Here are Sipech's picks for "The One"!
The One you always recommend:
Well, you've already taken The Shadow of the Wind, which I agree is excellent (if a little predictable). So instead I shall opt for Love in the Time of Cholera. The late Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a fantastic writer. Though I have only read English translations of his work, the imagery he conjures up with small turns of phrase are beautiful and the structure of this, in my view, his finest work, is a work to rival the majesty of a cathedral.
This has to be a non fiction offering and I hereby nominate Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton. It got me hooked on Feynman as a popular writer, having already read his lectures on physics for my degree. A great collection of anecdotes given to me by an ex-girlfriend, it's wonderful to just dip into from time to time.
The One that got away:
The Book Thief. It's been on my 'to read' list for a while but I just haven't got round to it yet.
The One that makes you cry:
It has to be a Thomas Hardy novel. But which one? It might be easy to pick Tess, in particular the moment she finds her letter to Angel unread. But I would have go for The Mayor of Casterbridge. As a story of the impact of one silly mistake in one's youth, it gets a little close to the bone.
Back to the non fiction and a book that should haunt anyone who reads it, Elie Wiesel's Night is an eyewitness account of the Holocaust. The extent of evil that mankind can inflict on itself when it dehumanises 'the other' is shocking, even now.
The One you always go back to:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams manages to give what is the finest example of silly self-deprecating British humour. Easy to read and utterly delightful, I revisit it about one every 5 years.
Thanks Sipech! It's really interesting to see some non-fiction in here, and some great picks. I've had Surely You're Joking, My Feynman on my shelf for a long while and have never dipped in - I think the time has come to give it a go!