Suggest me a good book to read

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Report Thread starter 16 years ago
From even a cursory glance around the forum, it seems that we are awash with threads asking what everyones favourite book is or recommendations of what they should read. The problem with having lots of these threads is that they inevitably lead to a lot of repetition, and many people won't want to be constantly be posting in them to give advice. As such, I'm creating this thread to act as a repository for all the little threads around. You can browse it to see all the books recommended before, or make a post asking for recommendations and someone will be happy to provide some examples.

If you see any threads on this topic, please report them and I'll merge them with this.

Some recommendations from Ape Gone Insane:

(Original post by Ape Gone Insane)


  • The Millennium Trilogy (Stieg Larsson)
  • Deja Dead (Kathy Reichs)
  • No Country for Old Men (Cormac McCarthy)
  • The Broken Shore (Peter Temple)
  • Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand (Fred Vargas)
  • Blood from Stone (Frances Fyfield)
  • Hypothermia (Arnaldur Indridason)
  • The American Boy (Andrew Taylor)
  • The Power of the Dog (Don Winslow)
  • Death Du Jour (Kathy Reichs)
  • Nineteen Seventy-Seven (David Peace)
  • Mystic River (Dennis Lehane)
  • Fingersmith (Sarah Waters)
  • Alex Cross Novels (James Patterson)


General Fantasy

  • Fire Bringer (David Clement-Davies)
  • The Sight (David Clement-Davies)
  • One for Sorrow, Two for Joy (Clive Woodall)
  • Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
  • The First Law Trilogy (Joe Abercrombie)
  • Best Served Cold (Joe Abercrombie)
  • Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
  • The Modern Faerie Tales (Holly Black)
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Terry Pratchett)

High Fantasy

  • A Song of Ice and Fire (George R. R. Martin)
  • Black Magician trilogy (Trudi Canavan)
  • His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
  • The Lord of the Rings and associated works (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  • The Old Kingdom series (Garth Nix)
  • The Earthsea Quartet (Ursula Le Guin)
  • Mistborn Trilogy (Brandon Sanderson)
  • Elantris (Brandon Sanderson)
  • Circle of Magic Series (Tamora Pierce)
  • Warbreaker (Brandon Sanderson)
  • The Stormlight Archives (Brandon Sanderson)
  • The Wind on Fire Trilogy (William Nicholson)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (C. S. Lewis)
  • Kingmaker, Kingbreaker (Karen Miller)

Graphic Novels & Comics

  • Watchmen (Alan Moore)
  • Kingdom Come (Alex Ross and Mark Waid)
  • Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi)
  • Exit Wounds (Rutu Modan)
  • Palestine (Joe Sacco)
  • American Virgin (Steven Seagle)
  • Transmetropolitan (Warren Ellis)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller)
  • The Umbrella Academy (Gerard Way)


Historical Fiction

  • The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
  • The Sharpe series (Bernard Cornwell)
  • Fatherland (Robert Harris)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
  • Labyrinth (Kate Mosse)
  • Sepulchre (Kate Mosse)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
  • The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
  • Goodnight Mr Tom (Michelle Magoria)
  • The Leopard - Giuseppe Tomassi di Lampedusa
  • Midnight's Children (Salman Rushdie)


  • Generation Kill (Evan Wright)


  • Dracula (Bram Stoker)
  • It (Stephen King)
  • Duma Key (Stephen King)
  • The Magic Cottage (James Herbert)
  • Insomnia - Stephen King


  • Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie)
  • Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (Gary K. Wolf)


  • Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
  • The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffeneger)
  • The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter)
  • Silk - Alessandro Baricco

Science Fiction


  • 1984 (George Orwell)
  • The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  • Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  • Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)


  • The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
  • World War Z (Max Brooks)

