Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

The topic this week is - 

 Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

1. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Quite simply a marvellous, chilling psychological thriller debut which I have recommended countless times to many readers, none of whom, as far as I know, have been at all disappointed.

2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
One of the few novels I've read more than once, a clever and gripping tale of murder and obsession.

3. The Outcast by Sadie Jones
One of the best debut novels I've ever read, a personal favourite, I read it in a weekend and couldn't stop thinking about it, beautifully written, very moving and will continue to happily recommend it to others. Brilliant.

4. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
I've bought this one as a gift for several friends to get them started on this author and on the Jackson Brodie series, and also because it is set in Cambridge which appeals. 

5. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
I was so impressed by the way searing emotions and damaged relationships are captured in this novel. A wonderful writer. The film version is good in and of itself, but it misses so much of what the book offers, so please do read it.

6. Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom
I thought this was a really good read, I was intrigued by the Spanish Civil War aspects and gripped by the mystery, and I find myself recommending it fairly regularly. 

7. The Observations by Jane Harris
Another book that I adored when I read it and would recommend as a really entertaining and well written historical novel with a very engaging spirited heroine for a lead character.

8. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
I read the Thursday Next series from the early days when they first came out and loved the clever inclusion of so many literary references and witty ideas that Fforde comes up with. A good read for well read book lovers. I'd recommend the series in general but this is the first one so a good place to start!

9. Untying the Knot by Linda Gillard
This was one of my first reads on my Kindle, and it's an atmospheric and very moving story of a couple who seemingly can't survive with each other, but can't be apart either, with the lead male character suffering from PTSD. I would, and indeed do, recommend all the novels by this author that I've read so far, but if I had to pick one just now, it would be this one. 

10. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Some readers love his books, others don't get on with them at all. I'm firmly in the first camp, and this is my favourite of his novels. A brilliant character study of a man and his treatment of those closest to him. Yes it's bleak and dark and cruel, and I love it.

A word on the covers - I've used the image of the covers of the editions I own and read as far as possible here. Some books have had so any versions of the covers, but sometimes I find that part of the memory of the novel for me is attached to the particular cover too, if that makes sense.

Which book or books or authors do you find yourself recommending to someone else to read most often?


  1. When I see a list with books on it that I have read and recommended, like this one of yours, I immediately want to go to Amazon and request everything on the list I haven't read!

    Here's my list of Top Ten Books I Recommend!

  2. Thank you so much, Lindsay, for including UNTYING THE KNOT in such fabulous company. I feel very honoured! Magnus would be very chuffed to know his wee story made such an impact on you. ;-)

  3. Great list, Lindsay - thank you. And a wonderful blog.

  4. Though I love C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books (have you read any of them? If not you must) I haven't getting round to ordering a copy of Winter in Madrid yet.

  5. Awesome picks! The Secret History made my list, too!

    My TTT

    Eva @ All Books Considered

  6. I have 5 of these on my TBR shelves and 1 (Linda Gillard) on Kindle, must get around to reading them all. Thanks for the list, Lindsay

  7. I loved The Outcast - very different, I thought, and very thought provoking : )

  8. Wow, great top ten! If it had been top 20 books to recommend then I would have included Jasper Fforde, Thomas Hardy and Kate Atkinson! Good to see The Secret History on so many people's lists too :)

    My Top 10

  9. I can't believe I'm Spanish and I still haven't read Winter in Madrid!! :)
    I have to do something about that!

    I love this kind of lists full of recommedations!

  10. You've convinced me to add Untying the Knot to my wish list, and I've also added Winter in Madrid. Thanks for the recommendations!


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