Some of our favourite books, in no particular order...
London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins
Glorious novel written shortly after the Second World War, set in the late 1930s, following the various occupants of a house in Kennington. Excellent characters, and an evocative glorious read. An often-overlooked modern classic.
We by Yevgeny Zamyati
Extraordinary novel which George Orwell credited as a direct influence on '1984' (and I imagine Aldous Huxley must have read it too before writing 'Brave New World') - a mathematically perfect society, near-total observation of all citizens... Written in the 1920s, still feels completely timely and prescient.
Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
Global warming & loneliness are the main themes of this
wonderful novel. Beautifully written, the characters are heart-
breakingly real - can't recommend it highly enough. Captivating,
topical and deeply human story touching on class, poverty and
climate change. http://bitly.com/SCPvO4
must for all those who think graphic novels are 'unliterary'.
Nice reissue of Fante's first novel in the Bandini Quartet, a story of
Los Angeles in the '30s - darkly funny and desperate.
The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
An amazing, hyper-detailed account of office life, and life in general. Very funny, a must read! bit.ly/L7sTFl
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
"This was a golden age, a time of high adventure, rich living, and
hard dying ... but nobody thought so. This was a future of fortune
and theft, pillage and rapine, culture and vice ... but nobody
admitted it. This was an age of extremes, a fascinating century of
freaks ... but nobody loved it."
So begins this classic novel, a glorious epic of revenge, following
the anti-hero Gully Foyle. Hugely recommended, even if you don't
usually read science fiction. http://bit.ly/qZqt8H
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
"There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English
novel." A great novel, following the lives of American college
students in the 1980's - Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell - as they
fall in and out of love, and cope with growing up and settling
down. Excellent characters, and a gripping story, this is
Flatland by Edwin Abbott
Satirical novel about a two-dimensional world occupied by
geometric shapes who can't imagine a third dimension.
Tony & Susan by Austin Wright
Extraordinary novel , a page-turning thriller and at the same time, an
insightful exploration of what it means to be a writer and to be a
A Void by Georges Perec
The mind-blowing novel that at no point uses the letter 'e'. No
mis-spelling, no cheating - and it works! And is a genuinely good
read too. Truly stunning.