Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Books Books Books

What's your favourite books? This was a question posed to me and others on a forum I frequent by my friend Fiona. She asked for our ten favourite books. And let me tell you it's damn hard to do! I finally posted my ten, but was left wondering if I'd made the right decision for a long time after.

Here's my 10. In rough order.

1. Engleby by Sebastian Faulks
2. 1984 - George Orwell
3. The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
4. Cider With Roadies - Stuart Maconie
5. Money - Martin Amis
6. A Perfect Execution - Tim Binding
7. Fleshmarket Close - Ian Rankin
8. Collected Poems - Philip Larkin
9. The Human Factor - Graham Greene
10. The Fire Engine That Disappeared - Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

What's yours? Why not blog about them and reply here with a link to your list :)


  1. My top ten is constantly changing depending on my mood and it is hard. I do er...

    I do have a list of my 'all time favourites' sorry for the gappy formatting I've just copied and pasted that from my book spreadsheet.

    Shogun James Clavell
    Across the Nightingale Floor Lian Hearn
    The Stand Stephen King
    All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque
    Goodnight Mr Tom Michelle Magorian
    North and South Elizabeth Gaskell
    The Seeing Stone Kevin Crossley Holland
    Gatty's Tale Kevin Crossley Holland
    The Counte of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
    The Roth Trilogy Andrew Taylor
    The American Boy Andrew Taylor
    Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
    Prodigal Summer Barbara Kingsolver
    The Loop Nicholas Evans
    His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
    Maus Art Spiegelman
    The Road Home Rose Tremain
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
    Stiff Mary Roach
    Sea of Poppies Amitav Ghosh
    Tom Jones, History of a Foundling Henry Fielding
    The Anatomy of Ghosts Andrew Taylor
    We, the Drowned Carsten Jensen
    When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit Judith Kerr

    My top ten however I chose as:

    1. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
    2. Shogun by James Clavell
    3. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    4. The Harry Potter series by JKR
    5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    6. Goodnight Mister Top by Michelle Morigan
    7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    8. Maus by Art Spigelmen
    9. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
    10. Hard-boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Haruki Murakami

    But it's so hard really to choose. I mean, From Hell by Alan Moore is awesome and should be in there but I already had one Graphic Novel (Maus) and I wanted room for other books too.

    I had to miss out Andrew Taylor and Amitav Ghosh... Rose Tremain. All awesome authors and written some great books too. Some of the books in my top ten are the only books I've read by that author. Some of them, actually quite a few, are probably the only ones I'll read by them. Whereas I'd happily read anything Rose Tremain writes, or Andrew Taylor, or Ghosh... but their books I suppose wouldn't make it into my absolute top ten list.

    It is difficult and the reasons behind choosing certain books I'm sure are very interesting... well, perhaps only to yourself but anyway.

    1. Indeed; I do think it is interesting, I mean I guess I could easily write for Number 7 say The Rebus series by Ian Rankin rather than single out one in particular as I have done. If I were to revisit, maybe I wouldn't class it as the best of the series (in fact I'm not even sure I do now) but it's there for how it made me feel at the time of reading, readability and an even handed style to the stories that formed the book and the characters who interact within them.

      Likewise Our Game by Le Carre (which was 10th place on HTV, I've slightly changed this list now) was I think the first of his I ever read and had a brilliant duo/relationship at it's heart, but I don't think it's his best work, just the one that appealed to me at that time, made me fall in love with his work and that I still hold special.

      I find myself amazed by authors who aren't on there and who I love-Henning Mankell, Dickens, Conan Doyle, Le Carre, Deighton, Frayn and for sheer laugh out loud moments; Toby Frost-more than the ones who actually made the final cut.