Final book recommendations from the Big Book Vote – Summer reading inspiration!

Here is the remainder of the enormous list of favourite books we collected in our ‘Wellington College Big Book Vote’ in March this year to coincide with World Book Day.

As we head towards the long summer holiday it seemed an apt time to reveal all the books which received one recommendation from a staff member or student – nearly 500 in total.

Apologies for the incomplete nature of the information – not all voters supplied authors or full titles but for the time being it is an intriguing and wide ranging list of personal favourites!

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

11 Kinds of Loneliness – by Richard Yates
41: A Portrait of My Father (George W. Bush)
A brief history of time
A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J Maas
A Fine Balance by  Mistry
A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
A god in ruins by Kate Atkinson
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius – Dave Eggers
A History of the World in 100 Objects (Neil McGregor)
A Little Life
A million little pieces
A Murder of Quality (John Le Carre)
A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes
A Room with a View, E.M. Forster
A Separate Peace
A Study in Scarlet
A tale of two Cities
A Town Like Alice
A Year of Marvellous Ways (Sarah Winman, an old friend)
About a boy – Nick Hornby
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
Aesop’s Fables
Alan Bennett Diaries – Keep on Keeping on
Alan Turing and the Turing machine
Alex Cross
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
All My Secrets
All the Bright Places- Jennifer Niven
All the truth that’s in me
Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History
Am I normal yet?
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
An abundance of Katherine’s
An unsuitable job for a woman – PD James
Andre Agassi autobiograpy
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Antony Beevor, Berlin the Downfall
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
Arabian Sands, by Wilfred Thesiger
Archangel: Robert Harris
Around the world in 80 days, Jules Vernes
As I Lay Dying
Assassin’s Apprentice
Augustus- Allan Massie
Auschwitz by Miklaos Nyiszli
Bad Pharma – Ben Goldacre
Ballet shoes
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
Beware of Pity – Stefan Zweig
Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond the Deepwoods
Black Box Thinking (Matthew Syed)
Black Water Lillies – Michel Bussi
Blood Meridian
Born to be wild
Brighton Rock, Graham Green
Britons: Forging a Nation by Linda Colley
Bunker Diary – Kevin Brooks
Casino Royale
Charlie and the chocolate factory
Chickenhawk – unknown
Child 44
Churchill Factor
Cinnamon Shops – Bruno Schulz
Collected Poems 1909-1962, by T S Eliot
Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
Collected Poems, by Philip Larkin
Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K.Rowling
Danny the Champion of the World – RD
Daphne du Maurier – Jamaica Inn
Daring greatly
Death In The Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway
Death Note
Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney
Department 19 series by Will Hill
Dick Francis’s collection
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Diving Adventure – Willard Price
Diving Bell and the Butterfly – Jean-Dominique Bauby
Don Kişot
Dulce et Decorum Est
Earth’s Children series (6 books) by Jean M Auel
Eat Sweat Play: How sport can change our lives – Kessel
Economix – graphic novel explaining Economics
Edge of nowhere
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
El principito – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Emma (JAusten)
Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Empire, by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
Empress Orchid (Anchee Min)
Ender’s Game
Engleby – Sebastian Faulks
Enigma, Robert Harris
Escape by Kate Cann
Falling Leaves (Adeline Yen Mah)
Famous Five by Enid Blyton
Farseer Trilogy
Fatherland – Robert Harris
Fiction – The count of Monte Cristo – Dumas
Fight like a girl
Find her
First Test (Tamora Pierce)
Fluke – Joseph Mazur
Fragments of Sappho
Freedom (Jonathan Franzen)
General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales – Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Girl online
Gone with the Wind
Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Goodbye to All That – Robert Graves
Goosebumps – Ghost Camp
Green Eggs & Ham – Dr Seuss
Green Flag by Robert Kee
Gustav Heningsen, The Witches Advocate, Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition
Half Hidden
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
Happiness by design
Heir of fire by Sarah j Maas
Here we lie
Hidden Killer – Lynda La Plante
History as an Art of Memory – Patrick Hutton
History of God – Karen Armstrong
Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives – Alan Bullock
Holding Up the Universe- Jennifer Niven
Hope in a ballet shoe
House Rules, Jodi Picoult
House with the Green Shutters
How To Be A Study Ninja by Graham Alcott
How to Watch Football by Ruud Gullit
Hunt for the wilderpeople
I am Malala
I, Claudius
I Coriander
Illustrated Encyclopedia of British History
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
In the heart of the sea
In the killing woods
Into that forest
Introducing Quantum Physics – A Graphic Novel
Is it just me? By Miranda Hart
Itch – Simon Mayo
It’s kind of a funny story
It’s Quacking Time
J G Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
Jack Reacher
Jeffery Archor books
Jessica Ennis biography
John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
John Milton, Paradise Lost
John: The Gospel of Wisdom by Michael Card
Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon
Journey to the river sea
Journey’s End
Jung Chang- Wild Swans
Jurassic Park
Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami
Kane and Abel
Ketchup Clouds
King Richard III by William shakespeare
King Soloman’s Mines’ by H. Rider Haggard
Kreutzer Sonata – Tolstoy
La fille d’un héros de l’URSS (Andreii Makeine)
La Lionne Blanche, Henning Mankell
La verite sur l’affaire Quebert, Joel Dicker
Lady chatterley’s Lover
Lamentation- C.J.Samson
Lanark – Alastair Gray
L’Arrache Coeur, Boris Vian
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam
Les animaux denatures, Vercos
Letter To the King: Tonke Dragt
Life’s Too Short by Helen Rollason
Little Women, L.M. Alcott
London Orbital – Iain Sinclair
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Lorein Legacys
Lost and Found
Lost at sea: the jon ronson mysteries
Lost Japan
Love Does Bob Goff
Love in the Time of Cholera
Lustrum by Robert Harris
M Train – Patti Smith
Magic in Numberland – Alex Bellos
Mallory Towers series
Mao’s Last Dancer
Mapp and Lucia (EFBenson)
Margaret Brown’s Goodnight Moon
Marley and Me
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Maus, by Art Spiegelman
Meditations (Marcus Aurelius)
Memoirs of a Geisha
Miss Pettigrew Lives for the Day
Molecules at an Exhibition
Molecules, Peter Atkins
Mortal Engines
Most of the Kay Scarpetta books by Patricia Cornwell
Muhammad Ali – Autobiography
My sister lives on the mantlepiece
My sword hand is singing
Never Let Me Go
Night Runner by Tim Bowler
Not in God’s Name
Not without my daughter
On Beulah Height – Reginald Hill
On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
On politics
One Day Event – Josephine Pullein-Thompson
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
One-Inch Warrior
Oscar and Lucinda’ by Peter Carey
Out of my mind
Paradise Lost
Paul Krugman- End this depression now
Paul O’Connell (The Battle) book on Rugby
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
Persian Fire
Peter Rabbit
Phaedrus (Plato)
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Polar Bear Pirates and the quest for Fat City (Adrian Webster)
