Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

“Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by the gods, must have been a book.”

Mark Z. Danielewski

The answer to this is actually “all the books”.

  1. Perdido Street Station – China Mieville. Perdido is such a baggy, sprawling novel, so immersed and immersive, and so unlike anything else – I can only imagine that there is much left to find within its pages.
  2. Night Film – Marisha Pessl. I love Pessl’s writing: it’s intensely readable, very modern and very clever. Her novels are like literary puzzle-boxes, and Night Film also has an intoxicating darkness to it.
  3. House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski. Another novel full of dark corners and textual mysteries; another puzzle-box of wonders, and one of my favourite novels ever. You could study it for years and not discover all it has to say.
  4. Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov. OK, there’s a theme here. Pale Fire is yet another piece of postmodernism, interrogating the truth of text and the gaps between words. It’s fascinating and twisted and black as night.
  5. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell. See everything that I said above. Also, Robert Frobisher. And Sonmi-451. And just everything, really.
  6. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson. Another hugely immersive world, one which asks us what’s real and what’s not, and a great play on Tolkien.
  7. A Madness of Angels – Kate Griffin. Just as a light read, perhaps: an immensely satisfying piece of urban fantasy, its prose sing-song and ragged, its magic as fascinating and perfect as anything you could ask for.
  8. Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens. I’ve read this a few times, but Dickens’ sentimentality and his almost grotesque characterisation are irresistible.
  9. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen. I always want to reread Northanger Abbey. It’s just so much fun: frothy and funny and satirical and sharp.
  10. The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon. A brilliant and unsettling romp about the postal service, and Jacobean revenge drama, and rubbish bins, and just give it a try. Mysterious and glitteringly clever.

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


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