In no particular order
  1. Phantastes: George MacDonald
    Scottish fantasy/ coming of age novel. Occasional overly obvious Jesus analogy but it's beautiful and fun to read in an escapist way.
  2. The History Boys: Alan Bennett
    Funny/ easy to read/ better to watch if anywhere near you is putting it on. Good overview of education debates (specifically in 1980s England) nb: the film is pretty good too
  3. Atonement: Ian McEwan
    Lovely read and poignant look at the nature of fiction/ human perception. Read before watching the film, the last few pages are some of my favourite in literature it spoils them a little.
  4. Frankenstein: Mary Shelley
    Gothic look at human nature. Also awesome because Shelley wrote it when she was 18, I did nothing that cool when I was 18.
  5. Under The Skin: Michel Faber
    The film adaptation was my favourite film of last year and is different enough from the book for it to be considered as a separate thing. The book is also wonderful: feministy, pro environmental sci-fi.
  6. Diving into the Wreck: Adrienne Rich
    Newly discovered favourite poetry collection. Feminist politics in poem form
  7. Lud-in-the-Mist: Hope Mirrlees
    More fantasy: usual immortality/ innocence/ nature of fiction stuff, but largely set in the 'real' world
  8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/ Through the Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll
    One of those awesome children's books that you realise is 100% dark when you read it as an adult.
  9. Wuthering Heights: Emily Brontë
    Everyone probably had to read this in Secondary school. But give it another go, it's great in a non studying context.