Science Fiction

  • Dune (Frank Herbert)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  • The Foundation Series (Isaac Asimov)
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. ****
  • Perdido Street Station (China Mieville)
  • The War of the Worlds (HG Wells)
  • Rendezvous with Rama (Arthur C. Clarke)
  • The Dragonriders of Pern (Anne McCaffrey)
  • Xeelee Sequence (Stephen Baxter)
  • Galactic Center Saga (Gregory Benford)
  • Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
  • Red Mars (Kim Stanley Robinson)
  • Neuromancer (William Gibson)
  • Shade's Children (Garth Nix)


  • No Time For Goodbye (Linwood Barclay)
  • Jack Ryan Novels (Tom Clancy)
  • The Woods (Harlan Coben)
  • Brighton Rock (Graham Greene)

Young Adult

  • Alex Rider series (Anthony Horowitz)
  • Artemis Fowl series (Eoin Colfer)
  • How I Live Now (Meg Rosoff)
  • The Mortal Engines Quartet (Philip Reeve)
  • The Southern Vampire Mysteries (Charlaine Harris) - Vampire
  • Hex Trilogy (Rhiannon Lassitter)
  • If I Stay (Gayle Foreman)

General Fiction (Classic & Contemporary)


  • Notes on a Scandal (Zoe Heller)
  • The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)

General Fiction (Not contemporary, not yet a classic and does not fit in specific categories)

  • Sophie's World (Jostein Gaarder)
  • London Fields (Martin Amis)
  • Lullaby (Chuck Palahniuk)
  • The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
  • The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
  • Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • Life; A Users Manual (Georges Perec)
  • Nausea (Jean-Paul Sartre)
  • Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka)
  • The Castle (Franz Kafka)
  • Seize The Day (Saul Bellow)
  • Rabbit, Run (John Updike)
  • Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
  • Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin)
  • My Best Friend's Girl (Dororthy Koomson)
  • The Ice Cream Girls (Dorothy Koomson)
  • Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
  • My Cousin Rachel (Daphne DuMaurier)
  • I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith)
  • Brooklyn (Colm Toibin)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Kim Edwards)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson)
  • Invisible Cities (Italo Calvino)
  • Kane and Abel (Jefferey Archer)
  • The Harp in the South (Ruth Park)
  • McSorley's Wonderful Saloon (Joseph Mitchell)
  • Bringing Down the House - Ben Mezrich
  • In Her Shoes - Jennifer Weiner
  • Everything Is Illuminated, (Jonathan Safran Foer)


  • Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)
  • The Portrait of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
  • The Idiot (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  • Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) - Classics
  • Cancer Ward (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • Poor Things (Alasdair Gray)
  • Lanark (Alasdair Gray)
  • Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (J.D Salinger)
  • Women in Love (D. H. Lawrence)
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
  • Emma (Jane Austen)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey)
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
  • The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)
  • Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)
  • The Colour Purple (Alice Walker)
  • The Woman in White, (Wilkie Collins)
  • The Master and Margarita, (Mikhail Bulgakov)


Amusing & Touching finds

  • F My Life (Maxime Valette, Guillaume Passaglia, Didier Guedj)
  • PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives (Frank Warren)


  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Watch My Back (Geoff Thompson)
  • Cat's Eyes (Margaret Atwood)
  • Blair (Anthony Seldon)
  • The Periodic Table (Primo Levi)
  • Moab is my Washpot (Stephen Fry)


