1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson-Burnett - the rural idyll; secret hideaway where a child can hide from the mean adult world!
2. Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton - I desperately wanted to be in that school instead of an economically challenged Roman Catholic technical girls school in inner-city Manchester!
3. Alienated labour / The German Idelogy - Marx and Engels. Liberating and helped me shape and name some of the ideas and feelings I had in relation to the notion of personal freedom.
4. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Sharp, clear prose from a writer's writer examining existentialism and the principles of a doomed couple in the rapidly growing corporate culture in fifties America.
5. Hunger by Knut Hamsun. Due for a re-read. The painful life of a struggling writer.
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - totally feminist passionate treatise and love story and blows anything by Jane Austen out of the water.
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - messy, dysfunctional, tragic, beautiful.
8. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - Genius.
9. The Sea by John Banville - anthithesis to prose style of Richard Yates and equally admirable in its lyrical beauty.
10. A History of Western Philosphy by Bertrand Russell - If I could take only one book to a desert island (apart from Shakespeare) then it would have to be this highly readable and endlessly interesting overview of western philosophy.
This list could actually go on and on. I missed out one of favourite short stories, J G Ballard's The Subliminal Man and then there's .....