We've been asking some of our favourite authors to tell us their top 10 books and we're thrilled that the legendary Jilly Cooper has sent us hers. Jilly complained that it was terribly hard to whittle down to just 10 so, because it's Jilly, we're letting her recommend 12.
Jane and Prudence, Barbara Pym
The Diary of a Provincial Lady, E.M. Delafield
The Second Edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
A Question of Upbringing, Anthony Powell
Tom Kitten, Beatrix Potter
The Incredible Journey, Shelia Burnford
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford
Regency Buck, Georgette Heyer
The Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger
The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge
Some People, Harold Nicholson
Two more authors' choices today. Markus Zusak & Audrey Niffenegger currently both have books in the top 10 (The Book Thief at number 4 and The Time Traveller's Wife at number 9). Markus' choices are listed in alphabetical order and Audrey's chosen to pick her favourite books from the current top 100.
Markus Zusak’s choices (supplied in alphabetical order)
Wonder Boys: Michael Chabon
The Half Brother: Lars Saabye Christensen
The Commitments: Roddy Doyle
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: Peter Hedges
To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee
The Bell Jar: Sylvia Plath
Green Eggs and Ham: Doctor Seuss
I Capture the Castle: Dodie Smith
Maus: Art Spiegelman
Old School: Tobias Wolfe
Audrey Niffenegger’s choices (from top 100 list)
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susannah Clarke
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Possession – A S Byatt
The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
Captain Corelli's Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
Tomorrow choices from two of this year's World Book Night authors, Kate Atkinson and Mark Haddon.
This one’s really tricky. It spans 20 years, it’s hilarious but also heartbreaking, it’s very fresh and contemporary but also feels classic, like it will stand the test of time.
Obviously you can start by reading other books by David Nicholls – Starter for Ten or The Understudy, but One Day is widely acknowledged to be his best book.
So David’s kindly told us what his top 10 books are. These are the books he loves, returns to, gives and cherishes. What better way of getting a little further into your favourite authors minds than by getting to know the books that they love? So you could start dipping into one of these...
Tender is the Night, F Scott Fitzgerald
Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
Goodbye, Columbus, Philip Roth
Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut
The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark
Hangover Square, Patrick Hamilton
Collected Stories, John Cheever
The Patrick Melrose Trilogy, Edward St Aubyn
But none of them are much like One Day, so if you really do want something comparable where should you go next?
If you liked One Day because of the humorous view of contemporary life (and it perhaps reminded you a little of your own) try: Nick Hornby: Juliet, Naked or High Fidelity or Matt Beaumont: Small World
If you liked One Day because you cried your eyes out at the end try: Audrey Niffeneger, The Time Traveller’s Wife
If you liked One Day because it’s funny (and you liked the 90s setting too) try: Christopher Brookmyre, Quite Ugly One Morning
If you liked One Day because it’s just one of those amazing books that affects you and stays with you try: Chris Cleave, The Other Hand
And finally, our massively tenuous, completely off the wall suggestions*:
The Devil Wear’s Prada, Lauren Weisberger
Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx
Hard Sell, Jamie Reidy
Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens
The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Anything by Jane Austen!
Next Friday: If you loved Fingersmith
*based on the fact that Anne Hathaway stars as Emma in the film of One Day and these are the other books she's been in adpatations of, we make a presumption that she liked and would recommend them all...
About the Book
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships,gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
What we think
'Forget any prejudices you may have about Austen. This is one of the country's favourite books for a very good reason. Simply delightful, it may have been written almost 200 years ago but the highs and lows of love and family life haven't changed that much. Make yourself a cup of tea, read it and enjoy.'
What to read next...
Jane Austen's publishers have chosen Anthony Quinn's Half of the Human Race as their recommendation. A sample of it is printed in the back of World Book Night editions for Pride and Prejudice or you can read it below.
Where to get the WBN books
Read Pride & Prejudice now – borrow it from your local library or buy it from your local bookshop. More details here.
Also by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was modest about her own genius but is one of English literature's greatest and most admired writers. She is the author of Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion.
Hear about Jane Austen's life on Radio 4's Women's Hour