Best books ever

Best Books Ever – according to Jeremy Taylor

It is amazingly difficult to choose just ten books as the best I’ve ever read. No room for Ann Tyler, Alex Hayley, Stephen Fry, Bernhard Schlink, Doris Lessing, Isabelle Allende, John Steinbeck… but here they are: My top ten books. For more information about the books, click on the links on the left.

10

Timothy Mo – Sour Sweet I read this book about twenty years ago and was impressed with the humour and the sensitivity in the book. This is my favourite of Timothy Mo’s work – in fact another of his titles appears in my worst ever books list.

9

William Boyd – New Confessions I have read most of William Boyd’s books and enjoyed most of them. New Confessions is a real rollercoaster of a book and although it is a long book, I read it in a couple of days.

8

Nick Hornby – About a Boy I’m sure that many people have seen Hugh Grant in the film version though, as always, the book is better. I am a big fan of Nick Hornby and if you’ve already read About a Boy, you may like to read Slam.

7

Bill Bryson – Notes from a Small Island There have been plenty of books about Britain – in fact one of them appears in my worst books ever list – but Notes from a Small Island is very witty, clever, and written with great affection. Make sure you read it rather than getting the audiobook read by the author. Bill Bryson has a frighteningly dull voice.

6

John O’Farrell – The Best a Man can Get. When I started reading this book I didn’t like it at all. However it dragged me in and I was gripped to the end. If you’ve already read this one, have a look at This is Your Life or May Contain Nuts. Oh, you’ve read those as well? Er…

5

A.M.Homes – This Book will Save your Life The book has a very cheesy, but very striking cover but the story inside is delightful. Has A.M.Homes shot herself in the foot regarding a film adaptation? Or will it be changed to This Film will Change your Life?

4

Margaret Atwood – Cat’s Eye I’m a big fan of Margaret Atwood and this one is, IMHO, her best by far. A gripping tale that is horrible and very believable and unputdownable.

3

Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Christopher Boone is 15 and suffers from a kind of autism. His story is brilliant told and within a couple of pages you are bound up in Christopher’s world and desperately want him to do well.

2

George Orwell – Keep the Aspidistra Flying I have read almost everything by Orwell and enjoyed it all (except Road to Wigan Pier). While 1984 and Animal Farm are his most popular novels, Keep the Aspidistra Flying is my favourite. Orwell is not famous for his humour but KTAF is wickedly funny and desperately tragic at the same time.

1

Willy Russell – The Wrong Boy I’ve no idea why Willy Russell has only written one novel but this is it, and it is brilliant. My dad recommended the book to me on the strength of one character who swears a lot when he isn’t supposed to. Yes, there’s plenty of swearing but there is so much more. The characterisation is so strong that you will probably finish the novel in a couple of days.

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Jeremy Taylor is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk