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And the best ever Book Award goes to . . .

Dudley Ristow "books4me"
The list author says: "A book must captivate in the first 30 so pages : over several decades of reading it is these literary gems that have done that for me.

Any book lover knows the feeling, you finish a book and turn it around in your hands, half expecting the wonderful characters in it to fall out, so alive are they in your sub-conscious, obviously they don't and whilst you are pained that the experience is over you just want to get the message out there to all and sundry : you must read this book !

Seek these books out, read them and I guarantee, you a literary experience of note..."
Chiefs: A Novel (25th Anniversary Edition)
Chiefs: A Novel (25th Anniversary Edition)
"Successive marshalls in a small American town are consumed by the evasive serial killer in their rural area : a just as wonderful TV series . . ."
Wardens
Wardens
"Tells the life stories of several generations of prison wardens on Prison Hill, the indomitable women they loved and the men they incarcerate : a gritty tale of cruelty, passion, betrayal and revenge . . ."
Brothers
Brothers
"A literary experience that relates the story of several generations of Jews from Tsarist to Stalin Russia.  I have visited Russia, walked a rural village which time has hardly touched so I especially "lived" this book  (be warned when i last checked the wrong book was being cited on amazon.com)so note the author (Bernice Rubens) of this gem if u order the book ..."
Rage Against Heaven
Rage Against Heaven
"A great historical fiction read - covers the American Civil War and makes "Gone with the Wind" read like a fable.  Relatively hard to find but when you do i promise you the literary ride of your life . . ."
The Crimson Petal and the White
The Crimson Petal and the White
"Be daring and let the indomitable Sugar take you as she did me on an unforgettable voyeur's trip down to the slums and up to the elegant houses of Victorian London - brilliant, all consuming humorous style of writing . . ."
Summer of '42
Summer of '42
"This has to be the very best coming of age book ever.  Simply gorgeously nostalgic ! . . ."
When the Lion Feeds (Courtney Family, Book 1)
When the Lion Feeds (Courtney Family, Book 1)
"Whilst the author churns out a novel every year this is the first of an outstanding South African trilogy adventure : followed by "Sound of Thunder" and "A Sparrow Falls"  :  Smith spins awesome "live it" tales of high adventure . . ."
Dirty White Boys
Dirty White Boys
"Un-put-down-able (trust me, anything but a cliche) and guaranteed to be the best thriller you will ever read ..."
Extra Man
Extra Man
"After the war Kip visits Hank his army buddy and his wife.  He only intends to visit for the weekend but stays a year and sets off a string of events that goes on to change their lives forever . . ."
Middlesex: A Novel
Middlesex: A Novel
"Said to have taken the author a decade to bring to print this is a story of a hermaphrodite and her family : its cover promises that the book will sweep you off your feet, and it delivers, in rapid style . . ."
Class Reunion
Class Reunion
"Fancy meeting up again with your old college friends to compare balance sheets on the highs and lows of your life? well why not, or is the bottom line just too painful to bear? ..."
The Journeyer
The Journeyer
"Relates the amazing adventures of Marco Polo to China along the silk road - the ones he said on his deathbed he never spoke of.  Some scenes will make you cringe but the author's scope of the medieval Chinese world is mind- boggling ..."
Deathwork
Deathwork
"Four people, 3 men and 1 women, stand condemned to die in the electric chair : the book relates their respective one-way roads to that Dante's inferno end.   Not a book for the squeamish . . ."
The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club)
The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club)
"Dame Oprah does'nt often get it right : with this one of medieval England she most definitely did albeit it years after the rest of us.   This book is a publishing marvel and is totally deserving of all its accolades . . ."
World Without End
World Without End
"Dubbed a sequel to "Pillars" but following some 150 years later this book by Follett is equally captivating : no doubt about it, the author is indeed a master story teller . . ."
The Seven Minutes
The Seven Minutes
"Following a rape a "dirty" book goes on trial for supposedly inciting it whilst an investigator undertakes a mission to bare its intrigueing origins . . ."
Peyton Place
Peyton Place
"This 1956 well-before-its-time publication is an engrossing insight into the lives and sins of folk in a small American town . . ."
Water for Elephants: A Novel
Water for Elephants: A Novel
"An old man goes back over his eventful life in a travelling circus during the Depression - watch this book go celluloid and then onto the Oscar . . ."
The Meaning of Night: A Confession
The Meaning of Night: A Confession
"Wonderfully prosed, atmospheric Victorian gothic tale on an obsession spanning decades ..."
Lonesome Dove: A Novel
Lonesome Dove: A Novel
"Great western, filled with these unforgettable characters, cowboys, crooks and whores : and believe it or not, with all its screwing not one single f... word in its telling . . ."