  • A History of Modern Britain (Andrew Marr)
  • Children of the Killing Fields (Dith Pran)
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys
  • The Diary of John Evelyn
  • Journal of Emily Shore
  • The Lives of the Artists (Giorgio Vasari)
  • Letters on England (Voltaire)
  • The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings (Olaudah Equiano)
  • The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives (Sebastian Faulks)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Frederick Douglass)
  • Journals and Letters (Frances Burney)
  • The London Journal 1762- 1763 (James Boswell)
  • Rural Rides (William Cobbett)
  • Diary of a Country Parson, 1758 – 1802 (James Woodforde)
  • The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
  • The Confessions (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
  • The Life of Samuel Johnson (James Boswell)
  • The Pillow Book (Sei Shonagon)
  • Taste: The Story of Britain Through its Cooking (Kate Colquhoun)
  • The Shocking History of Advertising (E S Turner)
  • London: The Biography (Peter Ackroyd)
  • Black Sea: The Birthplace of Civilisation and Barbarism (Neil Ascherson)
  • A History of Wales (John Davies)
  • Chronicles of the Crusades (Joinville & Villehardouin)
  • Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America (John Charles Chasteen)
  • On Sparta (Plutarch)
  • The Histories (Herodotus)
  • London Labour and the London Poor (Henry Mayhew)
  • Chronicles (Froissart)
  • Prehistory of Australia (John Mulvaney)
  • Made in America (Bill Bryson)
  • The Faber Book of Reportage (John Carey)
  • Open Veins of Latin America (Eduardo Galeano)


  • Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature (Humphrey Carpenter)
  • Mother Tongue (Bill Bryson)
  • I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ear and Other Intriguing Idioms from Around the World (Jag Bhalla)
  • The Story of English (Robert McCrum)
  • The Meaning of Tingo (Adam Jacet de Boinod)


  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell)
  • The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (Sir James Frazer)
  • Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable
  • The Mahabharata
  • The Vinland Sagas (Leif Eiricksson)
  • The Healing Land: The Bushmen of the Kalahari (Rupert Isaacson)
  • Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (Ronald Hutton)
  • Tales of Hi and Bye: Greeting and Parting Rituals from Around the World (Torbjorn
  • Lundmark)
  • King Harald’s Saga (Snorri Sturluson)
  • Egyptian Book of the Dead
  • The Sutton Companion to the Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain (Marc Alexander)
  • Early Irish Myths and Sagas (Jeffrey Gantz)
  • Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour (Desmond Morris)
  • The Mabinogion (Sioned Davies)
  • The Prose Edda (Snorri Sturluson)
  • The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (Iona and Peter Opie)


  • A History of Western Philosophy (Bertrand Russell)
  • Existentialism and Humanism (Jean-Paul Sartre)
  • Ideas That Matter (A C Grayling)
  • Beyond Good And Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche)


  • Through the Lens: National Geographic’s Greatest Photographs
  • Water Light Time (David Doubilet)
  • Frans Lanting: Jungles (Frans Lanting)
  • Empty Quarter: A Photographic Journey to the Heart of the Arabian Desert (George
  • Steinmetz)
  • Guatemala Rainbow (Gianni Vecchiato)
  • The Photography Book (Phaidon Press)
  • Over India: Kite’s Eye Photographs of India (Nicolas Chorier)
  • African Ceremonies (Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher)


  • The Prince - Niccolò Machiavelli
  • The Road to Serfdom (F A Hayek)
  • Orwell and Politics (George Orwell)
  • Political Thought, Oxford Reader (Rosen & Wolff)
  • Political Ideologies (Andrew Heywood)


  • The Man Who Thought His Wife Was A Hat (Oliver Sacks)
  • The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (Sigmund Freud)
  • Interpreting Dreams (Sigmund Freud) (Same as above.)
  • Guilty by Reason of Insanity: A Psychiatrist Explore the Minds of Killers (Dorothy Otnow Lewis)
  • Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities (Flora Schreiber)
  • Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome (Darold A Treffert)
  • Twin Stories: Their Mysterious and Unique Bond (Susan Kohl)
  • Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Oliver Sacks)


  • How To Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
  • Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
  • The Richest Man in Babylon (George S Clason)


  • The English (Jeremy Paxman)
  • Watching the English (Kate Fox)


  • 1900 - 1950
    As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Laurie Lee)
    Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia (Rebecca West)
    The Log from the Sea of Cortez (John Steinbeck)
    Arabian Sands (Wilfred Thesiger)
    Between the Woods and the Water - On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland (Patrick Leigh Fermor)

