April 23rd is annually World Book Night; an event designed by The Reading Agency to encourage people to become confident and enthusiastic readers.
In honour of World Book Night, I’ve put together a post of the top 10 books I would – and do – recommend to, well, anyone!
- Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte. I don’t want to be obvious but I’m going to anyway. Heartbreak, love, passion, Yorkshire moors. Yep, everyone should read Wuthering Heights at one point in their life. Read it and love it (and don’t tell me if you don’t, I’m as protective of it as a new mother!) I first read it aged 9 and fell in love with it. I now own in the region of 35 copies and re-read it 3/4 times a year. My pinnacle of literary perfection.
- Charlotte Sometimes – Penelope Lively. Yes, Charlotte Sometimes is a children’s book – but I think everyone should re-visit favourite books from their childhood as a warm and comforting treat. Charlotte Makepeace starts boarding school, and somehow manages to slip back in time 40 years. A gentle but thrilling story telling of Charlotte’s adventures and how she gets back to her own time. With a lovely twist at the end.
- Dracula – Bram Stoker. For those of a gothic bent, Dracula is a must read. The original and dare we say proper vampire tale; a chilling classic. First published in 1897, Dracula loses none of its tension and drama with age.
- Messiah – Boris Starling. I will preface this by saying the book is a touch dated. Don’t expect a crime thriller with all the modern technology. What you should expect is the most fantastic novel surrounding maverick police chief Red Metcalfe and a vicious serial killer stalking wealthy men. Will you spot the pattern before Red does? Absolutely superb book, and another that doesn’t lost for multiple reads.
- Moondial – Helen Cresswell. Another children’s book but another gorgeous tale. Minty; staying with an elderly aunt for a holiday ends up staying as her mother has a car accident. The terrifying house opposite has legends galore. But why is it Minty that holds the secrets to the house and the moondial?
- Caedmon’s Song – Peter Robinson. This attracted me initially because it is partially set in Whitby; one of my favourite places. Another early 90s crime novel and again slightly dated but charming nonetheless. A fast paced and exciting story with a decent twist. You won’t want to read this just once!
- Naomi’s Room – Jonathan Aycliffe. I’ve only recently stumbled across Jonathan Aycliffe but I absolutely love his books. Naomi’s Room is a perfect blend of the supernatural and the psychological thriller. Dare you find out what hides in Naomi’s room?
- Green Darkness – Anya Seton. A slightly different novel from her usual historical works, Green Darkness spans decades, includes reincarnation and requires a modern-day Celia (disclaimer this book was written in 1972) to unravel the mystery of a Celia from the 1500s to save her life and her sanity.
- The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield. A clever, gothic novel that explores the mystery of the abandoned Angelfield House and the story of the haunting March family. Will writer Margaret Lea’s own troubled past mean she can unlock the secret?
- The Greatcoat – Helen Dunmore. Probably one of Helen Dunmore’s less well-known works but for me one of her most enjoyable. A newly married woman in 1950s Yorkshire is struggling to adjust to her new life. She finds a greatcoat in the back of a cupboard…and suddenly a pilot wants to come in…
We’d love to know what are your “must read” books!