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How to be Well Read A Guide to 567 Essential Novels by John Sutherland

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If you don’t know what to read, don’t know what you should have read or are seeking some inspiration for your next reading foray, here is a good place to start. John Sutherland includes some of the classics together with a choice of modern literature and those 61 guilty pleasures mentioned in the title. A well-rounded selection of books to inspire and entertain.

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How to be Well Read A Guide to 567 Essential Novels by John Sutherland

His taste is impressively catholic: an appreciation of The Ambassadors is immediately followed by a consideration of American Psycho. War and Peace, Heat and Dust and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all make an appearance. There are imposing Victorian novels, entertaining contemporary thrillers and everything in between, from spy novels to romance. In each case a sense of the flavour of the novel is brilliantly evoked and a compelling case made for why it should be a candidate for the bookshelf or bedside table. The end result is both a wonderful dip-in book and a virtual history of the novel.


500 expertly potted plots and personal comments on a wide range of pop and proper prose fiction. * The Times * Generous, enjoyable and well informed. * Observer * A dazzling array of genres, periods, styles and tastes... chatty, insightful, unprejudiced (but not uncritical) and wise. * Times Literary Supplement * Anyone hooked on fiction should be warned: this book will feed your addiction. * Mail on Sunday * A glorious selection of books to tempt you - all considered in witty and elegant prose. Highly recommended. -- Sue Magee * The Bookbag *

About the Author

John Sutherland has been a professor of literature for a long time and in many places. Currently he teaches at the California Institute of Technology and is the emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor at UCL. He is the author of numerous books, including the puzzle-collection Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (probably, yes) and the encyclopedic Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. In recent years he has written voluminously on a variety of literary and non-literary topics in, principally, the Guardian and the Financial Times.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th May 2014


John Sutherland

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Random House Books an imprint of Cornerstone


528 pages


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