bloggers. I currently finished Dragon Springs Road, For Whom the Bells Toll and Until Tuesday. Each of these boosk was quite distinct from the others, so it was easy not to confuse them when reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Terri, the book is a lovely memento of dad’s life during those years. I enjoyed writing this post and it started somewhere completely different to where it ended, I had no real idea of where I was going, so it was lovely to read how you enjoyed my framing of the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That book of your father’s writings is such a precious memento. I’m not sure what my favorite book is. Maybe The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I just read A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, which was wonderful too. As I said in my comment on Terri’s blog: So many books, so little time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have been reading up a storm lately. I just finished “The Last of the Romantics” which I really enjoyed. My favorite book of all time is “The Great Gatsby” and my favorite book in the 2000s has been “A Gentleman in Moscow”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Deb, two of my favourites from school were To Kill a Mockingbird and The MoonSpinners. I love a range of books but my go to comfort books are Maeve Binchy. I love a crime novel especially if it is a British one. So many books and I love reading with Ethan who is now reading to Nan. I can’t imagine life without books – I love relaxing from the world with a good book and a cuppa – bliss!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for joining in Sue, I’m loving all the book recommendations coming in. I’ve read a few books to Emilia over the weekend too so I’m just getting into this next phase of life. Ethan would be a great age for reading to now!!


      1. Oh reading to your grandchildren is something special. I love putting all the voices to the characters and am sure I could get a job on PlaySchool LOL:) Rachel and I an have read to both boys since birth and it really shows. Ethan is reading books above his age already and has such a diverse vocabulary. I put that down to reading for sure. #MLSTL

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely post. I love books too, though I mainly read (now listen to) murder mysteries. My favorite in that genre is Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh. I also love Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ngaio Marsh wrote a series of mysteries featuring Inspector Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard;. She was originally from New Zealand but lived in England for a number of years. A number of her stories center around murders in or involving theaters, one of her great loves. I prefer her books that focus on Alleyn and his wife, the painter Agatha Troy, a painter, rather than the theater stories, but the books are best read in sequence because of recurring characters and subjects. I have to check out the other responses to your post for new authors. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my goodness – I have no idea. As you know, I read a lot – just under 100 books a year, or thereabouts. I re-read Wuthering Heights, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma and Persuasion every couple of years, so I guess I’d have to say those. I mostly read English authors – but that’s purely accidental – and need a happy ending or at least a hopeful one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are a reading machine Jo!!! I love those classics too but haven’t re-read them. I don’t tend to re-read books actually now that I come to think of it. I like happy endings too 🙂 Thanks for joining me.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, Debbie you have read a lot of books. I used to read a lot, but now with doing what I have to do, some of what I want to do, and reading blogs, and writing blogs – I just don’t seem to get time for books anymore. I think I need to learn to speed read!. How lovelyto have that book by your dad. My favourite book has been, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s a non fiction book that gave good insite into modern food practices. I’ve heard a few people mention, The orchardists daughter, so I think I’m going to have to find time for that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris, I know what you mean! I found I wasn’t reading that many books because I was reading (and writing) blogs, so made an effort to get back into it. Dad’s book is a great memory for us all and I’m glad to share it. Thanks for sharing your favourite book, I haven’t heard of that one of hers before. I liked the Orchardist’s Daughter as it was set in Tasmania, and a small town, so I found I could relate to it. Thanks for joining in 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Suzie, it was a great thing for him to write and give us the story of that side of his life. I like the fact that you’ve had to replace your favourite book due to reading it so much!! I always enjoy Maya’s quotes so I’ll look out for this one now 🙂 Lovely to have you join in on the conversation.


  14. Hi Deb – So wonderful that your family has a book from your Dad’s writings. You sure read a lot of books. I’m doing a 2019 Reading Challenge initiated by my local library. I’m reading my 20th book this year (The Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre, a Canadian author and Giller Prize winner for this book). I have Boys Swallow Universe on hold for pick up next. There are good book suggestions from the Comments so I’ll add them to my to-read list. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Natalie, I do read a lot, it’s a form of escapism and I’m now retired so I theoretically have the time 🙂 Dad’s book is a source of great happiness to us all and I’m so thankful he wrote it and that mum and my sister got it printed properly. I agree the comments from everyone are a great way to get ideas of books to read, and I love that aspect of our blogging community! Thanks for your visit 🙂


  15. I churn through books – just love them for filling in time and for taking me away to another place and time. I’m a big fan of fantasy novels and I prefer upbeat stories – there’s enough misery and death in the world without reading about it in a book. I can’t say I have one single favourite. I loved Diana Gabaldan’s Outlander series and anything that Nora Roberts writes (including her JD Robb series). I’m also a huge fan of libraries and free kindle books – I’m such a cheapskate!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your favourites Leanne, I also enjoyed Dian Gabaldon’s series. I think reading works on so many levels and is such a great way of switching off from the real world. I use free kindle books too 🙂 Thanks for sharing too x


