Yesterday I was at an English Literature Conference at UCL, London. Among the many incredible lectures, spanning subjects such as temporality across literature, sourcing Shakespeare and imagery in performance (with two actors from Shakespeare’s Globe, no less!), there was a panel, with the title “Read this NOW!”.
Each participant had been given a ‘section’ of literature, such as 21st Century (post-modernism) and Young Adult, and was asked to compile a list of 10 novels they recommend. The suggestions ranged from Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Jane Austen’s Emma and Pride and Prejudice and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, to the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and JG Ballard’s High Rise. The diversity of these lists excited me, and caused me to think: have I read as widely as I think? If not, how shall I begin?
Apart from inspiring me to get going with my own writing, which has, extremely unfortunately, been put on the back burner to give way to the heaps of reading I have to do for my courses, this particular section of the conference led me to write my own list of the novels that I would (and generally have) recommended to others. Fair warning though, I have omitted poetry and plays from this list; these will most likely come later…
(Another fair warning – this was incredibly difficult to do.)
In no particular order…
And, last but not least… The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, which I could not find an adequate picture for.