Pompeii – Robert Harris
Prodigal’s daughter
Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough – Duncan Hamilton
Queen of the desert by Georgina Howell
Red Rising – Pierce Brown
Requiem for a Dream
Ring of bright water by Gavin Maxwell
Robinson Crusoe
Roll of thunder hear my cry
Rudyard Kipling – IF
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
Short History of nearly everything-Bill Bryson
Silly Verse for Kids   Spike Milligan
Silver linings playbook
Sir Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur
Sister missing
Six Dinner Sid – Inga Moore
Six Not So Easy Pieces by Richard Feinman
Six Poets, Alan Bennett
Sleep in early modern England- Sascha handley
Smart – Kim Slater
Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
Squash and a Squeeze – Julia Donaldson
Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor
Stick Man
Stoner – by John Williams
Storm Catchers
Stuff Matters’ by Mark M
Summer of ’49 – David Halberstam
Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
T S Eliot, Selected Poems
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice-Burroughs
Taxi – Karen Duve
Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin
Temperance Brennan (Bones) books by Kathy Reichs
Tender is the Night – by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The graveyard book – Neil Gaiman
The 100 dollar horse
The 48 laws of power
The adventures of Paddington, Michael Brown
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Annals – Tacitus
The Art of Meditation, by Matthieu Ricard
The Baroque Cycle (Neal Stephenson)
The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B
The BFG – Roald Dahl
The Big Necessity – Rose George
The Birth of the Pill
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Boy At The Top of The Mountain
The Boy with the Lightning Feet
The Bricks That Built The Houses
The Butterfly lion
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
The Confessions of an Economic Hitman
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Crossing
The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper)
The Dark Knight Returns
The Day of the Jackal
The Dead
The Disappearing Spoon
The Economics of Good and Evil
The Ego and its Own – Max Stirner
The empty pot
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The fastest boy in the world
The fifteen lives of Harry August
The Fifth Elephant – Terry Pratchett
The Fight – Norman Mailer
The garden of evening mists
The Girls by Emma Cline
The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein)
The glass castle
The Glass Menagerie, Tenessee Williams
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
The good earth
The Grace to Race by Sister Madonna Buder
The Hand That First Held Mine
The Handmaid’s Tale   Margaret Attwood
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The House of the Scorpion
The Hundred year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
The Hungry Caterpillar
The Iliad
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The invention of Wings
The Japanese Mind
The Last Enemy
The Last of the Wine – Mary Renault
The Last Temptation (Nikos Kazantzakis)
The liar
The lie
The lies we tell ourselves – Robin Talley
The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo
The Lightless Sky – Gulwali Passerlay
The Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst
The Little Drummer Girl   John Le Carre
The Locust Effect (Gary Haugen)
The Loney
The Long Walk
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat (Oliver Sacks)
The messenger bird
The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton
The moaning of life – Karl pilkington
The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare
The Mysterious Haunting of Charity Delafield
The Nicomachean Ethics
The Night Rainbow
The Number Devil
The Ocean At the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman
The Odyssey: Homer
The One and Only Ivan
The Outsider
The Painter of Shanghai (Jennifer Cody Epstein)
The Palliser Novels (6) – Anthony Trollope
The Particle at the End of the Universe
The Penguin History of Latin America
The pill
The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe (do short stories count?)
The Poisonwood Bible
The Princess Bride
The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran
The Quiet American     Graeme Green
The Railway Children
The Reader, Bernard Schlink
The rest of us just live here
The Restless Earth   Nigel Calder
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – William L.Shirer
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Roman Revolution’ by Ronald Syme
The Romanovs by Simon Montefiore
The school for good and evil
The Scotland Street Series – Alexander McCall-Smith
The Screwtape Letters, by C S Lewis
The sea of tranquility
The secret life of bees
The Secret of Atlantis – Otto Muck
The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
The Shock Doctrine
The Silver Sword
The Sky is Everywhere
The Space Race by Deborah Cadbury
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre
The State We’re In
The Swiss Family Robinson Johann David Wyss
The Tales of Beedle the Bard – JK Rowling
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
The Things They Carried
The Third Reich
The Thornbirds – Colleen McCullough
The time machine (H.G. Wells)
The Trial – Kafka
The Trouble with Physics
The Universe versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence
The Valley of Adventure – Enid Blyton
The War Of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts – Louis de Bernieres
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (David Landes)
The Weapons Shops of Isher – A E Van Vogt
The White Spider – Heinrich Harrer
The Why Cafe, John Strelecky
The Wind in the Willows
The witch craze- Lyndal roper
The World According to Bob – James Bowen
The Worldly Philosophers
The Years of Lyndon Johnson (4 vols) – Robert Caro
Thief by Malorie Blackman
Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
Three Cups of Tea
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Time of Gifts
Touching the void
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
Trapped series
Trash – Andy Mulligan
Treasures of the snow
Trump on Trump
Trust in me
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Unreliable memoirs by Clive James
Varjack Paw – SF Said
Vicious by Victoria Schwab (it’s fantastic, please put it in the library)
Wabi sabi
Wallander Series (Henning Mankell)
War Music (Christopher Logue)
Watership Down – Richard Adams
We are all made of molecules
We Were Liars- E. Lockhart
What is the what
What milo saw
Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark
Where Rainbows End, Cecilia Ahern
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
White dolphin
Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Why Do Chemical Reactions Happen: Peter Wothers and James Keeler
Why Leaders Eat Last
Winnie the pooh, AA Milne
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s The Culture of Defeat
Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
You by Caroline Kepnes
Young Samurai series
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig
Flambards series K.M Peyton
Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende
The Rosie Project
The Code of the Woosters
The Magic Mountain
Barchester Towers
The miracles of Santo Fico by D L Smith
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
The sword in the stone by T H White
The moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy
Alone in Berlin
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Avocado Baby
Miles: The Autobiography – Miles Davis
Hit Me, Fred – Fred Wesley
The Glass Bead Game – Hermann Hesse
Draplin Design Co. Pretty Much Everything – Aaron James Draplin
Colony of Thieves
This Thing of Darkness
Thousand Splendid Suns
Everything Everything
Young James Bond series

