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Looking for books that are transcendent, were released decades ago yet remain current to this day? Then look no further. This section of the LoveReading site is dedicated to the books that we think will stand the test of time and continue to capture the hearts of their readers for many years to come.
Michael Marshall Smith's surreal, groundbreaking, and award-winning debut which resonates with wild humour interlaced with dark recollections of an emotional minefield. May we introduce you to Stark. Oh, and by the way - good luck. Stark is the private investigator who goes to work when Something Happens to you. And when a Something happens it's no good chanting 'go away go away go away' and cowering in a corner, because a Something always comes from your darkest past and won't be beaten until you face it. And that's not easy in a city where reality is twisting and broken, a world in which friends can become enemies in a heartbeat - and where your most secret fear can become a soul-shredding reality. And the worst of it is, for this nightmare you don't even have to be asleep...
Editor's Comments: Since its publication in 1993 Birdsong has established itself as one of the most important novels of recent years. A novel that brings alive the horrors of war and the redemptive power of love there are few books that have moved people as much as Birdsong or that continue to have such resonance years after publication.Voted one of the fifteen Vintage Future Classics (one of the books that readers across the country thought that we will still be reading in 100 years time) Birdsong is at times moving, emotional, horrifying and enchanting but above all else it is a truly wonderful read.
Editor's Comments: Since its publication in 1993 Birdsong has established itself as one of the most important novels of recent years. A novel that brings alive the horrors of war and the redemptive power of love there are few books that have moved people as much as Birdsong or that continue to have such resonance years after publication.Recently voted one of the fifteen Vintage Future Classics (one of the books that readers across the country thought that we will still be reading in 100 years time) Birdsong is at times moving, emotional, horrifying and enchanting but above all else it is a truly wonderful read.
An absolute classic of children’s literature, the great adventure of Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarfs. It’s important to remember how long ago this book was written, the style is not that of a modern children’s book, but the magic of the tale shines through the old-fashioned language. It is, and always has been, a little treasure of a book. If you would like to purchase through the official Tolkien site then click here.
Published over 20 years ago this book is still a best seller, bringing complicated science to the masses. Gravity, black holes, the Big Bang - all kinds of topics are covered in a way that helps the less scientifically gifted among us get some way to grasping these concepts. Fascinating stuff. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘Steven Hawking is responsible for enthusing millions worldwide and on an unprecedented scale with the world of science. His A Brief History of Time has broken all records for a bestselling science book and its sheer brilliance continues to stimulate and inspire the thousands of people curious about the origins of the universe’. Sally Gaminara, Publishing Director at Transworld
A well observed novel about an American family. We follow each family member’s story and are given a great insight in to modern day America through each one's story and how they need to change their lives. A very clever, intelligent novel that put Franzen up in the big league of writers. Well worth a read. Click here to see Jonathan Franzen's new book, Purity, which is published in September 2015.
Who would have believed back in 1985 that this first introduction into the madcap Discworld which satirised fantasy novels and introduced us to some fantastic characters would turn into the Discworld series numbering some thirty works. If you have wondered where to start in this huge series (which need not be read in order) then start here and read The Light Fantastic straight after it. They are great books. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘The very first novel in what turned into the celebrated, magisterial Discworld series, this novel was first published by Corgi in 1985. Although the more recent novels in the series have become more layered, satirical and thoughtful (number thirty-seven, Unseen Academicals, is the most recent) The Colour of Magic must remain one of my all-time favourites, for its soaring inventiveness, sparky parody and madcap humour – and for introducing us in the first place to that flat World so very different from, yet so very like our own. ' Marianne Velmans, Publishing Director at Transworld
One of Sue Perkins' favourite books. This is a much-loved classic but as relevant today as it was when first published over 40 years ago. Its vivid and colourful illustrations and cut back and die-cut pages together with some very simple text provide a wonderful story that is immensely satisfying for parents and child alike. It’s a book that’s more threadbare than most in the nursery in my house. Here are some wonderful resources inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, whichyou can print off and enjoy: Ideas for a Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party Make your own Very Hungry Caterpillar collage The Very Hungry Caterpillar Colouring Sheet The Life of a Very Hungry Caterpillar Draw your own Very Hungry Caterpillar lunch
July 2013 Guest Editor Cath Staincliffe on The Handmaid's Tale... A story about a terrifying dystopian world, ruled by a military and religious dictatorship which is homophobic, racist and misogynistic. Where infertility is rife, the handmaid’s role is to bear children for the ruling class. This chilling book imagines what a backlash to feminism might lead to and though it is horrifying there is also humanity, wit and humour in the writing. One of Hardeep Singh Kohli's favourite books. September 2010 Guest Editor Belle de Jour on Margaret Atwood... Atwood’s books hugely influenced my reading style (though probably not my writing style!). I love the way she weaves research so seamlessly into her stories. In the hands of a lesser writer, some of her books might be mere dystopian sci-fi, but she makes the characters as real as documentary. The Handmaid’s Tale, in particular, influenced a lot how I think about politics, religion, and feminism.
October 2014 Guest Editor Cecelia Ahern on The Celestine Prophecy... The main character goes on a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript in Peru. It’s a first person narrative of the main character’s spiritual awakening as he goes through a period of transition in his life. It discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas. I read this when I was twenty-one and going through a period of change and it really spoke to me and opened my mind. It was given to me by someone who read it during a time of change in their own life and I do the same to others. I’d like to read it again and see how it impacts me now.
The Evergreens - For books that stand the test of time.
Research carried out by Nielsen BookScan revealed twelve titles that have remained in their top 5,000 chart for every week since 1995 (The Bookseller, 1 August 2008). These evergreen titles have sold at least 100 copies a week in the UK in order to remain in the top 5,000. The twelve books are:
Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong
Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Delia Smith, Complete Cookery Course
Michael Rosen, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy
Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled
Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic
Terry Pratchett, Mort