I’ve been mostly writing reviews for Shiny New Books this week after finishing Frog Music, but wanted to write something on the blog for the weekend…
My eye caught my header photo which when taken a few years ago, I compiled a shelf of favourite reads over the years, mostly those getting a full five stars from me. I’ve read a lot of wonderful books since, but I still think the row above represents a fair selection of the wide range of novels that I like to read, so I’ll probably leave it for now. I haven’t reviewed all of them on this blog, but quite a few do feature, so I thought I’d revisit my old posts on books above. So from left to right and in alphabetical order of their authors too…
Double Indemnity by James M Cain. 136 pages of classic noir with a crooked insurance agent, a femme fatale and a husband to murder.
The Death of Grass by John Christopher. The 1956 breakthrough novel from the creator of The Tripods.
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey. It was reading one of the original cowboy novels from 1912 that cemented my love of literary westerns.
My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen. Jensen is one of those authors who writes entirely different novels every time. This steampunky time travel love story is the funniest thing I’ve read by her so far. A real hoot.
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre. Possibly my favourite spy novel ever. It feels so authentic, and Alec Leamas is Richard Burton.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Simply the best vampire novel there is (and possibly the goriest too – you have been warned).
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. This epic novel set the benchmark for every soap opera and small town drama that followed. Beautifully written.
True Grit by Charles Portis. Forget the film, read the book.
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. This novel is still up there in my top ten, love it to bits.
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve. Written for teens, but a wonderful read for any age, Reeve’s novel puts a different ‘spin’ on Merlin and Arthurian legend.
Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick. It’s hard to believe that this fictionalised biography of Arthur Ransome’s time in Russia was written for teens, it’s that good. Sedgwick is my favourite YA author without a doubt.
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell. In just 193 pages, you get a slice of how hard life is for a poor family in the Ozark mountains when Ree has to go searching for her pa. The film is also wonderful.
It’s a shame that favourites like Flowers for Algernon and Ray Robinson’s wonderful debut Electricity were books I read just before I started blogging. Perhaps I should revisit them and review them now. It also reminds me that it’s ages since I read a Christopher Brookmyre book.
Having done this, it’s got me thinking of course!
I may just have to start searching out a new set of more recent great reads for my header photo now.
What do you think?