Best-selling writer and screen-writer David Nicholls (One Day, “Tess of the D’Urbervilles,” “Cold Feet”) shares his top five book picks and what makes them so special to him.
1. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
It defies all the clichés about Dickens, it’s lean, emotional, romantic and a thriller. The greatest coming-of-age story ever written.
2. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
A much better book than Gatsby, which is saying something. It’s the saddest book I know, a real heartbreaker about lost potential and fading love. A beautiful, lyrical masterpiece.
3. Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger
The prose is exquisite and it always makes me cry.
4. The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark
A really wonderful lost classic, lean and funny and wicked.
5. Philip Larkin’s Collected Poems, Philip Larkin
Accessible, funny, touching and beautiful.