A book list for my dad

When I last went to stay with my dad he asked my Aunt and I to compile a list of books for him to read as he is keen to get into it.

As two literature lovers (I have an English degree, my aunt also has one as well as teaching English) we were very excited by this request.

We’ve been scheming ever since, and so far we’ve come up with the following list. It's written in the order we came up with them rather than any preference ranking.

I will keep adding to this as we come up with more ideas but if you have any please leave them in the comments below and don't forget to say why my dad should read the book!

  1. A Week in December, Sebastian Faulks - the novel explores themes that affect us in our everyday lives, from mental health and loneliness to consumerism and greed. It starts with the elaborate seating plan of a dinner party, and proceeds to tell the stories of the guests, whose lives are intertwined.

  2. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift - this is an absolutely classic that so many popular references have their routes in. Irish writer Swift produced a satire about human nature and travellers’ tales to “vex the world rather than divert it”.

  3. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury - Bradbury’s descriptive writing is out of this world. This is one of his most famous books, a dystopian fiction set in a world in which books are outlawed and “firemen” burn them.

  4. The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane - this a tale of bravery set in the American Civil War. Young private, Henry Fleming, is overcome with shame when he flees the field of battle and afterwards he longs for a wound (a red badge of courage) to counteract his cowardice.

  5. Human Traces, Sebastian Faulks - another Faulks novel appears partly because my dad already had these two books on his shelf, but also because Faulks' writing and stories are inspirational (you must read Birdsong if you haven't already). This one follows two friends who set up a pioneering asylum in 19th century Austria at the same time as evolution in psychiatry and the outbreak of the First World War.

  6. Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck - I studied Steinbeck at school, and my aunt teaches it. His writing is simple and powerful, and his stories timeless yet very representative of where they are based. This one is all about a poor family trying to find their way during the Great Depression.