Top 30 Books and Authors (Birthday Edition)

My ultimate top 5.

At number 5 is "Dr No" by Ian Fleming. No list would be complete without the worlds best spy. Of course I mean 'James Bond'. The 1st of the movies in the franchise, stars Sean Connery in the lead role.

At number 4 is "Fall of Night" by Rachel Caine. Novel 14 in the Morganville Vampire series is just as good as the others and the ongoing storyline just keeps getting better. No movies as yet.

At number 3 is "Bag of Bones" by Stephen King. The book is spooky as you like and yet you want to see what happens, the recent TV adaptation starring Pierce Brosnan was brilliant - scared me sideways!

At number 2 is "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens. A classic novel, and a long read (you may think I'm joking, but my copy of the book is 3 inches thick!!). The TV adaptation starring Gillian Anderson was really enjoyable and was actually the reason behind my purchase of the book! I'd reccommend it, especially if you're a fan of the period dramas.

Finally (drum roll please), at number 1 is "Dead until Dark" By Charlaine Harris. The first of the Sookie Stackhouse novels introduces you to Sookie, a waitress in a restaurant/bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana and the characters that help to bring colour to her life, shapeshifter, werewolves, vampires, mediums - the books have everything. The TV series "True Blood" is based on these novels and stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard and Rutina Wesley - I love it!! A must for any Vampire/shapeshifter/werewolf lover!!

Top 5 Fantasy / Adventure

At number 5 is "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini. The first in the quadrilogy, you are introduced to farm boy Eragon and his Dragon, Saphira. An amazing read, you are easily drawn into the realm that Christopher has created. If I'm honest, I'm not a lover of Fantasy novels, but I really enjoyed reading 'Eragon', Eldest' 'Brisingr' and 'Inheritance'. The Movie of 'Eragon' stars Jeremy Irons with Rachel Weisz as the voice of Saphira.

At number 4 is "Kiss of Snow" by Nalini Singh. One of the fantastic Psy Changeling series, indepth characters, a great rolling storyline keeps you engrossed and the humor potrayed through the barbed comments from some of the characters has you laughing (especially the rivalry between the 2 Alphas!). No movie as yet.

At number 3 is "Scarecrow" by Matther Reilly. The 4th of the novels telling to ongoing tales of Captain Shane Schofield, US Marine, call sign 'Scarecrow'. I have all of Matthew's novels so far having been hooked in when reading "Seven Ancient Wonders" the first of his Jack West Jnr series. If you haven't read any of these yet - I really recommend that you do - the fast pace leaves you breathless, but you can't put the books down and you're as drawn into the situations as the characters - fantastic books! Again, sadly no movie as yet.

At number 2 is "Contest" by Matthew Reilly. the first ever novel by the Australian Author is set in New York's State Library which becomes the backdrop for a deadly fight to the death contest between Alien races. Really fast paced, I enjoyed every page turn and jump out of my skin that the book gave me.

At number 1 is "Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton. The book and movie of the same name telling of the theme park/zoo of Dinosaurs that have brought back from extinction is a family classic and I've liked it for years.

Top 5 Crime

At number 5 is "The Bone Bed" by Patricia Cornwell. I'm a big fan of Patricia's 'Dr Kay Scarpetta' series of novels and I have found that they go from strength to strength. No movie as yet, but here's to hoping!

At number 4 is "Kiss the Girls" by James Patterson. The first of three features on this list for the biggest selling crime novelist of the past decade at least. The 'Alex Cross' novels are just one series of books by James Patterson who also writes stand alone thrillers, the Women's Murder Club series and the newer Detective Michael Bennett series. The Movie stars the late, great Morgan Freeman and Cary Elwes.

At Number 3 is "Along Came a Spider" by James Patterson. Another of the 'Alex Cross' Series, the movie again stars Morgan Freeman in the title role, this time seeing Alex Cross looking for a Senator's kidnapped Daughter.

At number 2 is "12th of Never" by James Patterson. The latest of the 'Women's Murder Club' series had me laughing out loud in parts, mainly because, having read the 11 books that come before I feel as though I know the characters and could clearly picture the scenes unfolding. Sadly no movie as yet, but it would be good to see who would play Lindsay Boxer - my vote would go to Helen Hunt.

Finally, last but not least, at number 1 is "And then there were none" or "Ten Little Indians" by Agatha Christie. The book has been published under both titles, most recently being relaunched as "And then there were none". The thriller tells of a group of strangers invited to spend the weekend at a remote hotel. One by one they are murdered as their past crimes are brought to the fore. The movie version I really enjoy is the 1974 version starring Richard Attenborough, Oliver Reed and Elke Sommer.

