Yay, we did it! This is the final list of my fabulous fifty titles chosen with no rhyme or reason save their general awesomeness! And here (part one, part two, part three, part four) is where you can see all the previous posts that got us to this point. Now, on with the show!
Little Women – Lousia May Alcott
There’s something very eternal about Little Women and I think it’s one of the rites of passage for any reader, and one that remains particularly acute for female readers. Whilst certain elements may be skippable (I’ll never have any issues with anybody who switches off during the Pilgrims Progress shenanigans), there are other moments in this book that lock you to the page.
Similar to : Eight Cousins
Mr Galliano’s Circus – Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton gets a bad rap these days and I think that’s a bit of a shame. For every ‘Six Bad Boys’, there’s a Mr Galliano’s Circus. I always sort of wonder if she was more comfortable about writing about animals then people. There’s a delight and a freshness to this story that remains appealing.
Similar to : Circus Shoes (Noel Streatfield)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
This book is epic. There’s a perpetually late rabbit, potions, bitch-Queens, and a stoner cat. And much, much more. It’s epochal.
Similar to : Peter Pan
The Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me – Roald Dahl
Possibly the funniest story about windowcleaning *ever*, this book is an utter joy. It’s one of the Dahl titles that doesn’t seem to be as well known as some of his others, but it happily stands on a par with them. It’s ace.
Similar to : Spike Milligan’s nonsense poetry
Crank – Ellen Hopkins
Written in crystal clear and jagged free verse, this is a very unique book. It’s the story of Kristina and her slow fall into drug addiction. Hopkins writes with painful heart and truth, and actually based a lot of this book around her own daughter and her addiction to crystal meth. A hard, painful, real read full of hurt.
Similar to : Melvin Burgess
Henderson’s Boys : The Escape – Robert Muchamore
The Henderson’s Boy series form backstory behind the amazing CHERUB books by the same author. The Escape is the first in the series and a genuinely brilliant title. It’s almost violently readable and incredibly addictive.
Similar to : the CHERUB books
The Railway Children – E Nesbit
E Nesbit was pretty amazing. This book is stunning. And it’s got a part in it that makes me crumble and cry every time I read it. Plus, Bobbie is one of the most fascinating female literary heroines probably ever.
Similar to : The Famous Five
Tom’s Midnight Garden – Philippa Pearce
If you’ve not read any Philippa Pearce, here’s the place to start (and start you must). She was a very quietly brilliant author and this novel is stunning. Tom is sent away from home to live under quarantine with his Aunt and Uncle. Whilst in his new home he discovers that the house itself and the garden has a whole new side of it come midnight…
Similar to : Charlotte Sometimes
And Tango Makes Three – Justin Richardson
Adorable, gorgeously illustrated, and full of love; ‘Tango’ is the baby penguin adopted by Roy and Silo two male penguins at the zoo. It’s based on true events and is, in a very quiet way, rather amazing.
Similar to : Nothing. This is very gorgeous.
So what’s going to be number 50?
Well, I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’m not going to put a fiftieth because I sort of have a theory that the best book you’ve ever read is yet to come. That’s the joy about reading books – there’s always something really rather magnificent out there and it’s just waiting for you to find it. So what are you waiting for? Off you go …