|Doing It - Melvin Burgess
Finally, A book
that realisticaly portrays the lives and loves of three teenage boys
all having problems regarding their favourite subject - SEX Both
hilarious and moving in equal measures. This is a great read for
young people. And a nice reminder to old folks just how hard being
young can be
|Be more chill - Ned Vizzini
of one teenagers quest for cool, with scenes not too dissimilar to
"American pie" I loved this book which is ideal for teenagers and
those of us who like to think we're still young! Word of warning
this is a little bit on the cheeky side and does contain some strong
|The Complete Gardener - Monty Don
If you buy
just one gardening book this year then this should be it. Mony Don
casts his expert eye over all aspects of gardening giving examples
from his own garden, including garden structure, flowers,
vegetables, herbs and fruit. His relaxed style makes this a
pleasurable read and should inspire even the most hardened townie to
don his wellies, pick up his spade and get out there.
|Gitanjali - Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore is as well-known and
revered in India as Winston Churchill is in Britain. Yet Tagore
remains an obscure figure in the western world, despite having as
profound an influence on Indian culture as Mahatma Gandhi. As a
young man Tagore came to Britain in 1913 with a transcript of
'Gitanjali' in the original Bengali. The great Irish poet W.B Yeats
helped him to translate it into English and its publication won
Tagore the Nobel Prize for Literature. Passages from 'Gitanjali'
have been used as national anthems for Bangladesh and India, and to
this day Indian school children sing its verses as morning hymns. A
literary and historic masterpiece.
|The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle -
novel that is impossible to categorise. Murakami's post-modern epic
begins with a weird telephone call to a house-bound drifter who
spends his time looking around the neighbourhood for his wife's
missing cat. These two mundane events escalate into a dark and
surreal adventure of tragedy and absurdity. With a host of
enthralling characters mixed into a melting-pot of metaphysics,
social satire and comic fiction, 'The Wind-Up' is one of the
strangest and most powerful novels of the last decade.
|The Interpreter of Maladies -
Lahiri's debut collection of short stories won her the Pulitzer
Prize for Literature in 2000 at the age of 27 and propelled her to
international acclaim. These nine short stories ache with quiet
solitude as they gently explore the lives of Indians in exile.
Sometimes a great picture or painting looks best when you take a
step back - it is when you put this book down after a reading that
Lahiri's genius pours into your senses. A seminal portrayal of
|Playing The Moldovans at Tennis -
is the second of Tony's 3 books and his best. While watching England
play Molova at Wembley Tony bets his mate, fellow comedian Arthur
Smith, that he can beat each of the Moldovan team at tennis. What
follows is a hilarious journey to win the bet, with our intrepid
sportsman bravely setting of to Moldova to deal with the Moldovan
underworld, gypsies, near kidnap and chronic power shortages. This
book is just as funny as his first, Round Ireland with a Fridge, but
with the insight into the harsh existance of the Moldovans is
ultimately more satisfying. Will Tony complete his challenge and
make Arthur sing Moldovan national anthem naked in Balham High
Street or will he 'entertain' the crowd?
|Midnight's Children - Salman
Leading the reader into a fascinating and
everchanging whirlwind of ideas, Midnight's Children is a tale of
the birth, growing up and fate of one boy at the time of the
re-birth of India as an independent nation. Fraught with the
mysticism and political upheaval of the time, Saleem Sinai's life is
both sensational and melancholic. Rushdie's enthralling work, named
the Booker of Bookers in 1993, is as much a personal story as it is
an account of the confusion, turmoil and euphoria of the new nations
of India and Pakistan. A modern, enduring masterpiece to be read by
|Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
A classic tale of
love and jealousy as a naive young bride fights to deal with the
ultimate 'other woman'. Du Maurier slowly builds up the pressure on
our heroine until finally the truth about the dark secret that
haunts Manderley is found. From there the book hurtles towards its
climax. Read and enjoy!!
