Sublime prose, wonderful humour, some of the best short stories ever written and if you can’t find something to like here, it probably means you’ve got no soul. Jeeves and Wooster are beautifully portrayed and it is clear they need each other. Wooster needing Jeeves is obvious perhaps but Jeeves needs someone to “guide”. Can you imagine Jeeves not advising Bertie?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Loved the book and the New Zealand based film adaptation. The story stands up on its own and is also a wonderful explanation of what Christianity is all about. I love the idea of explaining the resurrection as “death working backwards” , its power broken by the self sacrifice (death) of Aslan. The horror of Aslan’s death is particularly well shown in the film. Jesus’s sacrifice was brutal. Yet the Lewis story doesn’t preach. It just shows you a gripping tale and you pick up the connections.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
A wonderful gripping story that isn’t only a detective tale but gives a hard look at whether killing someone could ever be justified. It also looks at what can happen when the justice system fails. I loved the TV adaptation of this with the magnificent David Suchet as Poirot. It’s a bit different from the book at the end (though I feel sticks to the spirit of it) where Poirot is angry at the failure of the justice system and what it has led decent people to do. I’m still anti the death penalty though for the character of Ratchett … well read the book and find out!
The History of Britain by Simon Schama
I watched the TV series and was gripped so had to get the books too. What I love is Professor Schama presents his history as if he is telling a story and brings in links you might not automatically have thought of. I found the books page turners because I wanted to find out what happened next (!) even though I’ve a reasonable history knowledge and knew the historical sequence of events.
Uncle Fred in the Springtime by P.G. Wodehouse
I’ve always loved the idea of older rebels showing mere youngsters a clean pair of heels and PGW exploits this thought with his wonderful Frederick, Fifth Earl of Ickenham. This novel is hilarious and you root for both Uncle Fred and the put upon Clarence, Nineth Earl of Emsworth. Unlikely heroes perhaps but not in PGW’s hands. When I want cheering up, this is a great book to turn to and it is very fast paced.