Your Top 5 essential reads!

I don't get to read much anymore due to having two very young children - but have decided I am going to try and get back into it! Can you all recommend your top 5 best reads to get me started! I started 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' last night and am quite enjoying it! I am going to read the Lovely Bones after this as I have heard wonderful things... after that I'm stuck hehe...any advice?

Thanks in advance, Lyn x :\)


  • starra29starra29 Posts: 326
    A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    The Red Tent by Anita Diament

    The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

    The Fig Eater by Jody Shields

    and anything by James Lee Burke (crime ones set in Deep South US).

    I want to be curled up with a book now! x
  • Emily508ukEmily508uk Posts: 273
    1. The time travellers wife Audrey Niffenegger

    2. The House at Riverton Kate Morton

    3. Dead Simple Peter James

    4. Anything by James Patterson

    5. Shantram Gregory David Roberts

    Loved all these!! x
  • sherd3sherd3 Posts: 303
    1. Bookends by Jane Green (Actually anything by her)

    2. PS. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern - will have you in tears!

    3. Anything by Martina Cole for East End Underworld

    4. Dead Sexy by Kathy Lette - hilarious!

    5. About a boy (Can't remember the author, prefered it to the film)

    Oh! and 'a child called it' and the sequels are extremely moving.

  • lou66lou66 Posts: 159
    1. Bridget Jones' diary (and the 2nd one, never fails 2 crack me up!)

    2. Keeping Faith by Jodi Piccoult

    3. The Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella

    4. Anything by Karin Slaughter (crime books)

    5. Anything by Tess Gerritsen (crime books)

    Hope these help! xxx
  • LowesyukLowesyuk Posts: 389
    1. Anything by Marian Keyes - love her and get her newsletter emailed to me every month!

    2. Memoirs of a Geisha - can't remember who it's by but I loved it.

    3. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

    4. Anything by Judy Astley

    5. Agree with lully66 - anything by Karin Slaughter

    Going to the library after work to change my books and am actually excited as I am every time I change my books - what a saddo image

  • MissVWMissVW Posts: 7,419
    1. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

    2. The five people you meet in heaven - Mitch Albom

    3. Yes Man - Danny Wallace

    4. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder

    5. On the Road - Jack Kerouac

    Agree with starra about Atwood and Fitzgerald, both great books.
  • Thanks everyone for all the ideas - I'm going to be busy x
  • chabaukchabauk Posts: 115
    1. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon

    2. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

    3. Lady Chatterley's Lover

    4. Do Not Pass Go by Tim Moore

    5. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  • mandysmilemandysmile Posts: 432
    I can't really pick a true top five, because I don't think I can pick just five favorites out of everything that I've read, but some things that come to mind right now, in no particular order, are:

    Anything by Fannie Flagg (Welcome to the World, Baby Girl; Standing in a Rainbow; Can't Wait to Get to Heaven)

    Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books (Angel's and Deamons; The DaVinci Code)

    The Red Tent

    Wuthering Heights

    The Book Thief
  • Racheybabes22Racheybabes22 Posts: 1,564
    Oh tough question. What about top 5 authors?

    1. Marion Keyes

    2. James Patterson

    3. Sophie Kinsella

    4. Maeve Binchy

    5.Jodi Picoult

    can i add more! Lol!

    Jackie Collins, Meg Cabot and Jodi Piccoult.

    I love all these authors books! Have fun! xxx
  • Caz141Caz141 Posts: 136
    The Girls - Lori Lansen

    The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

    Since I Don't Have You - Louise Candlish

    Any Babylon book - Imogen Edwards-Jones

    Bridget Jones - Helen Fielding

  • gindigindi Posts: 1,369
    The Time Traveller's Wife

    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - Winifred Watson

    Possession - AS Byatt

    The Priory - Dorothy Whipple

    Anything by Gregory Maguire (he wrote Wicked, the book the musical is based on).

    Has anyone come across Persephone Books? I discovered them about 6 years ago; Perspehone is an independent book publisher that tends to re-publish books that were written by or for women, and have been out of print for a while (Miss Pettigrew and The Priory) are two of theirs. They now only bring out four new books a year I think (used to be 8) and I have all 75! They are like a lucky dip where every one is a great prize... really has introduced me to some wonderful authors and brilliant insights into life between or during the wars. Miss Pettigrew is coming out as a movie later this year with Frances McDormand and Amy Adams and has had rave reviews in the States.

    No connection, just a very satisfied customer...
  • rosybloomrosybloom Posts: 170
    I agree with jadebryan...P.S. I love you is a fantastic read (Cecilia Ahern). I lay o the beach with my belly jutterin from laughing so much then next minute wipin tears away as so moving! My fella thought I was bonkers!!! xx
  • ok, in no particular order,

    The shopoholic books by Sophie Kinsella...Becky Bloomwood/Brandon is ME!!!

    All of Cecelia Ahern's books, PS I love you is so lovely (don't get me started on that dreadful movie though!)

    Harry Potter
  • Black-RoseBlack-Rose Posts: 4,305
    Anything by Rosamund Pilcher, Jilly Cooper, Maeve Binchy, Barbara Taylor Bradford.

