Top Ten Books for Autumn

“The trouble about obeying orders is, it becomes a habit. And then everything depends on who’s giving the orders.”

Terry Pratchett

You know the ones. The books you want to curl up with in front of a roaring fire with a nice cup of tea and a cat and just…forget the world for a while.

  1. The Time Traveler’s WifeAudrey Niffenegger. I’m not sure why, but there’s something very warm and comforting about this book. Mainly, I think, it’s the style: clear and honest and real without being depressing or grim.
  2. Our Mutual FriendCharles Dickens. Dickens is best re-read, I think – it means you can appreciate the story and the characters without being too worried about the difficulties of Victorian prose. Anyway, Our Mutual Friend is nice and sentimental for an October evening.
  3. Going Postal – Terry Pratchett. I love that this book is about Ankh-Morpork more than anything else, and that its main character is a conman turned government employee. I love Moist’s showmanship and the generous, kind humour of Pratchett’s writing. Most of all, I love revisiting this world, over and over again.
  4. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There – Catherynne M. Valente. Not only is this a short read (and thus perfect for an evening’s escapism), it’s also a perfectly formed little fairytale, one that brilliantly and uniquely combines the classic fairytale shape with values that are modern and progressive and not at all rage-inducing.
  5. Night FilmMarisha Pessl. A story which conjures up a heady atmosphere of mystery and horror, full of twists and turns and strange things to discover lurking behind corners you didn’t even know were there…
  6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams. Do I really need to say anything else here?
  7. Lirael – Garth Nix. If I’m honest, I just like reading about the Great Library of the Clayr. I would read a whole book about that library.
  8. Lyra’s Oxford – Philip Pullman. This is an easy way of accessing Pullman’s complex world without needing to get sucked into the vast and morally ambiguous main books. They have their merits, sure, but for a comfort read I want something less troubling. Plus, Lyra’s Oxford has many pretty pictures and maps to pore over.
  9. The Carpet People – Terry Pratchett. A charming (which is not to say simple or twee) story about some people who live in a carpet. Spotting what all the objects are (like the gigantic disc of bronze which reads “On Epen Ny” in vast letters) is great fun.
  10. The Adventures of the Wishing Chair – Enid Blyton. A nostalgia hit, basically. But an inventive one.

(The theme for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)

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