Okay, this is a kind of joke post, after I read yet another one of those lists of books that ‘everyone should read’, with the implication that if you haven’t you are a total book-illiterate philistine.
I looked down the list and only found one I’d read and finished. Ooh err, I thought, I’m not worthy. How can I even call myself a writer if I haven’t read these impressive tomes, or have given up on some of them as, umm…. boring? But then I thought again. We all like different things, and books are no exception. So what if I couldn’t plough my way through more than the first few pages of Catch 22, or To the Lighthouse? I found both books very hard going, and believe me I wanted to read them, because after all, they’re classics. As for Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith, I pretty well threw it across the room in utter disgust. I’m afraid there are many classics I simply can’t read, and that’s because I prefer a riveting story to wonderful, poetic prose. If a book has both, that’s a big bonus.
So this is my list of twenty books – although they’re numbered, I really consider them all equally good. Read ’em if you fancy ’em, don’t if you don’t! Oh, and some of them are part of a series but I’m going for my favourite in the series. No apologies that a number of them are science fiction.
- Mockingbird by Walter Tevis
- The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
- The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
- The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
- Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
- My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
- It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet by James Herriot
- Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
- The Forest People by Colin Turnbull
- The Uncertain Midnight by Edmund Cooper
- Wild Swans – Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
- The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey
- The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
- The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
- The Ceres Solution by Bob Shaw
- The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
- Chocky by John Wyndham
- A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
- After Long Silence by Sheri S. Tepper
- Earth Abides by George R. Stewart