  16. This is such a greT PIST Deb. I really enjoyed it. What’s the best book I’ve ever read? That’s s big question. The book that had the most effect on my was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. But I’ve read so many books I find it hard to pick ‘The Best’.your choice is great and understandable #MLSTL Will share on SM

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I deeply admire your passion for reading, Deb. In my younger years, I loved to pick up a book and read it through to the end. Then something changed and I just can’t focus enough to read a whole book, let alone a chapter. If you asked my younger self what my favorite book was, it was The Island. They actually made a movie about it. In my 30’s, I had a passion for anything Stuart Woods and James Patterson. Nowadays, sit me in front of the tube and let my eyes wander. 😉 Thanks for sharing these with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bren, it seems to be a sign of the times that reading is is taking a back seat. I find my concentration isn’t as good as it was when I was younger. We seem to have so many things to read, scroll, and watch these days!


  18. So nice to read about the book by your dad and the surprise gift for him.
    To single out the best book I have ever read is quite tough. Rebecca and Mayor of Casterbridge are two of a few good books I can recall quickly.
    Currently, I am reading a book called “Seventy, and Hell With It” written by an Indian author Shobha De. It’s a biographical sketch of how she faced and overcame many of the everyday problems, as she reaches 70 years.
    Next, I am planning to read “Undelivered Letters”, by J. Alchem.
    — Pradeep | bpradeepnair.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Debbie, I used to say that my favourite book was “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and it’s still up there as one of the best. However I think a lot of people younger than me wouldn’t be able to read it – it’s heavy and they may even think it’s irrelevant to today’s world. Anyway, I’ve read a couple of wonderful books in the last few years. And I think I enjoyed them so much because they’re set in two of my favourite places – Moscow, Russia, and Berlin, Germany. “The Moment” by Douglas Kennedy and “Ester and Ruzya” by Masha Gessen. Visiting from MLSTL and shared on SM. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your top reads Cheryl, It’s always good to hear from others, we can learn so much. It’s good to read books that resonate with us for where they’re set, as we have a real connection to them. I enjoyed a book called Saga Lands about Iceland and it was one of the reasons why we visited Iceland last year, it made such an impression on us. Thanks for sharing too.


  20. Wow! It runs in the family – your dad was an author too, just like you! How cool! I DO have a favorite book of all time. I read it about once/year and I always learn something new, even though I have read through it many times. It is “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Favorite book? As if there could be just one. Favorite author is more like it and even then it’s hard to decide. I will drop anything I’m reading in order to read anything written by Anne Perry. But I also have this quirky little sci-fi/fantasy novel that I keep going back to “The Unlikely Ones” by Mary Brown.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a wonderful legacy your dad left for you and your family, Deb, and what a lovely way to keep him close to your heart. I’ve always loved to read, since I was a little girl. My favorite book when I was little, was The Secret Garden. As an adult, I would have to say, it’s Gone With the Wind. Thank goodness, I’ve had my Kindle, for the last 7 years, since we’ve been traveling. Always enjoy your posts, Deb. Looking forward to the next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christina, I loved the Secret Garden too! I don’t think I’ve ever read Gone with the Wind. I enjoy my kindle when we travel too, makes such a difference doesn’t it? Yes Dad’s book has been a real gift!


  23. what a special book from your Dad! Precious memories. I’m always on the lookout for a standout book but don’t read as much as I should. Life of Pi and The Book Thief are two that really had me mesmerised. I’ll take a look at your post on fave books from 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. My favourite book ever is called “Calling Invisible Women” by Jeanne Ray. It’s awesome!!! And how wonderful to have a book written by your dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Hi Deb,
    This “best book” idea is constantly shifting for me. An all-time favorite is “To Kill a Mockingbird” – can’t count how many times I’ve read it. My newest fav – which I just finished although it’s been around since 1997 is the “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” I actually got teary-eyed when I read the last page. I felt like I was losing a friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s hard to pick isn’t it? I love that you get a bit teary at the end of it no matter how many times you’ve read it before! Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your thoughts Nancy.


  26. Hi Debbie. You have an amazing blog site, visually and filled with many gems. I am glad I found you. I was drawn into your Best Books post. I always welcome recommendations. My heart skipped a beat when I read about your best book, the one your Father wrote. A very poignant story about your Dad’s funeral. I enjoyed reading why your name is Debbie (do you prefer Deb or Debbie?:) Erica

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Erica, I really appreciate your lovely message about my blog. I enjoy this little piece of the internet and have made it to reflect a part of me. I usually get called Debbie but close friend call me Deb, or Debs. I’m now known as Granny Debs to Emilia, my granddaughter who is nearly 8 months old 🙂 . It’s so great to connect with you!

      Liked by 1 person

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