Here are some of the favourite top ten books shared by customers and friends.
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|1||Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte|
| This classic has everything and would be the book I took with me to a desert island. It has great descriptive narratives, the appeal of "rags to riches" story full of longing , romance and a poignant ending. Jane is the epitome of the feisty woman, a feminist before her time, full of courage and fortitude. I am always inspired when I read it.|
|2||Notes on a Small Island by Bill Bryson|
|Just one of the funniest books I have ever read: a witty take on the British idiosyncrasies, particularly the taking of tea for all ills!|
|3||Engleby by Sebastian Faulks|
|Faulks is normally associated with books written about war-time experiences (and Birdsong should really be in my top ten too!) but this departure made a huge imapct on me. It tells the story of Mike Engleby, his life and times - and a girl's disappearance - and describes the mind of someone living with mental illness. Sometimes hard to take, and perhaps a bit lengthy here and there, nonetheless, an unmissable read and quite brilliant. I cried a lot at the end.|
|4||The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid|
|I loved this book: it is Lily's story - a young girl living during the age of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, which is the backdrop to the book. Written simply and profoundly, with delightful insights into ordinary human nature, it tells of Lily running away from home and into the arms of three(very different) bee-keeping sisters. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery marked with a mixture of revelations, forgiveness and acceptance.|
|5||The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale|
| Set in the late 19th century, and telling the true story of a murder at a large house, we read about the first "sleuth" detective and his uncovering of the mystery surrounding the tragedy. Because it was based on truth, it had a real power and fascination to it, and was greatly enjoyed by me and all my family in turn.|
|6||The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters|
| This is my latest read. I couldn't wait to get back to reading about Dr Faraday and his involvement with the family at Hundreds Hall. Spooky, scary, mysterious, romantic.|
|7||The Forgotten Garden by Kate Moreton|
|For anyone who dreams about having a cottage in Cornwall, this is the book for you! The phrase "make life out of what you've got, rather than what you have lost" stuck in my mind. Kate Moreton gives you a great sense of place too. An excellent read.|
|8||The Secret River by Kate Grenville|
|A very interesting "historical" novel set during the time when convicts who had been pardoned were sent to Australia.The hero William Thornhill settles there with his wife and family, but there are troubles ahead and the book is often very sad and there is a feeling of premonition along the way. Kate Grenville wrote a fine book about difficult issues.|
|9||East of Eden by John Steinbeck|
|Set in America in the early 20th century, the story is about the interweavings of two families, full of jealousy and the best and worst of mankind's humanity to man. One of the most powerfully gripping novels I have read (as was Of Mice and Men, also Steinbeck)|
|10||The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy|
|Hardy has been described as long-winded - well I love his long windedness! I read this as a teenager and have read it again since. This is a deep story about loss and injustice - and the complications and implications of human tragedy.|
|1||Fingersmith by Sarah Waters|
|I defy anyone not to enjoy this..has the 2 best plot twists ever!|
|2||Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon|
|So easy to read, funny and sad and offers a real insight into Autism without being worthy or heavy.|
|Hard to choose from Irvine Welshes books they all make me laugh.|
|I'm a big McEwan fan and this is my favourite of his. Beautifully written.|
|Ian McEwan again, if you've never read any of his books then this is a good introduction.|
|6||The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker|
|All set against the back drop of World War 1 - incredible books|
|By J M Coetzee. A bit grim but a great read.|
|Another book with a great twist. Tawni O'Dell is the author and this is one that Oprah recommended.|
|9||Are You Experienced by William Sutcliffe|
|About a Gap Year Travelling around India - it will make you laugh out loud.|
After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell.
A lovely novel about grief and sadness.
The Village Bookshop wishes to thank everyone for sharing their top tens. It makes for both a fascinating and informative read.