Top 5 Romance (Or RomCom's as they're known!)

At number 5 is "Nip 'n' Tuck" by Kathy Lette. The opening paragraph of this book had me laughing out loud on the bus whilst traveling to work - geniusly funny. Sadly, no movie of this yet - that would be well worth seeing.

At number 4 is "The Ghost and Mrs Muir". The 1947 black and white movie starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison is based on the 1945 novel if the same name by Josephine Leslie (under the pen name of R.A. Dick). An old style romance telling of a widow and her young daughter who moved to the coast and live in a cottage haunted by an old sea captain. I've seen the movie a few times and I love it - I'll warn you though, don't watch it unless you have a hanky at the ready. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the bio on the book.).

At number 3 is "Sex and the City" by Candace Bushnell. All us girls know the story of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, 4 best friends who compares lives and lovelives in the big apple. Based on the novel by Candace Bushnell, the hit Rom-Com was adapted into a 6 season strong tv series and 2 movies.

At number 2 is "The Notebook" by Nicolas Sparks. The movie of the same name stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. 

Finally, at number 1 is "Briefs Encountered" by Julian Clary. The third novel by comedian Julian Clary and possibly his funniest yet. the barbed comments had me in hyterics, and the intertwining of the pre-war romance of Noel Coward with the 'present day' romance of Richard Stent was cleverly done. No movie as yet, but I would recommend that you read this.

I will mention here that these lists aren't exhaustive, and that I could carry on listing fantsic books and movies quite literally 'til the cows come home'. These lists are for fun, to give you an idea of the great works that are out there. If you have others that you like, feel free to share them!

Top 5 Supernatural

At number 5 is "Queen of the Damned" by Anne Rice. The 3rd novel In Anne's 'Vampire Chronicles' series, the movie starred Aaliyah in the title role and Stuart Townsend as 'Lestat'.

At number 4 is "Interview with a Vampire" by Anne Rice. Another of the 'Vampire Chronicles' the novel tells the story of Louis and Lestat (his maker). Louis narrates the story, telling of how he met Lestat and how Claudia became part of the family. The movie of the same name stars Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Kirsten Dunst.

At number 3 is "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare. The first of her 'Mortal Instruments' series, we meet Clary and Simon and watch as their lives are changed forever. The books are teen novels, but I have collected all of Cassandra's novels so far - I love them. The movie of "City of Bones" is to be released on August of this year.

At number 2 is "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer. I'm referring to whole saga at this point. I like the novels, I can easily read them and become emersed in Forks and the characters that Stephanie has created. The movies are good, and they do appear to get better as they go on - Breaking Dawn part 2 was fantastic! For this series, I would really recommend that you read the novels before you see the movies - you can get a much better understanding of the characters and the story as a whole without judging the character based on the movie(s).

Finally, at number 1 is "Haunted" by the late James Herbert. I've added this book here as it is a ghost story (as well as horror) and it tells the story of David Ash, and his terror in staying at the house called Edbrook. The movie stars Aiden Quinn and Kate Beckinsale.

Top 5 Horror

At number 5 is "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. We all know the story of Doctor Victor Frankenstein and his creation, a tale that started life as a ghost story that Mary told a group of friends. Possibly the best movie adaptation of this stars Kenneth Branagh as Dr Frankenstein and Robert De Niro as the Creature (scares me every time!).

At number 4 is "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. Another classic novel, it has had numerous adaptations in movies and on screen, but I like the old Bela Lugosi movies, classic horror flicks!

At number 3 is "Carrie" by Stephen King. The true master of Horror triumphed with his tale of the telekinetic school girl who reaps revenge on those who bullied her. Brilliant! The movie of the same name stars Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.

At number 2 is "The Wicker Man" by Robin Hardy. This novel telling of truely creepy pagan rituals has again been adapted for movies, 2 good ones are the 1973 film starring Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward and the 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage and Leelee Sobieski.

Finally, at number 1 is "Misery" by Stephen King. The story of nurse Annie Wilkes and author Paul Sheldon who had killed off Wilkes' favourite book character 'Misery' is a classic horror story and the 2nd in my countdown by Stephen King. The 1990 movie starring Kathy Bates and James Caan is fantastic - I watched the movie with my Mom and it put me off Kathy Bates for years - scared me silly!

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