  • 1951 - 2001
    The Shadow of the Sun (Ryszard Kapuskinski)
    Notes From A Big Country - Bill Bryson
    The Lost Continent - Bill Bryson
    A Writer's World: Travels 1950 - 2000 (Jan Morris)
    The Age of Kali (William Dalrymple)
    An African in Greenland (Kpomassie Tete-Michel)
    Travels With Charley: In search of America (John Steinbeck)
    A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Eric Newby)
    In Patagonia (Bruce Chatwin)
    The Songlines (Bruce Chatwin)
    Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft (Thor Heyerdahl)
    The Motorcycle Diaries (Ernesto 'Che' Guevra)
    The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas (Paul Theroux)
    The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia (Paul Theroux)
    The Lost World of the Kalahari (Laurens Van der Post)

  • 19th Century
    Around the World on a Bicycle (Thomas Stevens)
    The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches (Charles Darwin)
    Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour (Gustave Flaubert)
    Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (Robert Louis Stevenson)
    The Journals of Lewis & Clark

  • 18th Century
    James Cook: The Journals (Captain James Cook)
    Ventures in the Interior of Africa (Mungo Park)
    The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon (Henry Fielding)
    A Tour Through The Whole Isle of Great Britain (Daniel Defoe)

  • Earlier
    The Journey Through Wales (Gerald of Wales)
    The Travels of Marco Polo

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the very hungry caterpillar
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The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) - Historical Fiction
The Millennium Trilogy (Stieg Larsson) - Crime Fiction
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The Sight (David Clement-Davies) - Fantasy
The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux) - Classics
The Portrait of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) - Classics
The Sharpe series (Bernard Cornwell) - Historical Fiction
Fatherland (Robert Harris) - Historical Fiction
Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice) - Fantasy
The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter) - Romance
All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque) - Historical Fiction
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(Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
Added. Thanks for your submissions.
You're welcome! Knowing me, I'll end up giving you even more suggestions!
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(Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
You clearly are living it upto that name.
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the book theif by Markus Zusak (all time fave book ever)
fiction - i'm guessing historical coz its set during WW2

if i stay by gayle foreman
young adult fiction (but don't be put off coz its awsome)

anything written by diana wynne jones
fantasy (some of hers are childrens too but i know ppl who are all ages + still love them)

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

will add more when i think of them
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The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a famous autobiography and a good read.

Watch my back by Geoff Thompson is another good book, you can download it for free if you sign up for the newsletter on his website (you can always unsubscribe immediately if you don't want the emails):

It will only be available for a limted time on download.

Geoff use to work in factories and as a nightclub doorman before becoming a full time martial artist-becoming one of the best in the world. He's now a writer and film director.
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(Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
I look forward to more.

Hoping to have a diverse and comprehensive list compiled by TSR users.
It might be a good idea to have a 'self-help' section. I know a lot of people are sceptical and roll their eyes when they hear of self-help but there are some really great books out there.

'How to win friends and influence people' by Dale Carnegie is a very famous book which has sold millions of copies. It really opened my eyes to mistakes I had made in the past when interacting with people. I know it sounds slightly sinister/manipulative by the title but it's not like that at all. Even Warren Buffett (a billionaire) endorses it: (2nd video down)

I read a lot of books on self-help/entrepreneurs and this book has been endorsed by 2 other millionaires I have read about.

'Think and grow rich' by Napoleon Hill is another book I've read, one of the best.

'The richest man in babylon' by George S Clason is another great book.

Even though the books I have mentioned have sold millions of copies, I'm amazed that more people haven't heard of them or read them. Some of the advice is literally life-changing. It was actually Geoff Thompson that got me in to reading self-help stuff as he went from being an ordinary guy in the street to becoming really successful and he learnt a lot of his stuff from the books that I've mentioned and many more.
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Perdido Street Station (China Mieville) -- SF
Cat's Eyes (Margaret Atwood) -- (semi)Autobiographical
The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) -- SF
Cancer Ward (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) -- Classic

