The Best of the BBC’s Big Read – five-ish better picks!

The BBC’s Big Read best-loved books were not all a waste of trees – here are a scattering of gems that slipped through the net, according to Hattie French

Two weeks ago I poured scorn upon the results of the BBC’s Big Read poll to find Britain’s best-loved book.  To redress the balance, this week a look at some of the books which, in my view, deserve their place on the list.

I’m well aware that, in the pantheon of English literature, the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters and their ilk are regarded as deities who look down upon the rest of us from unassailable heights of cultural superiority.  For the purpose of this list, however, they have been branded bores and pushed off their pedestals by authors who can resolve a sentence in under half a page. Continue reading