These books are perfect to curl up with as the nights draw in. 


 

The Thing in the Gap 
 Stone Stile

The Thing in the Gap Stone Stile

Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald is one of my all-time favourite poets and this collection is no exception. She looks at the world harder than you would have thought possible and sees its soul and its halo both at once. The first poem, ‘Pruning in Frost’, begins:

 

'Last night, without a sound,
a ghost of a world lay down on a world,'

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Rebecca

Rebecca

Daphne Du Maurier

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again... I came upon it suddenly; the approach masked by the unnatural growth of a vast shrub that spread in all directions... There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the gray stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand" Enough said!

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The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro

The title says it all, but in case you need further reason: Ishiguro’s narrator, Stevens, is brilliantly complex and the experience of reading his story could not be more accurately described than by this quote from the book: “Indeed — why should I not admit it? — in that moment, my heart was breaking.

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The Secret History

The Secret History

Donna Tartt

Everyone else might be reading Tartt’s latest novel, The Goldfinch, at the moment, but here's why you should read this one instead:

1. It captures the excitement of learning like no other book I’ve read.
2. The characters are terrifyingly calculated but completely fascinating. Lest you ever meet people like them, reading the novel will teach you to spot them and then stay far away!

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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

David Mitchell

A review of David Mitchell’s latest book said, “Mitchell is also doing what all ambitious writers do: writing the same novel over and over again, improving it every time.” This is why you should read all his books and, as it’s autumn, this one is clearly the best place to start. It’s 1799 when Jacob arrives on Dejima, a small Japanese island that serves as a trading post for the Dutch East India Company. He becomes intrigued by a midwife – it was a rare thing for a woman to work in those times – and then follows trust and betrayal, love and lust, murder… What are you waiting for?

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Main photograph: 'Autumn Herbst' © Taus P. / flickr.com