Happy World Book Day!

Happy World Book Day, friends! I thought it would be fun to recommend a few books that I’ve loved reading. When deciding which ones to select I hit on two criteria:

  1. They have to be books physically on the shelves of my house now (which means I’ve skipped a lot of books I’ve borrowed or read on Kindle or given away).
  2. They need to be from a broad range of genres.

So these aren’t necessarily my top books of all time, but here are 10 books I randomly plucked off my shelves this morning as ones I enjoyed!

1 - The Stand, by Stephen King. Epic, apocalyptic and not at all your classic horror story. Read this if you’d like 1984 by George Orwell flipped on its head and given a hint of the supernatural.

2 - I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. A beautiful 1930s coming-of-age tale, but not just for kids and teens. Read this if you’d like a more grown-up version of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

3 - Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah. The second of the new Hercule Poirot books commissioned by the Agatha Christie estate. All the charm of a classic cosy crime with less-dated writing. Read this if you’d like books by Agatha Christie without the exasperation.

4 - Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A fascinating and intense look into the aftermath of a crime. More captivating than any other Russian literature I’ve read. Read this if you’d like Enderby by Sebastian Faulkes with more angst and set in Russia.

5 - We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Chilling, unforgettable, twisted, deeply personal. Read this if you’d like a slower-burning, more unsettling Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

6 - The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Brilliant and funny and smart. In a genre all of it’s own - quirky magical realism without the magic?! A must-read for people who love literature and want to laugh. Read this if you’d like Tom Holt books without the magic and plentiful in-jokes about other books.

7 - Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. The master storyteller at his finest, quirkiest and most inspirational. Should be compulsory reading in all schools. Read this if you’d like Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne crossed with The Cat in the Hat.

8 - I See You by Claire Mackintosh. One of the better reads in the booming psychological thriller genre. Clever idea. Twisty. Read this if you’d like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins with more insight into the police side of things.

9 - The Life and Loves of a She Devil by Faye Weldon. Bitter and brilliant. A modern fable. Feminist, funny and sharp. Read this if you’d like Jane Austen writing in the 20th-century while slightly tipsy.

10 - The Weight of Glory by CS Lewis. A collection of his finest essays and sermons. The title piece is particularly brilliant. Read this if you’d like some theology that is deep, to the point and in bite-sized chunks.

So there you go… apocalyptic fiction, coming-of-age tales, cosy crime, classic Russian literature, twisted page-turners, quirky humour, inspirational children’s books, psychological thrillers, razor sharp fables and deep theology. And if none of those take your fancy then you can of course read my novel instead! Art, artifice and madness - The Art of Letting Go.