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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.
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
When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced 'Anglo-Indian' community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the 'real India', they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident occurs while they are exploring the Marabar caves with Aziz, and the well-respected doctor soon finds himself at the centre of a scandal that rouses violent passions among both the British and their Indian subjects.
When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.
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.
20th Anniversary Edition When Griet’s father, a notable tile-maker, is blinded she goes to work for artist Vermeer to support her destitute family. She’s an outsider from the start, a poor Protestant in a well-to-do Catholic household who’s regarded with suspicion by her fellow staff, especially when she alone is entrusted to venture into the master’s studio. Soon enough Griet experiences the magic of artistic creation, of seeing colour anew, of seeing everything anew. But, as her passion for art is aroused so too is an ache of guilt as she grows ever distant from her family. Then there’s the attention and lusts of the handsome butcher’s son who seeks her hand in marriage, and the lascivious approaches of her master’s wealthy patron. The intrigue and tension of the Vermeer household, and the ebb and flow of life in a 17th century Dutch market town are described in painterly detail through Griet’s keenly observant eyes as a swelling scandal spills to the outside world from within the duplicitous household. At once a compelling page-turner and a tour de force of tension and coming-of-age turmoil, this novel remains a must-read for historical fiction fans some twenty years after publication.
Esther Freud's best-known novel, which inspired the Kate Winslet film, published as Penguin Essential for the first time.
Peter Jernigan's life is slipping out of control. His wife's gone, he's lost his job and he's a stranger to his teenage son. Worse, his only relief from all this reality - alcohol - is less effective by the day. And when the medicine doesn't work, you up the dose. And when that doesn't work, what then? (Apart from upping the dose again anyway, because who knows?) Jernigan's answer is to slowly turn his caustic wit on everyone around him - his wife Judith, his teenage son Danny, his vulnerable new girlfriend Martha and, eventually, himself - until the laughs have turned to mute horror. But while he's busy burning every bridge back to the people who love him, Jernigan's perverse charisma keeps us all in thrall to the bitter end.
Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza's impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again. When Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?
Lud-in-the-Mist - a prosperous country town situated where two rivers meet: the Dawl and the Dapple. The latter, which has its source in the land of Faerie, is a great trial to Lud, which had long rejected anything 'other', preferring to believe only in what is known, what is solid. Nathaniel Chanticleer is a somewhat dreamy, slightly melancholy man, not one for making waves, who is deliberately ignoring a vital part of his own past; a secret he refuses even to acknowledge. But with the disappearance of his own daughter, and a long-overdue desire to protect his young son, he realises that something is changing in Lud - and something must be done. Lud-in-the-Mist is a true classic, an adult fairy tale exploring the need to embrace what we fear and to come to terms with 'the shadows' - those sweet and dark impulses that our public selves ignore or repress.
But Claudia's life is entwined with others and she must allow those who knew her, loved her, the chance to speak, to put across their point of view. There is Gordon, brother and adversary; Jasper, her untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool conventional daughter; and then there is Tom, her one great love, found and lost in wartime Egypt.
His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and 'Ooh lovely' at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners' Question Time. Notes from a Small Island was a huge number-one bestseller when it was first published, and has become the nation's most loved book about Britain, going on to sell over two million copies.
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...
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
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled
Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic
Terry Pratchett, Mort