There’s nothing like a good book to put you in a good frame of mind but we’re so spoilt for choice, sometimes it’s easier to stick to what you know. A PD James crime thriller perhaps, one of Dan Brown’s epic novels, a celebrity biography or even a Mills and Boon? There’s so much choice because England has produced so many great writers.
Every week new titles are coming out but it’s worth wading through the paperbacks to find the best reads. Martin Amis continues to produce wonderful modern classics including in 2012 ‘Lionel Asbo’ a satirical take on modern British culture. Keep an eye on the likes of Jeanetter Winterson of ‘Oranges are not the only fruit’ fame for her latest titles such as ‘The Daylight Gate’ a gothic tale of witchery in 17th Century Cumbria.
If you failed at school to be the darling of your English teacher don’t be afraid to read the works of England’s many authors from the past. If you have old hardback copies of Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ or the Jane Austen classic ‘Emma’ gathering dust on wooden bookcases in your attic, get them out and have a read, even if you’ve read them before. England has produced so many fine writers that their modern day counterparts have much to live up to.
Thomas Hardy’s writings bring the English landscape to life. The tragedy in “Tess of the D’Urberville’s” is set in rural England when social justice wasn’t particularly just. Charles Dickens, arguably England’s best writer was another social critic, whose characters have been immortalised on stage and screen. Even if you think you know the stories, read the novels as they will still surprise you.
The 20th Century produced many more fine authors including DH Lawrence who was derided for his graphic detail on topics which were taboo at the time. In death he was exonerated. His contemporary, another great English writer EM Forster described him as ‘the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation’.
Tolkien or John Ronald Reuel Tolkien to be precise, surprised himself with the popularity of ‘The Hobbit’ written for his own children, it was so popular he was forced to write a sequel. The recent release of the Hollywood blockbuster proves he must be one of England’s best writers, a claim backed up by that other most famous of works ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
A lighter read
For something a bit lighter think P.G Woodhouse, creator of the great comic characters ‘Jeeves and Wooster’, Barbara Cartland, one of England’s most prolific romantic novelists or perhaps Sue Townsend who created that unfortunate character ‘Adrian Mole’ in the 1980s who probably has a problem teenager of his own by now!
England has produced so many great writers who’ve created works over such a wide genre. However they all have one thing in common, a great sense of irony and humour and an eye for the world around them. Whatever you’re into, if you dust off those bookshelves you’re sure to find something that’s right for you.