Kane and Abel
Kane and Abel
"Spans the conflict of two men over several decades - one born in America, the other in a Polish forest . . ."
The Descent of Venus
The Descent of Venus
"An university professor risks losing everything in his over-riding passion for one of his young students..."
Trial
Trial
"A detective tries to solve a senseless murder whilst mourning the loss of a loved one and living a double life that could destroy him ..."
Seed of doubt
Seed of doubt
"A wife resorts to artificial insemination to become a mother without her sterile don't-tell-me-it-is-my-fault husband's consent and sets off a string of events that go on to change their lives forever..."
The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door
"Bow down Stephen King - OK so i could warn you all I want about this horror of horrors book but believe me nothing but nothing will prepare you for it..."
As Meat Loves Salt (Harvest Original)
As Meat Loves Salt (Harvest Original)
"I want to see what director or actors are going to have the gonads to make a movie out of this English Civil War drama - from a female writer's pen, a truly passionate book, spell-bounding in its so readable narration..."
Aztec
Aztec
"This author's knowledge of this civilization is truly astonishing : whilst the letters to the Spanish majesties tends to become somewhat tedious, do persevere and you're guaranteed a roller coaster of a ride ..."
Forever Amber (Rediscovered Classics)
Forever Amber (Rediscovered Classics)
"A top-rated historical novel on the life, love and lusty times of the indomitable Amber St Clare in the court of Charles the 2nd in Restoration England..."
The Link
The Link
"A Victorian mystery, poignantly written and inspired by the famous Tichbourne case : a mother is desperate to believe that the imposter presenting himself is indeed her long-lost son.  The author is a nephew of Somerset Maugham..."
The Sergeant
The Sergeant
"A graphic, unflinching and long-before-its time novel about a shadow world within the US Army - it was also a great movie starring Rod Steiger..."
Beach Music: A Novel
Beach Music: A Novel
"Rich lyrical novel of a family haunted by dark memories that go back into the terrors of the Holocaust : Conroy's writing style sweeps one along in great style ..."
Call it Rhodesia
Call it Rhodesia
"Magnificently written novel on the ballsy men and women who shaped the history of Rhodesia : now the tragedy that is Zimbabwe.   Where the hell is the U.N. or the U.S.A when a country with weapons of massive humanitarian destruction really need them ?   Oops sorry no oil of course !"
The Fool's Progress: An Honest Novel
The Fool's Progress: An Honest Novel
"An amazon reviewer promised me a laugh out funny and sad cry-your-eyes out reading experience ... he was right - and some.  A truly haughting, exceptional book..."
Three Day Road
Three Day Road
"Two Canadian Cree Indians become acclaimed snipers in the horror trenches of WW1 - an aunt kayaks one morphine addicted survivor down a river to her home in the wilds and the book see-saws between their experiences and to that of the aunt's youth in a fast changing Canada.  It's a gripping yarn..."
A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Modern Classics)
A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Modern Classics)
"The magic of John Kennedy Toole (I so wished you had lived to write more) comes alive in this wonderful account of Ignatius J. Reilly and his ignoble crusades to shape the world to that of his crazy but wonderful illusions - of such is magic put out there for us to enjoy, again and again...Viva Ignatius Viva"
The Heaven Tree Trilogy (The Heaven Tree / The Green Branch / The Scarlet Seed)
The Heaven Tree Trilogy (The Heaven Tree / The Green Branch / The Scarlet Seed)
"Pargeter's tale of Harry Talvace, a noble born turned stone mason in 13th Century Wales/England is a captivating, engrossing read.  Follett bow down and honour this author. At considerable costs I chased this book over two continents and an ocean - and it was so worth every cent.  Magnifico !"
For Richer for Poorer
For Richer for Poorer
"The "For Richer For Poorer" book i urge folk to read is by EDWARD STEWART (cant seem to raise it on amazon) A matriarch relates her eventful life story from the wrong side of town to the top echelon of society - one of those family sagas that just capture and grip the imagination like any by Ken Follett or Jeffrey Archer"
We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel
We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel
"Lionel Shriver shocks, repulses and intrigues in this novel about a dysfunctional teenager begging the question whether evil is born or nurtured.  It will haunt you long after it has drained you mentally and emotionally."
To Dance with Kings: A Novel
To Dance with Kings: A Novel
"The tale follows the trials, loves and tribulations of four generations of women from Louis XIV's Versailles to the court of Marie Antoinette ... wonderful woven tale that is both pacey and interesting"
She's Come Undone
She's Come Undone
"Lamb's indomitable 259lb heroine, Delores, completely captivates as she battles her demons and struggles in an unkind world.  Oprah has given this author two well- deserved nods"