What do we read?

This is asking the blindingly obvious after Catharine's idea about a group and the discussion that followed. It also follows other discussions recently about Pride and Prejudice and Sons and Lovers. It is a bit Facebook listlike but I am curious because of one simple thing. We know each other 'virtually'. I cannot do as I do so often; walk over to your bookshelves and have a look at what you have. It is probably nosy, but I like to know people a bit better and books are one of the few clues we ever show each other. Sadly that may pass as more people only have e-books (sigh, sigh). Anyway, here I go asking the blindingly obvious questions.

Which are people's favourite books? Perhaps a top five or ten, as you wish. Then, which are your favourite genres? The main ones really. Do any of you prefer non-fiction of any kind to fiction? So many people like travelogues, science, cookery and so on that it cannot be overlooked. Perhaps people like a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.

I think it would certainly make it easier for me not to make a ridiculous choice of reading for that group by getting an idea of what the range of reading may be. I shall only say that I like both fiction and non-fiction more or less equally.

No. I meant to when I heard it had come out and then I forgot. Glad you reminded me. Thanks.

In no particular order, books that have touched me are:

  • Trainspotting - Irving Welsh
  • The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  • Dr Faustus - Christopher Marlowe
  • The Rebus series - Ian Rankin
  • The Insurrection Trilogy (current and only two out of the three published yet) - Robyn Young
  • From Red to Black - Alex Dryden
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
  • Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  • All the President's Men - Woodward and Bernstein

Yes, I have Kate Atkinson, Nick Hornby and Alexander McCall Smith on the shelves too.

Like!! Big like Cate. Got a fair few of lots of those authors too. Don't know Marina Lewycka at all though.

Not in order except that the first comes first and I have read and reread it more than any other book

Cannery Row John Steinbeck

Chasing the Monsoon Alexander Frater

Berlin Alexanderplatz Alfred Döblin

The Plague Albert Camus

Dubliners James Joyce

The Condition of the Working Class in England Friedrich Engels

Puckoon Spike Milligan

The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett

The Third Man Graham Greene

European Peasant Cookery Elisabeth Luard

I read crime novels with great pleasure, also cookery books and travelogues as though novels and an awful lot of anthropological texts.

I don't have favourite books really as I can't remember them sufficiently to compare. I do remember loving 'A Hundred Years of Solitude' but no idea why, and 'The Count of Monte Cristo' because it was ripping yarn.

My reading is guided by what comes up on the free Kindle listing on Amazon. I've read masses of books I'd never have found thanks to the daily listings. I mainly like thrillers and literary fiction.

I don't buy paper books because a) I've no more room on my bookselves, and b) I would bankrupt myself the quantity I read.

Not in any particular order - ten books I've enjoyed recently:

Blackberry Wine Joanne Harris

A Thousand Splended Suns Khaled Hosseini

The Pilot's Wife Anita Shreve

The Vanishing Cyclist Chris Parker

Notes from an Exhibition Patrick Gale

The Olive Farm Carol Drinkwater

The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

We Need to Talk about Kevin Lionel Shriver

Man and Boy Tony Parsons

The Best a Man Can Get John O'Farrell

I also read cookery books as if they were novels and have hundreds on my many bookshelves. As you can see I'm not a reader of very deep literature, but I do read all the time.