|Roy Keane: The Autobiography - Roy
Whenever I think of
my beloved Manchester United, I find myself trembling with
anticipation. I have pictures of Keano all over my room. In this age
of mediocrity where men are committed to nought but themselves,
Keane stands out as a beacon of righteousness and courage, always
the last man standing. It is my passion to follow this man and his
team. I love it. The mighty reds. I love it. Keane's battle torn
torso. I love it. United on the road to Cardiff with Liverpool
drifting down the Mersey. It is this that I love.
|Being Jordan - Katie Price
finished it already - it's that good! A truly wonderful insight into
the fascinating world of this, the epitome of the modern woman. Even
I, a humble bookseller, could relate to the traumatic experiences of
this totally down-to-earth celebrity mother. Anyone who writes an
opening line thus; "I've been called a slapper, a tart, a man-eater"
deserves a literary medal. Lovely stuff!
|The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia
book that is high on suspense. Highsmith is a master at keeping the
reader on the edge of their seat. There is always a sinister air of
tension emanating from the text which, combined with Highsmith's in
depth psychological content, produces an effect that is not short of
thrilling. Far better than the film.
|Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller
teacher is exposed for having an affair with one of her students. As
she is vilified by the media, public and family, she comes to rely
on Barbara Covett, a fellow teacher and friend. Heller's chronicle
of the breakdown of relationships is both astute and severe. The
result is a compelling, often harrowing, read.
|Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
This is a refreshingly different literary triumph. It
is a satire on contemporary societal obsessions which follows a
troubled 15 year old on the run from small town authorities after a
gun massacre at his school left his fellow students dead. The style
is irreverent, it is funny, acutely scathing and, ultimately, an
uplifting celebration of individuality in the face of
|The Northern Lights - Phillip
I really wanted to dislike this book as I found
myself constantly being told how amazing it was. And actually, it
is. The epic quest of Lyra, and later Will, never loses the sense of
wonder that Pullman's world creates right from the start; and the
enormity of the task that faces them adds to the granduer of what is
a thoroughly engrossing and utterly recommended read. So, much as it
pains me to say, Jamie was right....
|The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Now I would be the first to admit that thrillers are
not normally my cup of tea but The Da Vinci Code is definately the
exception. Part thriller, part religious conspiracy, Mr Browns
second novel featuring Symbologist and code expert Robert Langdon is
"unputdownable" and you will find yourself doing little else until
you finish this gem of a read.
|The Curious Incident of the Dog at
Night-Time - Mark Haddon
humorous yet deeply moving, Haddon's first person account of a
teenager with asperger's syndrome is a delightful read. Christopher,
in a quest that begins looking for the killer of a neighbour's dog,
finds himself encountering the outside world alone for the first
time in his life. Through Haddon's vivid characterisation and sense
of empathy, the reader feels like an impotent guardian angel as we
are taken through Christopher's perilous journey. At the end, we
feel we have spent the last few weeks in the company of a
wonderfully unique person who has revealed the universe to us in a
new light. Excellently written and a brilliant read.
|The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
This astonishing author provides an amazing glimpse
into a boy's quest for riches, knowledge and his own destiny. He
beautifully depicts a journey in which he proves that the beauty of
life is in the striving rather than final achievements. Friendship,
wisdom and love come together in this truely spiritual book.
|Grave Secrets - kathy Reichs
wonderfully gripping anthropological forensic investigation set in
South America, Reichs has an astounding ability and knowledge which
makes you feel part of the crime scene, following Tempe Brennan on
her dangerous exploration through the Guatamalan underworld.
|I am Legend - Richard Matheson
This time honoured classic sees vampirism in a
different light, Robert Neville is on a solitary mission(being the
last living man on Earth) to cleanse the world of 'disease'. A
truely gripping must read!
|Scepticism Inc. - Bo Fowler
simply the weirdest and most entertaining book I have read in years.
