The list author says: "Good fiction provides insights into human nature as well as entertainment. Non-fiction purports to be factual but is inevitably the result of someone's perception, selection and interpretation of "facts." In 'Poetics' Aristotle argued that fiction is more important than history because fiction deals with universal truths while history deals with specific events. There is thus a case that fiction, especially fiction that endures reveals "truths." In 'Sesame and Lilies' John Ruskin argued that we should read the classics - the greatest works of the greatest minds of all time - and that reading provides an opportunity to participate in an ongoing conversation with the greatest minds. I'm not a specialist in evaluating literature and I believe in reading widely for ideas and entertainment. These are some books I have read and found ideas worth thinking about."
"Contempory account of a struggling artist who finds his artistic voice. Intereting insights into the need for harmony between intellect and emotions; the process of creation; and the psychology of creating and dealing in art."
"A terrifying aspect of some of McEwan's stories is how they begin with people leading normal everyday lives can be shockingly disrupted by a malevolent stranger. Set in London post 9/11, this is a thriller in which the action takes place in a single day."
"A quiet picnic in the country is disrupted by a hot air balloon trying to land and then being lifted up with tragic consequences. The story of a writer whose orderly life is threatened by an unwanted, obsessive, delusional and increasingly unstable lover. Interesting reflections on life and literature"
"Henry Fielding was a theatre owner banned because of his political satires. Educated in the classics, he became a lawyer and magistrate with exposure to a wide cross section of society. Interesting insights and lively wit."