Five-Star Reads

In which I keep a list of my favourites, and give a little shout-out to some incredible books I read too long ago to write about.

Pre-2011 (a somewhat patchy list)

  • Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  • Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  • The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
  • Any Human Heart – William Boyd
  • I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

2011

  • Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Word of warning – for me, the sequels were nowhere near as good. But this first one was amazing.)
  • Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  • Wild Swans – Jung Chang
  • The Book of Fathers – Miklos Vamos

Read of the Year 2011: Wild Swans

2012

  • 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
  • The Children’s War/A Change of Regime – JN Stroyar
  • Bring Up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel
  • This Thing of Darkness – Harry Thompson
  • The Teleportation Accident – Ned Beauman
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke

Read of the year 2012: This Thing of Darkness

2013

  • The Girl Who Fell From The Sky – Simon Mawer
  • Joseph Anton – Salman Rushdie
  • The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  • Homer and Langley – EL Doctorow
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
  • Constellation of Genius – Kevin Jackson
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
  • East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Read of the year 2013: The Luminaries

2014

  • Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  • Slammerkin – Emma Donohue
  • Seasons in the Sun – Dominic Sandbrook (This is a non-fiction series about the history of modern Britain; I rated the other 3 books at 4 or above too)
  • Telling Tales – Patience Agbabi
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • Why Homer Matters – Adam Nicolson

Read of the year 2014: Seasons in the Sun by Dominic Sandbrook

2015

  • The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • Election Notebook – Nick Robinson
  • Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson

Read of the year 2015: The Bone Clocks

2016 (work in progress)

  • War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

 

 

Honourable Mentions

  • The Kindly Ones – Jonathan Littell
  • City of Thieves – David Benioff
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
  • Letters to Monica – Philip Larkin
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
  • Kamchatka – Marcel Figueres
  • True Pleasures: A Memoir of Women in Paris – Lucinda Holdforth
  • The List – Martin Fletcher