Tuesday 1 February 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Oh yes, it's that time again! The time of the week when I can indulge in my list-making tendencies, thanks to the genius of the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. So let's do it!

Top 10 Debut Books

1. Carrie- Stephen King: A scary but also incredibly moving book, this remains one of my favourite Stephen King novels. It also gets extra points for being female-centric, when in so many of his later novels, women tend to get sidelined at crucial moments. He still kicks ass though.

2. American Beauty- written by Alan Ball: So, it's not technically a book. Nonetheless, Ball's first feature length film also happens to be one of my favourite films ever in the entire world. Whether or not you consider it pretentious (as so many people have told me they did) you still have to admit that the writing is absolutely stunning. Anyone who can make me feel so joyous about a plastic bag deserves their place on this list!

3. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen: Whichever book was Jane Austen's first would basically have booked it's place on this list (except maybe Mansfield Park. Stupid Mansfield Park). Sense and Sensibility does hold a special place in my heart though, portraying as it does the behaviours of a sensible and a rather more silly sister. Not that this has any relation to my own life at all. Ahem.

4. Trainspotting- Irvine Welsh: This book is just so fresh, so innovative, and so different from anything you've ever read before. It's also fucking disgusting quite a bit of the time, and our heroes sometimes speak in indecipherable Scottish accents. It's worth reading for the 'choose life' monologue alone though. Pure excellence and truth in so few pages.

5. To Kill A Mockingbird- Harper Lee: As well as her debut, this also happens to be her only novel, but oh my what a novel to have written. It's difficult to see how anything else she could have written could even have come close to this absolute work of art.

6. High Fidelity- Nick Hornby: I've read quite a lot of Nick Hornby's books, and this, his very first novel, remains my favourite. There's something about the main character's obsession with making lists that appeals to me... I have no idea what that's all about!

7. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk: This is so obscenely entertaining and well written for a first novel that it must make so many aspiring authors die of jealousy. I have actually been kind of apprehensive about reading anything else he has written, in case it isn't as good as Fight Club, because it might make me have to re-evaluate everything I think about Palahniuk (e.g. my pledge of undying love to him). I am Jack's fear of a broken heart...

8. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte: I have read all of Charlotte Bronte's novels, and only Jane Eyre has ever managed to sink itself so deeply into my psyche as to make Jane my personal (19th Century) hero! I am also continually happy with how this story ends.

9. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath: Another sole novel that I doubt could have been topped (although I suppose I shouldn't doubt anything where Sylvia Plath is concerned). This novel was so effective at describing a breakdown that at times it made me feel like I was also having a breakdown (in the best possible way, not in a literal way... it's just amazing, ok?!)

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde: Such an incredibly well written novel that it made my heart soar just a little bit (an effect I like to call 'American Beauty Syndrome'). An amazing portrait (ho ho) of London upper class life in the late 19th Century, but also with wider messages on the right and wrong way to live our lives. About as perfect as Dorian Gray remains, but without the seedy, ugly portrait behind it- in other words, pure loveliness.

So that's my top ten. Do you have any debut novels that you desperately love?


  1. You've some wonderful books on the list - Sense and Sensibility, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Fight Club, Jane Eyre and To Kill A Mockingbird are some of my favourite novels! American Beauty is among the best movies I have seen.

  2. Aw, thanks! I love them too, clearly hehe. I can't believe I forgot The Kite Runner though- such an amazing novel that made me cry so much! (Yes I have stalked your list a little bit :) ). American Beauty would probably be my very favourite movie if I was absolutely forced to choose... I might have to gush about it on here A LOT soon!

  3. Somehow I didn't realize that Carrie was King's first novel; thanks for noting that.
    Yes, American Beauty's a modern classic.
    Sense and Sensibility made another of my top 10's, and we share To Kill A Mockingbird on this one. Thanks for reminding me of all these fine texts.
    Laurie @ whatsheread.blogspot.com

  4. Hey, thanks for reading! It's amazing how many people have put to kill a mockingbird on their lists, just goes to show how utterly brilliant it is I guess!

  5. Nice list! High Fidelity and Trainspotting are both on my 2011 TBR list! Have a great week.

  6. Ah damn, I can't believe I forgot to put Nick Hornby on my top ten list.