Books of 2007: from the audience of the Penny Readings

Friends of The Reader have been writing about their books of 2007. Here, we have attendees of The Reader’s Penny Readings event held last Sunday, recommending their favourite reads.

I’ve just read Stephen Fry Moab is my Washpot. So well written, it was like having a chat with the writer each time I picked it up.
Tracey Sergeant

I have just finished Cold Comfort Farm – superb.
Josephine Dodd

Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go, an intriguing read.
T Stoddart

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, what wonderful storytelling.
Anonymous

Alis, the first novel by Naomi Rich. It deals with religious extremism set in an unspecified time, place or sect. The story of a fifteen year old girl in a forced marriage for older children, it can be grim reading in places.
Garnette Bowler

I am currently re-reading Northern Lights prior to seeing the film The Golden Compass. It is a beautifully written book, with imaginative and picturesque descrptions and well-drawn characters. Although it is essentially a fantasy, you find yourself believing in the people, their demons, their story, and ultimately caring about them (I hope the film is as good!).
H Lynskey

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan is the most striking evocation of failed female/male relationships. The botched communication between the protagonists sensitively begs the question ‘can romantic love ever survive?’
Geraldine Roberts-Stone

A great book for teenagers is Sterkarm Kiss by Susan Price, it’s all about time travel – really exciting!
Brenda Muller

A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist and Buccaneer: The Life of William Daupier by Diana Preston. An unknown who discovered Australia – there is a town called Daupier in north west Australia. Lively style of writing and so much information. Read it.
Eve Jones

I have recently finished The Republic by Plato. I thought it was an excellent book and definitely the most interesting book I have ever read. I particularly liked the idea about the way governments developed and started as a monarchy then went on to timocracy, then oligarchy, then democracy and finally tyranny, each one being worse than the last. I also liked the idea that the man who pursues knowledge and wisdom is the best suited to decide what is the best path to take in life, the purpose of a doctor is to cure people, and a soldier to fight, etc.; not to make money, and money does not help a captain steer his ship, nor the politician rule a state.
Anonymous 15 year old

My comfort book is The Diary of a Nobody which is entertaining and such fun.
Anonymous

1066 and All That by W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, very funny and awakened my interest in history.
Anonymous

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell – a laugh aloud book – the first compulsory school book I enjoyed.
Anonymous

Into the Wild is a fantastic story about 2 boys who run away from home on the back of a horse. A book to make you smile and cry at the same time.
Lea Fein

The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini – love, guilt, redemption – a wonderful book.
Lily

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, the only book about a detective with Tourettes. You’ll love him.
Linda Stephens

I can highly recommend The Swarm by Frank Schatzing, an eco-thriller, a great, exciting story and so gripping. A true blockbuster of a book. Great entertainment and educational too.
Anonymous

I have recently re-read A Tale of Two Cities. Brilliant plot, pace, atmosphere and tension.
Keith Rimmer

Christmas Books by Mr Charles Dickens!
R Kinnear