will think of more
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The First Law Trilogy - Joe Abercrombie - Fantasy
Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie - Fantasy
Dracula - Bram Stoker - Horror
The War of the Worlds - HG Wells - Science Fiction
Animal Farm - Dystopian - George Orwell
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Generation Kill - it's like, war and stuff.
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Kate Mosse - Labyrinth (would take a guess at historical fiction/fantasy)
Kate Mosse - Sepulchre (same as above)
Mitch Albom - The five people you meet in heaven (umm no clue, it is just a moving book)
Khaled Hosseini - A thousand splendid suns (same genre as Kite Runner I guess)
Linwood Barclay - No time for goodbye (thriller)
Max Brooks - World War Z (zombie thriller I guess)
Clive Woodall - One for sorrow, Two for joy (fantasy)
sorry for the not very specific genres... I have no idea, they are just brilliant books
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Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) - Romance
The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffeneger) - Romance
Fire Bringer (David Clement-Davies) - Fantasy
The Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri) - Poetry
To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - Classics
Poor Things (Alasdair Gray) - Classics
Lanark (Alasdair Gray) - Classics
Shade's Children (Garth Nix) - Dystopia
The Earthsea Quartet (Ursula Le Guin) - Fantasy
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Sophie's choice by william styron.

Seriously good.
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Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) - Classics
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) - Dystopian
Jack Kerouac (On The Road) - Travel
London Fields (Martin Amis) - Literary Fiction
Brighton Rock (Graham Greene) - Literary Fiction
The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) - Literary Fiction
The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) - Literary Fiction
Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut) - Literary Fiction
Life; A Users Manual (Georges Perec) - Literary Fiction
Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) - Graphic Novel
Exit Wounds (Rutu Modan) - Graphic Novel
Palestine (Joe Sacco) - Graphic Novel
American Virgin (Steven Seagle) - Graphic Novel
The Idiot (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) - Classics
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) - Classics
Nausea (Jean-Paul Sartre) - Literary Fiction
Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka) - Literary Fiction
The Castle (Franz Kafka) - Literary Fiction
Seize The Day (Saul Bellow) - Literary Fiction
Rabbit, Run (John Updike) - Literary Fiction
Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck) - Literary Fiction
Medea (Euripides) - Plays
Nekrassov (Jean-Paul Sartre) - Plays
Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett) - Plays
The Trojan Women (Jean-Paul Sartre) - Plays
Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin) - Literary Fiction

A History of Modern Britain (Andrew Marr) - History
The English (Jeremy Paxman) - Society
Watching the English (Kate Fox) - Society
The Man Who Thought His Wife Was A Hat (Oliver Sacks) - Psychology
The Road to Serfdom (F A Hayek) - Politics
A History of Western Philosophy (Bertrand Russell) - Philosophy
Existentialism and Humanism (Jean-Paul Sartre) - Philosophy
Blair (Anthony Seldon) - Biography
Ideas That Matter (A C Grayling) - Philosophy
Beyond Good And Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche) - Philosophy
Orwell and Politics (George Orwell) - Politics
Political Thought, Oxford Reader (Rosen & Wolff) - Politics
The Periodic Table (Primo Levi) - Autobiography
Moab is my Washpot (Stephen Fry) - Autobiography
Political Ideologies (Andrew Heywood) - Politics

I think that's enough for now. Also I think you need a Literary Fiction category for books that aren't classics and aren't in a specific genre.
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The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) Historical fiction.
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My Best Friend's Girl (Dororthy Koomson) - Fiction
The Ice Cream Girls (Dorothy Koomson) - Fiction

neither really fit into any of the categories mentioned

Deja Dead (Kathy Reichs) - Crime Fiction
Death Du Jour (Kathy Reichs) - Crime Fiction
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Classics -
Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (if a play counts)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Horror or Romance, I'm not sure -
The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
  • Study Helper
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Title or series (Author) - Genre

Alex Cross Novels (James Patterson) - Crime Fiction

Jack Ryan Novels (Tom Clancy) - I would say the genre was thriller, but that isn't up there.

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