I thought it would be interesting to post my top 10 books, to give any readers an idea of what I normally like to read. It took me absolutely ages to compile this list. I may also cheat several times and put whole series in, because for the most part I read series as opposed to single novels, and often it’s hard to pick between the books in them. And I can guarantee you now, I will have forgotten some books that I love.
This list is in no particular order.
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. In a word: sublime. It has the most gorgeous language, wonderful characters and a great, heart-breaking plotline. It’s also one of the biggest inspirations to me as a writer.
Animal Farm – George Orwell. It’s a classic that has stood the test of time, that appealed to me as a history student. I was studying Russian history at the time of reading it, and it amused me to find the comparisons between history and the novel.
King Lear – William Shakespeare. One of the pieces I had to study at A Level, and a great read. It’s moving and funny and a really, really enjoyable read.
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini. This one was a real cultural eye-opener for me, and one of the best reads I’ve had in a long, long time. Hosseini’s story-telling is real and heart-wrenching.
The Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling. It might be considered cheating because it’s seven books instead of one, but I couldn’t not put it on a list like this. Out of every book I’ve read, these are the ones I go back to the most. They’re the perfect book for any age. Absolutely wonderful.
The Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman. I absolutely adored the concept of this series, and it often springs to mind when I’m discussing religion or science.
Old Peter’s Russian Tales – Arthur Ransome. I believe you’re never too old for fairy tales, and these are great, albeit a little darker than your average fairy tale at times.
I am the Messenger – Markus Zusak. I was trying to write this list in a way that I only named an author once, but I just couldn’t leave this one out. It has that great writing style once again, it’s humorous, intriguing and like The Book Thief, gives you a real good look at human nature.
A Song of Ice and Fire – George R. R. Martin. There’s a reason this series is so popular, both on the page and off of it. It is incredible. The most interesting cast of characters, a staggering storyline and plot twists that will leave you breathless.
Facing Up – Bear Grylls. I normally don’t read autobiographies, but this one really interested me. Bear’s story is inspiring to read, and if you ever doubt how tough Bear really is, this one will let you know.