Book shelf

One thing I always wish I had started earlier was writing down my thoughts on my favourite books as I read them. I’ve built up a bookshelf of the ones which resonated with me, and I’m now re-reading and writing reviews on some of them. I also write reviews on fresh books that really stand out.

Book Reviews

Full Bookshelf

Literary fiction


Saki – The Complete Short Stories

Evelyn Waugh – The Loved One; Brideshead Revisited; Black Mischief

D. H. Lawrence – Sons and Lovers; Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Charles Dickens – Nicholas Nickleby

Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness

F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Beautiful and Damned

Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Milk Raj Anand – Untouchable

Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

Richard Bach – Johnathon Livingstone Seagull

Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children

Cormac McCarthy – The Road

Kazuo Ishiguro – An Artist of Floating Worlds; Never Let Me Go; Klara and the Sun

Second tier literary fiction

Ovid – Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics trans. David Raeburn)

Jane Austen – Emma; Sense and Sensibility; Persuasion

Charles Dickens – Bleak House; Great Expectations

Thomas Hardy – Jude the Obscure; The Mayor of Casterbridge; Under the Greenwood Tree; Tess of the d’Urbervilles; The Return of the Native; Far From the Madding Crowd

H. G. Wells – The Time Machine

E. M. Forster – A Room With a View; Where Angels Fear to Tread

F. Scott Fitzgerald – Tender is the Night

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway; Orlando

George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four

Evelyn Waugh – Scoop; the trilogy of: Men at arms; Officers and Gentlemen; Unconditional Surrender

Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita

Kingsley Amis – Lucky Jim

L. P. Hartley – The Go Between

Muriel Spark – The Driver’s Seat; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Judith Kerr – When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Iris Murdoch – Under the Net

Irvine Welsh – Trainspotting

Alan Hollinghurst – The Line of Beauty

Kazuo Ishiguro: A Pale View of Hills; The Remains of the Day; Nocturnes; Buried Giant


Milton – Paradise Lost (Arcturus, with Gustave Doré engravings)

Norton Anthology 9th edition volume D: the romantic period

William Blake – Songs of Innocence and Experience

John Keats – Selected letters; Selected Poems (penguin)

Percy Bysshe Shelley – The Complete Works

Thomas Hardy – Collected Poetry (Everyman)

Siegfried Sassoon – The War Poems (Faber and Faber)

T. S. Eliot – The Waste Land and Other Poems (Faber and Faber); Eliot Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (Faber and Faber); Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

Sylvia Plath – Ariel (Faber and Faber)

Ted Hughes – Crow (Faber and Faber)

Philip Larkin – High Windows (Faber and Faber); The Collected Poems

Simon Armitage – Kid (Faber and Faber)

Poetry 1900 to 1975 (Longman, ed. George Macbeth)

Modern Poetry (Prentice-Hall Inc., ed. Mack, Dean, Frost)

The New Dragon Book of Verse (ed. Harrison and Stuart-Clark)


Shakespeare: the complete works (ed. Wells and Taylor)

George Bernard Shaw – Pygmalion

Eugene O’Neill – Long Day’s Journey into Night

Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot

Jez Butterworth – Jerusalem


Mark Forsyth – The Etymologicon

Tom Cutler – 211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do

David Crystal – The Gift of the Gab

Brown, Roediger and McDaniel – Make It Stick

Christopher McDougall – Born To Run

William Dunham – Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics

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