  • 1 The Song of Albion Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead

    2 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

    3 Any Rebus novel that Ian Rankin has written

    4 A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle

    5 The Sliver Chair by C S Lewis
  • gemmapaynegemmapayne Posts: 908
    1. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith (beautiful book)

    2. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier (gripping from the first page)

    3. Memoirs of a Geisha

    4. Saturday - Ian McEwan

    5. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

    If you're into heavier stuff, I also love the following:

    1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

    2. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

    3. Arthur and George - Julian Barnes

    4. The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides

    5. Running with Scissors - Augusten Burroughs

    If you're fancying something a bit quirkier I'd suggest anything by Augusten Burroughs. Selevision is fab!

    Sorry for the extended list! I love to read (English teacher, lol!).

    Happy reading!

  • Some really great books on here... I spend most of my life reading as I am an english student, so it is really tricky to think of my all time five favourites! Here are some I really loved:

    1) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - it is just a beautiful book through and through - very very sad though, so be warned!

    2) Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer - a wonderful book about a young man trying to discover his family's history during the Holocaust. Sounds quite heavy but is incredibly funny in places and beautifully sad in others, everyone should read this book.

    3) The Princess Bride by William Goldman - makes me laugh more than any other book ever.

    4) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - lots of short stories, it is fascinating spotting the links between them.

    5) Paradise Lost by John Milton - just because it is wonderful poetry.
  • SnowBugsSnowBugs Posts: 628
    Hello everyone.. I didn't realise there was a book club on here!

    My top five would be:

    - Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

    - Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    - Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    - The Lovely Bones by Alice Zebold

    - The Portable Door by Tom Holt (Hilarious book!)

    - And can I have Khaled's Thousand Splendid Suns?

    This top five is forever changing though.. these are just the most memorable to me. I'd really recommend the Mars series. Very political and if you like sci-fi - very interesting.

  • skhaskinsskhaskins Posts: 476
    Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides

    On Love, Alain de Botton

    Short Stories, Truman Capote

    Chloe, Freya North

    Sam's Letters to Jennifer, James Patterson
  • liamaoifeliamaoife Posts: 63
    God I love questions like these,

    first of special mention to nearly all books mentioned so far but in particular

    A hand maidens tale (pretty much all of M Attwood really

    The Red Tent (and if you like that try The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn)

    Time travellers wife

    The book thief

    Sophie's choice

    Sorry, lent out my copies and can't remember the authors

    So my top 5 at the moment

    1 To kill a mocking bird Harper Lee

    2 A suitable boy Vickram Seth

    3 Me talk pretty someday David Sedaris

    4 Middlesex J Eugenides

    5 Can't make my mind up!
  • CurlyB2BCurlyB2B Posts: 1,016
    Anything by

    1) Marian Keyes

    2) Sheila O Flanagan

    3) Jodi Picoult

    4) Wendy Holden

    5) The Da Vinci Code (not seen the film but couldnt put the book down!)

  • Jan98765Jan98765 Posts: 631
    Ohh love this thread for the good ideas. Try

    Savages - Shirley Conran - really old but absolutely brilliant

    Any Jackie Collins

    Jane Eyre - lovely

  • dendenukdendenuk Posts: 77
    A Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

    Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

    Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruis Zafon

    The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak

    Random Acts of Heroic Love - Danny Scheinmann

    Just finished the last one, was really crying at the end!
  • skinnyhipsskinnyhips Posts: 1,321
    The five people you meet in heaven-mitch albom

    tuesdays with morrie-mitch albom

    for one more day-mitch albom...if youve never read one of his books , youve never lived!

    dear charlie- reg thompson ( father of the girl who was killed crossing train line in 2006.

    lovely bones
  • lucy_lu83lucy_lu83 Posts: 2,484
    1. Time Travellers Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)

    2. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

    3. Marley and Me (John Grogan)

    4. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

    5. A thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
  • 1. I capture the castle - Dodie Smith

    2. Behind the scenes at the museum - Kate Atkinson

    3. Possesseion - AS Byatt

    4. House of spirits - Isabelle Allende

    5. Pride and Predjudice

    There are loads more and i'm sure it would be different if i answered on a different day!
  • BambagirlBambagirl Posts: 7,506
    People's tastes in literature vary so greatly so I'd just give you this one piece of advice (actually, it's 2 pieces of advice!!)

    1) Join your local library.

    2) When you get there, head straight for the "recently returned" section - it'll either be a shelf or a trolley - and quickly browse through what is there. There'll be a few bits of everything, non-fiction as well as fiction. You're sure to find something to suit you!

    Bambagirl x
  • Okay, I LOVE a good yarn, and athough I find it difficult, my five would be:

    Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follet

    This is my all time favourite book EVER! - I have read most his others and do not rate them! This book is awesome.

    Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon

    This book gave me the most vivid dreams, I dreamt I was Jamie Frasers wife! The whole series is great!

    The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry

    Anything by Mr Fry is worth a read. A legend.

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    Rated by everyone who reads it I think

    Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

    It took me a few attempts to get in to this....

    Oooh, so many more should be added here such as His Dark Materials - a trilogy by Philip Pullman
  • mpikey30mpikey30 Posts: 1,149
    So many but off the top of my head:

    The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood

    Pet Cematary - Stephen King

    On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan

    Northern Lights - Philip Pulman

    Red Dog - Louis de Bernieres
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