Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

The 50 Best Winter Reads

The First Person and Other Stories, by Ali Smith
A glorious collection that celebrates and subverts the short story form ? though it?s much more fun than that sounds ? Ali Smith?s latest begins with the premise that ?The novel [is] a flabby old whore? whereas the short story is ?a nimble goddess, a slim nymph.? Many of the stories are about lovers; all contain moments of clarity that make you wince. In one, the thought that ?Her clothes smell overwhelmingly of the same washing powder as yours? is devastating.
Publisher Hamish Hamilton
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
A global bestseller since its publication in 1844, Alexander Dumas?s massive adventure story has everything ? post-Napoleon France, resourceful hero, flighty Spanish girlfriend, secret letters, intrigue, wrongful imprisonment and treachery, as Edmund Dantes is transformed from idealistic sailor to cynical aristocrat bent on revenge. There?s even a scene in which he manipulates the 1830s French bond market.
Publisher:Penguin Classics
Cookie, by Jacqueline Wilson, illustrated by Nick Sharratt
Former Children?s Laureate and indefatigable novelist Jacqueline Wilson?s novel carries an over-nine age band something she ardently opposes ? she claims it was simply a publisher?s mistake. It is familiar Wilson territory. A young girl, Beauty, who is bullied by classmates at school and a domineering father at home, has her only friend in her mother. The story follows their search for a better life.
Publisher:Random House

Gripped by thrillers? Hooked on classics? Our panellists select the hottest books for colder months – whatever your literary leaning.

>> Click the image to the right to launch the 50 best.

Have we missed your favourite? Scroll down to leave your comments and suggestions.

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