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My List

The new year is a good time for making lists and, inspired by Susan Hill, I have compiled my own list of the books that have influenced me, taught me the most about what a novel can be and form part of my writing tool-kit. I hope you find something here to inspire you to pick up something new or to revisit an old friend.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Cider House Rules, John Irving

The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith

The Unicorn Road, Martin Davies

The Hours, Michael Cunningham

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantell

Lamb, Bernard MacLaverty

To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee

A Story Like the Wind, Laurens Van Der Post

A Kestrel for a Knave, Barry Hines

Mulgrave of the Marshes, John Peel (Not a novel, I know, but a great cure for homesickness)

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell

The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver

Notes on a Scandal, Zoe Heller

Sophie’s Choice, William Styron

The Shipping News, E Annie Proulx

The Testament of Gideon Mack, James Robertson

What I Loved, Siri Hustvedt

The Princess Bride, William Goldman

Dune, Frank Herbert

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S Thompson

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan

Foreign Affairs, Alsion Lurie

The Hand that First Held Mine, Maggie O’Farrell

The Tooth Fairy, Graham Joyce