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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.
Three lively retellings of Daniel Defoe's classic novels, plus two bonus programmes about his extraordinary life and far-reaching influence. Robinson Crusoe and his Farther Adventures An imaginative blend of the famous castaway tale and its lesser-known sequel, this thrilling drama sees Crusoe setting sail for the far north. Facing danger in the Siberian wastes, he keeps terror at bay by telling his companions campfire tales of his many adventures on his beloved island. Starring Tim McInnerney as Crusoe. Moll Flanders When Daniel Defoe meets Elizabeth Atkins in Newgate jail, she recounts her stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches life that took her from prostitution to prosperity - but culminated in destitution. Inspired, Defoe mixes fact and fiction to re-invent her as one of his most engaging characters: Moll Flanders. Starring Ben Miles as Defoe and Jessica Hynes as Elizabeth Atkins. A Journal of the Plague Year Writing a fictional journal of the Great Plague of 1665, Defoe soon comes to be haunted by the characters he is conjuring. Starring Ben Miles as Defoe. This exciting new collection of reinvented tales will also include two bonus programmes about Daniel Defoe himself:Defoe: Merchant, Writer, Convict, Spy by Philip Palmer - A biographical drama about Defoe's life, starring Ben Miles as Defoe and Niamh Cusack as his wife Mary. Defoe: The Facts and Fictions - A documentary by Mark Lawson, exploring the far-reaching influence of the pioneering author.
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
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.
A 2012 World Book Night selection. Voted 3rd in the Books of the Decade by Lovereading readers. Shortlisted for the Newcomer of the Year Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008. This is the story of a street of ordinary German people living in the horrors of the Nazi regime. Interestingly it is narrated by Death but the central character is an 11-year old girl who steals a gravedigger’s handbook and gets hooked on reading. It’s grim yet uplifting, immensely sad yet light in style and touch. A very interesting view of World War II and an unforgettable book, it’s aimed at both children and adults and should be read by both. Larry Finlay, Managing Director of the Publisher of The Book Thief said: “It is a great, great book, one that calls out to your head and your heart whatever your age. Its success is due almost entirely to word-of-mouth for unlike many bestsellers it has not been made into a film (yet), nor was it picked by a Book Club such as Richard and Judy.” A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘The Book Thief is one of those word-of-mouth bestsellers that has made its way into reader’s hearts entirely on its own merits. When this book came to me by way of the Children’s Division, my heart took that legendary leap. I met for the first time the delightful Liesel, Rudy and of course Death, the narrator, all of whom have joined the galaxy of best-loved characters in world literature. Rare is the reader who doesn’t close this book with a tear in their eye.' Jane Lawson, Editorial Director at Transworld
If you have only recently discovered Coelho, or if you have yet to discover this utterly brilliant and breathtaking author, who until quite recently was one of the world’s most unsung authors then jump into one of his novels right now and The Alchemist was his first. His books have such a rare quality that if you have a heart you can’t fail to be captivated.
A wonderful fantasy adventure, Tailchaser’s Song is the debut of Tad Williams, first published in 1985. Fritti Tailchaser is a young cat who embarks on an epic quest in search of a friend who has disappeared, as his adventure continues, despair and destruction start to stalk the pages. If we could hear cats talk, we would hear them tell this heroic adventure, it would be one of their great sagas, spoken of and passed down the years. Tad Williams ensures that we see, feel and become part of this fantasy world by setting customs, folklore and society in the story. There are some thoughts by the author himself, written in 2000, set at the beginning of the novel, however if this is your first foray into his work, you may want to read these at the end. Williams has a little gentle fun along the way with a couple of references that Lord of the Rings fans will undoubtedly pick up. Yes this could be described as a mix between Watership Down and The Hobbit, however it’s also a classic fantasy tale in its own right and a perfectly captivating read for older teens and adults alike. ~ Liz Robinson
This book was shortlisted for the Booker prize it has been described as 'triumphant' (Sunday Telegraph) and 'dazzling' (New York Review of Books). Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly, soon finding favour with the King, and privileged with a position as 'paper groom' to the youngest of the King's mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise...
'In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent ...
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...
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.
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.
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