There is nothing like public transport to get you reading again. Now that I’m back at work I finally have a great excuse for sitting down and reading for half an hour solid, twice a day. With luck I’ll start to make it through my ever growing pile of books to read.
Having recently asked for recommendations for books, I thought I should also share some books I have enjoyed. As someone who reads equal numbers of fiction and non-fiction books, as well as trying to make my way through the original Angus and Robinson ‘Top 100 books of all time’ I think I am exposed to a wide range of genres and stories, so hopefully you’ll find something in here you will enjoy.
I will not put numbers next to these, as I do not wish to rank them, but here are five fictional books I have very much enjoyed (that’s as much as I can commit to).
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Death narrates this incredibly touching, funny, tragic, innocent and dark story. Set in Nazi Germany, you know that bad things are going to happen, but the characters carry you along so you simply must know where they end up no matter how bad that knowledge might be (you might need a tissue at the end, not good for public transport).
The Second Sons trilogy by Jennifer Fallon
This fantasy series has strong female characters who don’t need rescuing as well as a lot of interesting politics that often gets glossed over in other fantasy books. I also like the comment on our own religion and politics, some comments more subtle than others.
The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
Such a short, but lovely book. Set in a fictitious war (but not hard to imagine where the inspiration has been drawn from) it depicts the indomitable spirit of man in simple, but beautiful prose. Apparently it was written as a propaganda piece, and I can see where that comes out, but it is still a wonderful book.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
This book is just cool. It goes places I never expected, and so often I’d read a bit and wish that I had written it. Set in an alternative reality, this is almost a murder mystery novel, but the difference is it is fictional characters in books who are getting bumped off. It is a crazy, fun and intelligent novel.
The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
I enjoyed this so much I drew it out over a few days, even though it really is just a novella. Each night I actually dreamed I was participating in the long walk, which shows you how deeply it crept into my subconscious mind. The end is a little disappointing, but the exploration of the human condition under such a hideous, self-inflicted horror is amazing. You can still pick it up in The Bachman Books omnibus, where you can also read The Running Man –a much scarier better version of the story upon which the movie is loosely based.
Okay, that’s five, it kills me to stop there, and I notice I don’t really have any science fiction, but a good showing of Spec Fic so I’ll have to be satisfied with that. Next post I’ll give you five great non-fiction books I have read. I’m sure it will prove to be an equally difficult task to limit myself to just five of those as well.