My top 10

So here is the current version of my ever changing top ten favourite books. Number one has been pretty consistent for the past few years but the others are ever changing and in no particular order (click on the links to buy them on amazon)

1. Use of Weapons – Iain M. Banks

– his best Culture novel I think, very original, plenty of twists and the aesthetics had me hooked from the first page. The conclusion left me reeling and I could read it again and again ad nauseum

2. The God of Small things – Arundhati Roy

– brilliant, challenging a lot of things about identity and sexuality, very well told and since I’ve read it I’ve tried some other Indian literature such as Salman Rushdie, beacause I know almost nothing about India it’s almost like reading fantasy again  – set in another land but in a curiously relevant way

3. Let the right one in – John Ajvide Lindqvist

– The scarriest horror book I’ve read in a long time – though he gets pretty graphic and disturbing the scarriest bits are his characterisation. He’s so astute it makes the whole thing much more real (as well as the main character’s morbid fascination with murders even though he’s only twleve years old…)

4. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

– amazing. The narrator claimed it was a story to make you believe in God. It didn’t quite do that but it certainly challenged my devout atheism (which was in fashion seen as I was attending a convent school at the time). It doesn’t try to convert you, the main character is just particularly religious. It’s just a great yarn which the blurb explains better than I can

5. Good Omens – Terry Pratchett

– A brilliant reimagining of the apocolypse/book of revelations. Hillarious, witty and a very unique take on the character of Damien

6. The Wasteland – T.S. Eliot

– the poem is amazing. If you don’t understand it don’t worry, apparently that’s part of the point. Sparknotes have great explanations on it and there’s some amazing lines that will haunt you (“I will show you fear in a handful of dust“…)

7. Maus – Art Spiegelman

– Brilliant graphic novel, part of a reimagining of how to tell stories on the holocaust (see my previous post)

8. Paradise Lost – John Milton

– I know i sound a bit up myself/highbrow putting this on, and I swear I’m not showing off, it is and amazing book and to be honest part of the reason I loved it so much was Dr. Conrad Brunstrom’s lectures on it. Very insightful and entertaining, the book is an epic in the true sense of the word

9. On Writing – Stephen King

– I read a lot of books on how to write, how to improve your writing, how not to do it and even how to develope your creativity – basically lots of rubbish like that. This is the only one that I can still remember any advice from that I actually found useful, it was fun to read the biographical section in it but it’s filled with lots of practical advice on writing too

10. Wolf of the Plains – Conn Igulden

– I moved from fantasy to historical fiction after reading about seven consecutive books that were basically Lord of the Rings again. This is much better than his series on Caesar as it’s much more historically accurate and Genghis Khan (whom this series is about) is my favourite historical figure so it’s a win-win situation

Bonus no. 11. Anything by Douglas Adams – especially Last Chance to See

– Every word from that man’s MAC was pure gold but this one I think stands above the rest.

This was harder than I thought, there’s probably plenty I left out and more that will replace these by next week but for now that’s how it stands