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What are your 5 favourite books of all time?

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sarah00001 Mon 30-Nov-15 08:48:24

Hi, I haven't read a book for ages and really want to start getting into reading again. I'd love to know what your 5 favourite books are, those that you just can't put down! Thank you.

magimedi Mon 30-Nov-15 09:18:03

I'd find that very hard to do - they change over time.

I am not being thread police but if you go over to the Adult Fiction topic there are loads of recommendations & many of them by style of book.

The Cazalet Chronicles - Elizabeth Jane Howard are a great read & probably really good for getting back into books again.

FarticCircle Mon 30-Nov-15 09:23:02

1. A Death in The Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard.

I truly believe that nothing else written so far this century is worth reading. I don't recommend it to friends in case they don't like it and I have to downgrade them back to acquaintance.

2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
3. To Kill a Mocking Bird
4. Amongst Women by John McGahern
5. Bleak House by Dickens

Loads of others that I love, (Austen/Hardy/Thackeray) but these will always be there or there abouts.

SheHasAWildHeart Mon 30-Nov-15 09:24:07

Kartography - Kamila Shamsie
To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Hamlet - William Shakespeare

Oh, I have an MA in Literature so should probably have mentioned something more 'highbrow' but these are the books that no matter what mood I'm in I can pick up & read, and instantly feel comforted.

lurkingfromhome Mon 30-Nov-15 09:38:30

Impossible to give a top 5, really, as it constantly changes, but these are 5 favourites that I would always come back to:

Bad Blood - Lorna Sage
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Life: A User's Manual - Georges Perec
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

Stratter5 Mon 30-Nov-15 09:43:10

Pride & Prejudice
Jane Eyre
My Family & Other Animals (Geral Durrell)
Rivals (Jilly Cooper)

Preciousxbane Mon 30-Nov-15 09:52:20

Preciousbane, hence user name
Little Women
Year of Wonders
The Grapes of Wrath
A Cargo of Women

Sunnymeg Mon 30-Nov-15 10:35:33

The Ladies Paradise - Emille Zola (100 times better than the BBC series The Paradise).
Persuasion Jane Austen
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
The Bronze Horseman - Paulinna Simons
Remember Me - Sophie Kinsella (my had a c**p day, book and chocolate book).

Honorable mention to Cross stitch by Diana Gabaldon, but as it is first in a series of eight novels with more to come, it doesn't really count as a stand alone book anymore.

Thaisa Mon 30-Nov-15 10:50:35

As other people have said it isn't a fixed list but, as you're asking today, it would go:
Persuasion - Jane Austen
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Brother of the More Famous Jack - Barbara Trapido
Five Red Herrings - Dorothy L Sayers
Winter Solstice - Rosamunde Pilcher

And I know it's cheating because you asked for five I also always read The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Jenny Overton during December. I didn't include it because it's a children's book but I have loved it for years.

CharlieAustinsMagicHat Mon 30-Nov-15 10:50:38

To Kill A Mockingbird
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
The Secret Stranger - Sarah Walters
The Secret Friend - Donna Tartt

PantsOfGold Mon 30-Nov-15 10:55:13

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenger
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

BugritAndTidyup Mon 30-Nov-15 10:58:51

Jane Eyre
The Secret History
The Stand
Jurassic Park blush

Strongly recommend the 50 books in a year thread over on adult fiction btw. Read that and your tbr pile will soon be taller than you are.

RingDownRingUp Mon 30-Nov-15 11:02:33

Pride and Prejudice
Blind Assassin
Good Night Mister Tom
Anna Karenina

LauraChant Mon 30-Nov-15 11:03:44

My five favourite are not necessarily what I think are the five best books I have ever read...just the ones I keep going back to.

The Secret History (Donna Tartt)
Gaudy Nights (Dorothy L Sayers)
The Once and Future King (TH White)
The Children of Green Knowe (children's book but I love it)
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

And I will add The Changeover, a YA book, because that is where my user name comes from and I love it also.

LauraChant Mon 30-Nov-15 11:05:08

Oops that should be Gaudy Night not Nights

Baconyum Mon 30-Nov-15 11:10:13

Another who's favourites depend on mood/time of year

Pride and prejudice
Rachel's holiday

These 2 never change.

Before I go to sleep (don't let film put you off)
A is for alibi Sue Grafton (but you'll then need to read the rest)
A Christmas carol

LuciaInFurs Mon 30-Nov-15 11:11:16

This is was quite hard to do!

1. Hamlet
2. Wuthering Heights
3. Beloved (Toni Morrison) - This book almost broke me!
4. Frankenstein
5. Faustus (Christopher Marlowe)

Stratter5 Mon 30-Nov-15 11:13:51

Strongly recommend the 50 books in a year thread over on adult fiction btw. Read that and your tbr pile will soon be taller than you are.

It already is, I dare not.

sarah00001 Mon 30-Nov-15 12:02:11

Thanks everyone, I'll definitely have a look into these!

kesstrel Mon 30-Nov-15 12:26:26

LauraChant I love The Changeover too. smile

banff82 Mon 30-Nov-15 12:29:44

Pride and Prejudice
100 Years of Solitude
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Lord of the Rings (all 3)
Jurassic Park

With honourable mention to all the James Heriot books as they (and the TV series) inspired me to become a vet smile

kelda Mon 30-Nov-15 12:36:47

These are the books that have influenced my reading the most, in the order that I read them:

The Worst Witch, Jill Murphy
Golden Apples of the Sun, Ray Bradbury
Wyrd Sisters, Sir Terry Pratchett
Rachel's Holiday, Marian Keyes
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman.

shouldnthavesaid Mon 30-Nov-15 12:39:44

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
Tess of the D'Urbervilles , Hardy
The Colour Purple/Possessing the Secret of Joy - Alice Walker

Contemporary books would be -

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
Harold Fry (can't remember the author off hand, but it was one of the only modern books I've read to leave me sobbing)
Elizabeth is Missing - I'm an auxiliary nurse and the writer gave an incredible insight to the mind of a confused person
Vince and Joy - Lisa Jewell
Angela's Ashes

FanjoFandango Mon 30-Nov-15 12:51:17

A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
Othello - Shakespeare
Me before You - JoJo Moyes
The Green Mile - Stephen King
The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenger

banff82 Mon 30-Nov-15 12:52:46

Herriot even, autocorrect doesn't like his name apparently.

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