Happy World Book Day, world! To celebrate I thought I would share my list of books that, for me, really pack a punch. I mean a well aimed blow that leaves you winded on the floor, stars whizzing round your head, the lot. It’s what a book should do, really. So here’s my arsenal of favourites – ten books that will make you reel (as in stagger, not start folk dancing):
The Secret History by Donna Tartte
Richard’s exclusive academy turns out to be a hotbed of Dionysus-worshipping murderers – and he has to sleep under a hole in his roof! And he gets shot! And two of the characters are called Charles and Camilla!
Room by Emma Donahue
He’s five years old, bright as a button, witty, brave and rather naive. Oh, and he’s never left his room. An emotional journey of the tissue-box emptying kind.
Betrayals by Charles Palliser
You’ll need a strong stomach to get to the bottom of this mystery. And can there be any other book in the world where each chapter is in a different genre?
Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
Being ugly is illegal in Westerfeld’s brilliantly imagined future. The shock comes when Tally actually has the surgery…
Eon by Greg Bear
The seventh chamber goes on forever? You mean, as long as this book? Believe me, it’s worth it – the ending is awe-inspiring.
Use of Weapons by Iain Banks
You will never look at a chair in the same way again.
The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
No! Don’t ring Astarael! Dong!
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
No we don’t. Please! I’m still having nightmares.
The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
No you haven’t gone forward in time, darling, I just haven’t put my foundation on yet.
Sleeping in Flame by Jonathan Carroll
Thought you knew Rumpelstiltzkin? Oh, well if you see him can you say hello from me? It’s been years!
I realise this list has degenerated into farce but really, if you want to read the books, I shouldn’t be describing them. Go and get the punch for yourself. I’ll see you in recovery.