'Scepticism Inc.' is a scathing satire on organised religion as seen
through the eyes of a shopping trolley! And is for anyone keen to
read a truly original piece of work which when stripped of its
surreal content has a strikingly simple and poignant message. You
need to read to believe!!
|English Passengers - Matthew
deserved winner of the 2002 Whitbread book of the year, this is an
epic tale of two parallel stories; One of three eccentric Englishmen
who set out to find the garden of Eden, the other of a Tasmanian
Aborigine struggling to overcome the English invaders. A gripping
|The Pursuit of Happiness - D
story is about friendship, love, loyalty, betrayal revenge and
forgiveness, which all centres around one couple meeting in New
York, 1945. Kennedy takes the reader on an emotional journey that is
gripping, in an exciting historical era. You will not want this book
to end. It is fantastic.
|The Hitch Hiter's Guide to the
Galaxy - Douglas Adams
This hilarious science fiction story following the
search of Arthur Dent for a cup of tea, a bisuit and a planet to
call home, is surely one of the funniest books ever written.
|The Little White Horse - Elizabeth
beautiful cvvalleyy of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the
Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. Whne Maria
Merryweather visits Moonacre she finds herself involved in an
ancient feud and is determined to restore peace and happiness to the
|Spies - Michael Frayn
A beautifully written yet understated account of the
childhood experience of a boy during World War II. Told from the
boy's perspective, Frayn superbly conveys both the natural
curiousity and insecurity we all felt as children. Rapturously
praised on publication and winner of the Whitbread award in 2002,
'Spies' will appeal to adults and older children alike.
|The Moon and Sixpence - W Somerset
stockbroker Charles Strickland leaves his wife and young children.
All that is known is that he has gone to Paris, is willing to
forsake all material possessions, had taken a few art lessons before
leaving and was not very good. Despite this, he has set himself up
as an artist. The narrator is a writer commissioned by the estranged
wife to find her perfidious husband and to talk some sense into him.
What follows is a series of meetings between the two men taking
place thoughout the world. Strickland is an obstinate, often
outrageous man, whose cold eccentricities of character provide
fascinating material for this candid investigation of relationships
and the human condition. A perfect tale of the conflicts between
reason and obsession, duty and love.
|The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
Two orphans are on the run from their ghastly Aunt
and Uncle. Lost in the Labyrinth of Venetian Streets, the orphans
encounter the mysterious Thief Lord who leads them into a perilous
adventure of escapes, double-crosses and a magic treasure than can
spin time on its head. Already hailed as a modern children's
classic, the Thief Lord is a hilarious and delightful tale for
|Perfume - Patrick Suskind
'Perfume' is a fascinating exploration which
chronicles the journey of Grenouille's self discovery. He has been
blessed with an extraordinarily heightened sense of smell, but this
gift becomes a curse. We are taken along Grenouille's isolated
journey of obsession and simultaneously the reader becomes
increasingly aware of scents. This is an enthralling read with a
slightly odd yet highly enjoyable plot. BBC's Big Read.
|The Time Machine - H G Wells
Our obsession with transcending time remains largely
unchanged since the writing of this masterpiece in 1895. Far in
London's future the 'time traveller' experiences the plateau of
human race perfection and the true horror this achieves. A beautiful
depiction from the end of time.
|Love all the people - Bill Hicks
these people with such low self-esteem they need a war to feel
better about themselves? I saw them on the news, waving their flags.
Could I reccomend instead of a war to feel better about yourself,
perhaps... sit ups? Maybe slice of fruit cake A walk around the
block at dusk? I always finds that cheers me up..." Since his
untimely death in 1994 comedian Bill Hicks has gained mythological
status in the world of stand up. Now for the first time a collection
of his routines and interviews have been compiled in one hysterical
and devestatingly funny volume. His sharpe and sometimes
controversial observations earned him much noteriety in the U.S.A.
So obviously he was embraced as something of a hero in this country!
This is the first book in a long time that had me continuously
laughing out loud. I would recommend this to anyone who's not afraid
to see the truth and laugh in its face. Mr Hicks - This reader