1) Paradise Postponed by John Mortimer. The mystery of why a deceased socialist vicar left a fortune to a Tory cabinet minister wrapped in the story of England’s changes since the war. It’s about class and politics and society, love, both requited and unrequited, frustrated dreams. It’s warm and funny and the characters are imperfect but you love them anyway.
2) Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. The classic tale of state control and one couple’s fight against it. Brought up on a diet of Doctor Who and Star Wars, I expected the rebels to win. This doesn’t quite happen here.
3) The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend. The story of every adolescent, told with a razor-sharp wit. We lost one of the UK’s finest writers.
4) The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale. A girl recovers from post-traumatic stress disorder by retreating into a fantasy world. Or is it fantasy? Beautifully written and thought provoking.
5) One Day by David Nicholls — A love story over the decades between a sensible northerner and a decadent southerner (guess whose side I’m on). I read this before the hype, which means I wasn’t prepared. Never has an ending left me so devastated.
Gary is the author of True Fire, which can be purchased here
Quercus are hosting a fantastic giveaway which gives you the chance to win £50 worth of ASOS vouchers – brilliant! Here’s the tweet you need to use to enter:
‘I want to read TRUE FIRE the awesome new YA series to @quercuskids & @garypmeehan #TrueFire’