Ok, comparing books to each other is something of a pet peeve for me, no two books are the same and the concept of a book being ‘popular’ is very different in different circles. So I really struggled on this one,
1.Midnight’s Children/The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie READ Not Forgetting the Whale/The Coincidence Authority by J.w. Ironmonger
All of these novels are beautifully lyrical with elements of the fable genre threaded throughout. Both authors are interested in exploring the inter-connectedness of things, questions of faith and responsibility and whether we are ruled by our fates. There’s also a wonderful choral quality to their work, the sense that they are speaking with many voices.
2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman READ Matthew Swift Novels by Kate Griffin
One of the quotes on the book jacket of The Midnight Mayor describes it as Neverwhere for the digital age. At the time I ignored it as I hadn’t read Neverwhere – criminal I know, as it’s since become one of my favourite books – but The Midnight Mayor is still vying for the top spot. Wonderfully original narration, a cracking plot, intricate world-building and a city more alive than any I’ve known.
3. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher READ The PC Grant Novels by Ben Aaronovitch
The Dresden Files have been going a long time now and have a well deserved following. The PC Grant novels haven’t been around as long but they’re already getting a large audience. They’re funny and smart and really pacy. You should definitely read them!
4. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby READ The Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno Garcia
Both have narratives that jump in time and review the defining moments in the protagonists relationships. But the main reason that I’ve linked them is the music, oh the music. It thrums like a beat throughout Signal to Noise, I’ve never known a visual medium to be so audible. Plus – teenagers discovering magic in records, regrets, growing up in Mexico and second chances. What’s not to love?
5. The Librarian films – READ The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Everything that the Librarian films should be and more. A smart and sexy lady spy with an enigmatic new apprentice gets sent to a dangerous alternate world seeking a book that could have untold consequences in the wrong hands. Also – a Sherlockian detective, fae, dragons, vampires and mechanically augmented crocodiles. Need I say more?
6. Any spy/thriller/mystery book ever READ City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Any of the books on the bestseller list would be knocked out very early on in a bout with City of Stairs. Genre busting, combining action, fantasy, philosophy, history and a wopping great mystery. It’s chocked full of political intrigue, humour, insight and questions of religion, empire and personal freedom. Basically, just read it.
7. God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – READ A Thousand Nights by E.k. Johnston
This may seem like an unusual suggestion. Plot-wise there is little to link them. But they both address the importance of family, young women fighting to be themselves and characters who ultimately become other people’s stories. Also the writing in both is simply beautiful.
This book was a lot of fun to read. Another detective/chronicler partnership but where the detective is a spiky lady who has embraces her shunned profession and the chronicler as a naive young man with secrets. Also there’s a very interesting magic system, a national disaster from 5 years ago that might not be so much of a disaster and more of a crime and also Olivia’s fashion sense.
9. Any Fairytale retelling READ Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Hands town the best fairytale retelling I’ve read. I love it deeply and you all need to go and read it now. That is all.
10. Firefly TV Series/ Serenity Film READ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
This book has a cast of misfits, betrayal by ‘the man’, the dangers of the edge of space and plenty of action and escapades along the journey. It also has tremendous heart, hijinks, Jenks and Lovey (wonderful and heartwrenching) a woman on the run and Dr Chef who counts as a category all his own. My review of this will be up in the next few days. But it’s a five star + I promise.