Lovely Books

Among the authors that I have an enduring affection for are Jim Crace (a national treasure), David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, Sarah Waters, Shirley Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, Peter Hoeg, Sarah Hall, Jeanette Winterson and Kate Atkinson.

My favourite novels change all the time but at the moment I’d say, in no particular order, they are

  • “The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Carter
  • “Specimen Days” by Michael Cunningham
  • “The Woman in White” by Wilkie Collins
  • “English Passengers” by Matthew Kneale
  • “The Death of Grass” by John Christopher
  • “If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things” by Jon McGregor
  • “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
  • “”Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke
  • “Ingenious Pain” by Andrew Miller
  • “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett
  • “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” by Muriel Spark
  • “In the Skin of a Lion” by Michael Ondaatje
  • “The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break” by Steven Sherrill
  • “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel
  • “The Lost Books of the Odyssey” by Zachary Mason
  • “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt
  • Any of Jim Crace’s books, but if you you don’t know him I’d recommend starting with “The Pesthouse” or “Being Dead”
  • “The Red Tree” by Shaun Tan. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a picture book for children. It’s a pictorial account of the horrors of depression but there’s a sweetness too, in the knowledge that sadness isn’t infinite.
  • “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn
  • “Under the Skin” by Michel Faber
  • “Interpreter of Maladies” and “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Thanks to my friend, the well read Dheraj Bisarya, who gave me these. They’re a masterclass in short story telling.
  • “The Dig” and “The Long Dry” By Cyan Jones

4 thoughts on “Lovely Books

  1. David Noone says:

    This is awful I’ve only read one book on your list! – that never happens – I own a couple others but only read one – luckily it’s The Bloody Chamber which is among my favourites too – have you read Patrick McGrath by any chance? – seems not that many people I’ve bumped into have even though he’s got a big name publisher – be interested to know what you think of him if you have if you haven’t I’d highly recommend him but again I’ve only read one book on your favourites list

    • Hi David,
      Nice to meet you. It’s great that we have different lists. I’m a big fan of Patrick McGrath- I’ve read Spider, Asylum, Martha Peake, Trauma, The Grotesque, Ghost Town, Blood & Water, and Dr Haggard’s Disease. We clearly have similar taste in books. What else would you recommend?

      • David Noone says:

        I adore Dr Haggard’s Disease – Constance is also very good – in terms of other writers I’m currently reading Joel Lane’s The Lost District which is fantastic – Birmingham Gothic – hard to believe those two words would ever be paired – Cathi Unsworth is also amazing – Weirdo is probably her best though my favourite is The Singer – Without the Moon & That Old Black Magic are her two most recent & are well worth reading – That Old Black Magic uses the Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm legend as its central plot reference as well as featuring Helen Duncan & her subsequent status as the last woman to be tried for witchcraft in England – in the 40s! – as well as Harry Price whose character is a large part of the undertow of the novel – then there’s Duch – I can never thank Cathi enough for introducing me to Duch as it became the name of the Grimalkin I share the house with who’s currently sleeping on the bed upstairs – M John Harrison & Ryu Murakami are great as well & if you haven’t read Ballard’s High Rise you must – it’s a near perfect 20th century Gothic novel & sadly one a lot of people seem to ignore in relation to his other stuff – there’s more but have a glance at those ones

      • David Noone says:

        Sleep deprivation was something of a factor in my second comment

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