Seeing as I am running out of time, I fall short of the required ten, but like Rachel, I will plead the excuse that many of them are part of a series so I’ve made the cut in numbers!
My list, in no particular order:
I read this book in my teens and loved it, but my love for it is also heavily influenced by the TV serial version of it. No, not the Colin Firth one, but this one. Blasphemy, I know, but I saw this one first and thought all the actors suited their roles perfectly! I loved Elizabeth Garvie’s portrayal of Elizabeth Bennett, and always picture her face when reading the book.
This is one of the lesser known series by the great man. How can one resist a book that starts like this?
PROFESSOR DR MORITZ-MARIA VON IGELFELD often reflected on how fortunate he was to be exactly who he was, and nobody else. When one paused to think of who one might have been had the accident of birth not happened precisely as it did, then, well, one could be quite frankly appalled. Take his colleague Professor Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer, for instance. Firstly, there was the name: to be called Detlev was a misfortune, but to add that ridiculous Mozartian pretension to it, and then to culminate in Unterholzer was to gild a turnip.
This is the first book I read by this author, and one of the most brilliant ever. The plot: a British MP legalizes drugs. Chaos follows. One of these days I must simply quit whining about why Ben Elton doesn’t have a fan club and create my own.
There are tonnes of books out there about the ton by Georgette Heyer, and most of them feature balls, luxurious clothes, intrigue and adventure. The Unknown Ajax has none of that. A quiet family drama, but brilliant and biting nevertheless.
He is the brilliant anti-hero, greedy and determined to regain his family’s name and fortune. Take a look at his skills of deduction. Not bad for a 12-year-old:
A waiter scurried to their table.
“More tea, sirs?” he asked, head bobbing furiously.
Artemis sighed. “Spare me the theatrics, and sit down.”
The waiter turned instinctively to Butler, who was after all, the adult.
“But, sir, I am the waiter.”
Artemis tapped the table for attention.
“You are wearing handmade loafers, a silk shirt, and three gold signet rings. Your English has a tinge of Oxford about it, and your nails have the soft sheen of the recently manicured. You are not a waiter. You are our contact Nguyen Xuan, and you have adopted this pathetic disguise to discreetly check for weaponry.”
Do I really need to put spoilers here? I picked up Harry Potter only after Goblet of Fire was out. I ignored it for several years clinging to my belief that the whole thing was a mere fad that would die a natural death. Slightly off the mark, wasn’t I?
A young neighbour generously loaned me his tattered copies of the books, which I read well into the wee hours of the morning. The next few years saw me queued up on day one for the remainder of the books. I love Harry, I love JK.
A book about books and fiction and featuring a literary detective called Thursday Next? This one’s a gem for all readers. The most imaginative series I’ve read, and I believe his latest, Shades of Grey, is even better.
Feel free to name your favourites as well!