What five books should every person read? A very good question, posed by Typepad on their homepage today. It got me thinking... I have a whole wall full of books. Some good, some bad. I've read all of them, but wouldn't recommend every single one. Lets face it, there is a lot of dross out there in bookland and I've bought my fair share!! So which books out of vast collection would have to be on my mandatory reading list? Wow.... now I've got to sort through all my crime novels, sci-fi, fantasy, comedy, classics and other random books that don't seem to fit into any particular category. Its a tough job! In fact, I can't single out any particular books as such, but I do notice a definite trend when it comes to Authors! So instead I shall recommend some authors and perhaps one of their finest works for you to hunt down and add to your reading list...
- Jane Austen - Yes, I know, that's a particularly 'girly' choice, but she definitely is one of the best authors out there. Every person - including men - should read at least one Austen in their lifetime. I guarantee that once you get used to the old fashioned way of speaking, you will completely fall in love with her books! Now, everyone gets all excited about Pride & Prejudice andSense & Sensibility, however for me one of her best novels is Persuasion. I think it is quite an undiscovered gem, and that the literary bods don't make enough fuss about it at all!
- Terry Pratchett - For a good all round laugh Pratchett is one of the best out there. All his books are easy to read and very humourous, abounding in puns and double entendres. His characters are all charming and really get under your skin. If you need a good 'pick me up' book then you can't go wrong with Mr Pratchett's charming assortment of Diskworld residents!
- Raymond E. Feist - Fantasy at its best! His epic collection has spanned several worlds and numerous generations and is truly breathtaking. Starting with Magician the Riftwar Saga flows seamlessly from one book to the next. The best bit is.... he's still writing them! So far I have about 15-20 books on my bookshelves with his name on and I'm currently eagerly awaiting the next installment. Magician, however, is probably the best one and I often find myself re-reading it! His collaboration with Janny Wurts has also produced an excellent trilogy viewing the Rift wars from the opposite side.
- Dorothy L. Sayers - An author of immense talent. Her series of books on the adventures of Lord Peter Wimsey really draw you in. They present a picture, a snapshot, of life spanning the turn of the century, the twenties and all the way up to the years of the Second World War. Solving crimes and working in covert operations for the government in wartime, Lord Peter Wimsey hides a cunning and astute brain behind the facade of an indolent, well-off, second son. Murder Must Advertise is one of my favourites although I thoroughly enjoyed Thrones, Dominations - an unfinished manuscript that was completed by Jill Paton Walsh.
- J.R.R. Tolkien - The father of fantasy novels wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and used his books to express his religious views and some childhood experiences in allegorical form. His books are so well written and so popular that he achieved cult-figure status within his lifetime. Although I did enjoy The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings my favourite book has to be The Silmarillion. A prequel to the rest of the Middle Earth books, it describes the creation of Middle Earth, the origins of all the races and also details some of the legends that form the backdrop to the other books. It is fascinating to read, especially as it makes use of Christian beliefs as the foundation of Middle Earth.