Friday, 15 July 2011

Ramblings: World Book Night

I was lucky enough to be asked to give away free copies of "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters for World Book Night this year. They're compiling a list of the Nation's Top 100 books and are asking people to nominate their Top Ten books of all time. It's an impossible task but I managed to think of ten which have had a huge impact on me. If you haven't read these ten yet then I'm very jealous of you.

"Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier is a piece of genius and a classic study in suspense and the unexpected twist. It's so atmospheric and dark. I couldn't possibly count the times I've read this. The first time I read it, I got to the end and the final 50 pgaes were missing which meant a mercy dash to a book shop to find out what happened.

I loved "One Day" by David Nicholls and was very excited to see him speak last year. I also fell a bit in love with him. He was kind of cute. It's a corker of a story and spoke to me about lots of stuff I could relate all too well to, sadly, like addiction, messing things up and unrequited love.

Armistead Maupin is a fantastic writer who I've loved since my teens. I spent many a sleepless night staying up to finish "Tales of the City", promising myself I'd go to bed after I had read one more page and seeing the dawn break and realising with a panic I needed to sleep before work. "The Night Listener" is a very compulsive read too and very poignant.

I don't really get the poetry of Sylvia Plath too well but her novel, "The Bell Jar", about her descent into madness, is a stunning book and is beautiful prose.

I love all of Sarah Water's work but this one was my favourite by far. I loved her attention to detail about life in 1940s London, a period which fascinates me. She's a real mistress of the clever plot device and writes quality fiction that is actually readable.

I tried Lionel Shriver's subsequent and previous novels and they're not a patch on this one. This book shocked me so much that I had to read it again a week later. I'd definitely suggest reading "We Need to Talk About Kevin" before seeing the film which is due to be released soon.

Donna Tartt's masterpiece, "The Secret History" is deservedly a cult classic. This book is so dark it should come with a night light.

Obvious choice, but "The Catcher in the Rye" really is a moving book and a pure joy to read. It's considered a classic for good reason.

I hate the film of this book. It missed the point entirely. I read "Breakfast at Tiffany's" when I'm fed up and it makes me feel more human. I get the "mean reds" a lot.

"The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger is a brilliant book. I've avoided the film as I can't imagine anything could do this lovely reflection on love and grief, justice.

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