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Showing 1-13 of top 13 Results.

The Portrait of a Lady
(Paperback)
Henry James; Philip Horne
Hard to choose between this and one of the last, great novels, but The Portrait of a Lady shows James in all his subtle mastery.

John Banville - 18/06/2012
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There Was a Country: A Personal...
(Paperback)
Chinua Achebe
 
Chinua Achebe died recently. He was by a long way Africa’s finest novelist, and a substantial figure in Nigeria. This book is his last, his account of the Biafran war, when his people, the Igbo, suffered terribly. It is also a fascinating account of his upbringing and literary education.

Justin Cartwright - 03/09/2013
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The Buddha of Suburbia
(Paperback)
Hanif Kureishi
Had to re-read this for work and was surprised by how fresh it still felt. It was the first book I came across that made me think that the British Asian experience was perhaps worth writing about, and it has dated well. Think Kureishi was about ten years ahead of everyone else when it came to the themes of multiculturalism and identity

Sathnam Sanghera - 26/09/2013
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of...
(Paperback)
J. K. Rowling
For me, this is the book where the Harry Potter series really took flight. There’s a confidence at work here that lifts the story, which is far darker and more ambitious than in the first two books in the series. The characters are familiar by now, and Rowling puts them through the emotional ringer as she deftly deals with time travel, escaped prisoners and the history of the terrible events at the heart of her story. It’s a beautiful novel that stands alone while also setting up the rest of the series, and a huge achievement.

Will Hill - 15/03/2012
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The Hairy Bikers' Perfect Pies: The...
(Hardback)
Hairy Bikers; Dave Myers; Si King
This would be my modern choice; I watch them on TV, primarily because of their pies. Si and Dave are so keen on good grub, my old Mum would have adopted them. (Once she had cut their hair.)

Lindsey Davis - 20/03/2012
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A People's History of London
(Paperback)
John Rees; Lindsey German
 
Does what it says on the tin: a look at the history of the people of London. It’s wonderful to recall the radical past of such staid tourist spots as St Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. Levellers and lollards, rioters and rebels, dockers and match girls…. An irrepressible book about an irrepressible community.

Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012
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Pride and Prejudice
(Paperback)
Jane Austen
 
I don't really need to say any more, do I?

Richard Madeley - 07/06/2013
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Out of Sheer Rage: In the Shadow of ...
(Paperback)
Geoff Dyer; Maggie O'Farrell
Indulge the procrastinator in you by putting off whatever you should be doing in favor of reading this book about not writing a book.

Maya Jasanoff - 29/05/2012
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Dirty Snow
(Paperback)
Georges Simenon; Marc Romano; Louise...
One of the darkest of what Simenon called his romans durs, his ‘hard novels’. Set in Belgium during the war, with a cast of petty thieves and collaborators. Read it and shiver.

John Banville - 18/06/2012
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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
(Paperback)
Arthur Conan Doyle
 
Holmes is brilliant, and these stories are a perfect introduction to the famous detective. Look out especially for ‘The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle’, which features a Christmas goose that has unfortunately eaten an extremely large sapphire . . .

Robin Stevens - 05/06/2014
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Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius...
(Paperback)
David Winner
 
The word ‘classic’ tends to get pinned too easily on too many titles. But I regard it as a justifiable description in regard to Football Against the Enemy and Brilliant Orange. I can’t put it any more highly than this. I wish I’d written both of them. I put the books together not only because each is intelligently and finely written, but also because the authors are first rate and conscientious reporters. They demonstrate how football spills into and impacts on politics and also social, cultural and national identity. The best books about sport aren’t only about sport. Here’s the proof.

Duncan Hamilton - 11/09/2013
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Running in the Family
(Paperback)
Michael Ondaatje
 
A sparkling memoir of the author’s return to the Sri Lanka of his youth. With gorgeous prose, Ondaatje explores the impossibility of regaining the past, and the wistful satisfaction one can take in thus reinventing it. A book I keep rereading.

Teju Cole - 12/09/2012
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The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning...
(Paperback)
Bruno Bettelheim
 
If you have young children and think that fairy tales have nothing to teach them in today’s world, read this. Read it even if you don’t have kids. It’s about the vital importance of stories in all of our lives.

Moira Young - 09/08/2012
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