With new books coming out each year, and the hunger we eternally seem to feel as we wait for the next book by our favourite author, it’s easy to forget that there are so many books already proven, read by those before us. Often when I read a book written fifty years ago I am just completely absorbed, transformed and transported by writing as fresh and innovative as anything being written today. I then have a moment of reflection when I realise how many before me must have read and loved this book the way I am reading it now.
It makes me want to have more conversations about these books, it makes me want to recommend them to people, and to make sure they stay in our cultural awareness, our memories and remain suspended within brief moments in our day to day lives.
So here is my own small personal list of older novels that I have read and loved. These are all books that I will read again and again, although they will never be quite as good as that first time when I read each, and was astounded by the quality and depth of writing, detail and thought – finding it difficult to imagine each time a book ever being written that is better.