Victoria Hislop: Top 5 Books of the Past 225 Years

Victoria Hislop: Top 5 Books of the Past 225 Years

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

This was the first really ‘adult’ book I read and it introduced me to a new world of reading.

It was ideal to read as a thirteen year old because, in the core part of the story, the characters are adolescents – so I really identified with their bad behaviour and sulks.

It’s a gripping story too – and the most exciting people in the book are very flawed.

1984 – George Orwell

For me, George Orwell is perhaps the most important twentieth-century writer.

It is extraordinary how he essentially saw into the future to imagine this nightmare vision – so many aspects of which have come true.

He writes in such a simple, unpretentious way and I think this is a great skill.

Deceptive simplicity, combined with political ideas and believable characters too.

Justine – Lawrence Durrell

I have only just discovered Lawrence Durrell – and am absolutely amazed by the richness and the boldness of his writing.

In this book you are plunged into the city of Alexandria in Egypt – and into a whole new world of absorbing and wonderful characters.

Justine is part of the Alexandria Quartet, but this book stands alone.

How To Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran

I know how much I love a book when I buy copies for ALL my friends.

This is a fantastic book – funny, but with really important messages and revelations about women.

All men should read this book! They will discover things they didn’t know before.

It’s simply a work of genius.

Nutshell – Ian McEwan

Well … Hamlet by William Shakespeare was written before the birth of W H Smith (otherwise it would be in my list). But this comes close to my favourite Shakespeare play in terms of brilliance.

Inside his mother’s womb, the unborn Hamlet listens as his mother and uncle plot the death of his father.

It is absolutely gripping – even if you know the outcome and the path of the plot, it is so cleverly written that it takes your breath away.

Victoria Hislop’s latest book – Cartes Postales from Greece – is available to order here.