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..."
"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 . . ."
"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 ..."
"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 . . ."
"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 . . ."
"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 . . ."
"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 . . ."
"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 ..."
"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 . . ."
"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..."
"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..."
"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 ..."
"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..."
"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 !"
"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..."
"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"
"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 !"
"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"
"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."
"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"