Hay Festival – #Hay30BOOKS – Summer reading inspiration!

Last week saw the 30th Hay Festival  – a vibrant tented gathering of writers, thinkers and readers of all ages in the beautiful Welsh countryside and ‘Book Town’ of Hay-on-Wye. This year in addition to the fascinating talks and bookshop, the festival was promoting #Hay30Books:

To celebrate our 30th Hay Festival in Wales, we asked our audiences to recommend 30 books from the last 30 years that deserve more attention.

These #HAY30BOOKS will be discussed and celebrated at our festivals around the world – in Mexico, Peru, Spain, Colombia and Denmark – and on our digital channels throughout the year.

It was a chance to re-evaluate, rediscover, and honour the essential reads from the last 30 years across fiction and non-fiction.

The list is diverse and thought-provoking and would make an interesting source of reading for our students over the summer.  All the books will be available in the Library shortly and a number of them are available as e-books.

Come and browse the display in the Library! What would you read first?


Full list here:

  • A Gentle Plea for Chaos by Mirabel Osler (1989)
  • Wise Children by Angela Carter (1991)
  • Kid by Simon Armitage (1992)
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (1993)
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (1995)
  • Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (1997)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd (2002)
  • Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson (2002)
  • The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad (2002)
  • Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver (2004)
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004)
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)
  • A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (2007)
  • Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine (2007)
  • God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (2007)
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain (2007)
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (2007)
  • Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman (2009)
  • Oblivion: A Memoir by Héctor Abad (2010)
  • There but for the… by Ali Smith (2011)
  • How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell (2010)
  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane (2012)
  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (2012)
  • Pink Mist by Owen Sheers (2013)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toíbín (2015)
  • Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy (2015)
  • One by Sarah Crossan (2015)
  • East West Street by Philippe Sands (2016)