‘The Monk’ by Matthew Lewis

If you are one of those people who think that so-called ‘classic literature’ is boring, then The Monk is the book that will change your mind. Extraordinarily controversial when it was originally published in 1796, this sensational account of moral decline and depravity has lost none of its power to shock and appal. It’s bonkers,… Continue reading ‘The Monk’ by Matthew Lewis

‘The Daughter of Time’ by Josephine Tey

Inspector Alan Grant, recurring star of Josephine Tey’s classic detective novels, has broken his leg. Confined to a hospital bed, with nothing to amuse him but the books brought to him by his friends, his attention is caught by a reproduction of a painting from the National Portrait Gallery. The painting is of Richard III,… Continue reading ‘The Daughter of Time’ by Josephine Tey

Bibliotherapy

As a child, I was scared a lot. When I was seven we moved to a big, old house near a military airfield, and I would regularly convince myself that the planes I heard flying overhead at night were alien spaceships, that the scuffling birds in the sloped walls of my attic bedroom were the… Continue reading Bibliotherapy

‘Carrie’ by Stephen King

16-year-old Carrie White is not like other girls. Her homemade, old-fashioned clothes are odd and unflattering, her acne-ridden face is dissociated and dismal, and no wonder: at school, she is the butt of every joke, and at home, she must contend with her abusive, tyrannical, religiously fanatical ‘Momma’. But when Carrie gets her first period,… Continue reading ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King

‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca is, of course, du Maurier’s most famous novel, and there is a reason for that: it is glorious. I remember once hearing  that the three books every young woman should read before she turns thirty are Jane Eyre, Gone With the Wind, and Rebecca.  I’ve never read Gone With the Wind (although I still… Continue reading ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier

‘Black Narcissus’ by Rumer Godden

Set in a crumbling palace high in the mountains, Rumer Godden’s Black Narcissus has been hailed as a modern gothic classic. The Sisters of Mary – a group of young Irish Catholic nuns – travel to the Himalayas to convert ‘The House of Women’ – formerly home to the General’s harem – into a convent.… Continue reading ‘Black Narcissus’ by Rumer Godden

‘My Lover’s Lover’ by Maggie O’Farrell

Lily moves in with her new boyfriend Marcus too soon. As she attempts to make his strangely cold and seemingly heartless warehouse apartment her home, she slowly realises that she barely even knows the man she is living with. And she knows even less about his previous relationships. When she stumbles upon an abandoned dress,… Continue reading ‘My Lover’s Lover’ by Maggie O’Farrell