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5 ONLY books that MUST be read.

(295 Posts)
Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:07:56

Any era, any genre.

No crap.


LESuffolk Wed 20-Nov-13 12:12:31

To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

Sleeping At The Starlite Motel or Mama Makes Up Her Mind by Bailey White

Swamplandia by Karen Russell

American Ghost by Janice Owens

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:15:27

Why must they be read? I really liked Swamplandia, and the Bailey White ones, but I'm not sure they MUST be read.

ShriekingGnawer Wed 20-Nov-13 12:20:49

My Dear, I wanted to tell you

To Kill a Mockingbird

Wild Swans

The Snow Child


Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:21:47

I know I'm changing the rules, but now I would like a small justification appendaged to each choice <stern>

AHardDaysWrite Wed 20-Nov-13 12:26:04

Hamlet. Cos I'm with Harold Bloom on this one - first human in literature etc.

Gulliver's Travels. Arguably the first novel, so important for that reason.

Sherlock Holmes stories. Because everyone should know Holmes.

Mockingbird. 'Nuff said.

The Handmaid's Tale. My favourite dystopian fiction.

Kveta Wed 20-Nov-13 12:26:16

Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson - because it is still the funniest book I have ever read, and the only one that still makes me snort with laughter on re-reading it.

The complete Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - because it is just bloody marvellous.

The Crow Road by Ian Banks because it is clever and funny and sad and I loved Prentice when I was a teenager.

All Quiet on the Western Front - war is bleak and shit and pointless on either side.

Black Beauty - because Ginger <sobs heart out>, just because Ginger sad

(I accept that these may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they would be my Desert Island books)

Kveta Wed 20-Nov-13 12:27:16

AHard I was going to put Holmes in too, but we are only allowed 6 choices <shakes fist at Hully>

Kveta Wed 20-Nov-13 12:27:28

5 choices.


Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:31:04

5 choices sorts out the wheat and the sheep, innit.

AHardDaysWrite Wed 20-Nov-13 12:31:05

Kveta I've got a SH anthology so therefore they are one book so there Hully

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:32:01

Yy, anything between just two covers is fair game.

ShriekingGnawer Wed 20-Nov-13 12:34:06

I've changed my mind about all of my choices. This is too hard <goes back to procrastinating and eating a metre of Jaffa cakes>

AHardDaysWrite Wed 20-Nov-13 12:35:41

Forgot about All Quiet on the Western Front. Dammit. And Black Beauty. And A Tale of Two Cities. Don't like this game...

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:37:18

No cheating Shrieking, no posting a further five under the old changed-my-mind guise.

This is hardcore.

Kveta Wed 20-Nov-13 12:38:32

what are your choices Hully?

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:38:42


Everyone gets ONE second chance only.

So hone with care

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:39:08

I'm honing, Kveta, still honing.

Maryz Wed 20-Nov-13 12:39:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:40:32

<shoves Maryz in with the chaff and the goats>

SkullyAndBones Wed 20-Nov-13 12:41:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Wed 20-Nov-13 12:41:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dededum Wed 20-Nov-13 12:42:23

A fine balance - Robinton Mistry - beautiful complicated powerful
The Leopard - G. de lampard (sp) - if you want to understand power & politics
Barbara Kingsolver - The poisonwod bible - if you've ever been to Africa, evocative, sad, beautifully written
George Orwell - Animal Farm or 1984 - classics with depth
A day in the life of Ivan Devensoich (sp) - early 'misery' literature. So powerful

These jump out, I am sure I can do another 5!

Hullygully Wed 20-Nov-13 12:42:35

I am going to have to have your justifications, Skully

LESuffolk Wed 20-Nov-13 12:42:43

I can only speak from my perspective. My life would be infinitely the more impoverished without their lyrical, rich and magical language.

Swamplandia- to encourage the development of a major talent and learn about Florida Crackers-a largely unknown culture over here. Same applies to Janice Owens who wrote 'The Cracker Kitchen' too. A favourite cookbook/food memoir.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn- one of the clearest and most honest child characters. And I have read excerpts at two funerals so far and both bought the houses down so to speak. I have reread this countless times and can emote great chunks of it by heart.

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