Here’s my book list. I’ve probably read 5,000 books over the years & reviewed maybe 10% of them. The list below began as everything I’d given five stars to on Amazon. In no particular order apart from when I read them. I will aim to include anything I’ve mentioned in a blog post or reviewed.

Daemon & Freedom (Daniel Suarez)

Totally awesome near-future dystopic SciFi thriller in two parts. Must read.

Kill Decision (Daniel Suarez)

My new favourite author. Another near-future thriller that is startlingly prescient about the manipulation of the media by chatbots.

Sex At Dawn (Christopher Ryan)

A very interesting look at human evolution.

Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood & MaddAddam (Margaret Atwood)

Atwood is a genius at bringing plausible dystopias to life. This trilogy is brilliant. 

The Antidote (Oliver Burkeman)

Looking for an alternative worldview to all the painfully cheerful optimists? This might be it. Great book.

Chickenhawk (Robert Mason)

Vietnam veteran army helicopter pilot reminisces. A brilliant read.

Hitch 22: A Memoir (Christopher Hitchens)

Wonderful literary memoir from British journalist.

Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson)

An extremely enjoyable read. Most of Neal’s books are great.

Excession (Iain M Banks)

Really this could have been any of Banks’ Culture novels, but Excession was the first one I read so it has some sentimental value. 

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (Oliver Sacks)

For anyone interested in how the human brain functions, and what happens when it goes wrong. Extremely readable.

Back Echo (Michael Connelly)

The first Harry Bosch book. If you like detective stories…

The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien)

A very moving Vietnam book.

Proxima (Stephen Baxter)

Solid SciFi.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (Clare North)

An interesting and clever take on time travel, sort of.

I Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes)

An amazingly gripping first novel, like Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series but (I think) better.

Berlin Noir (Philip Kerr)

Great detective trilogy.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (Robin Sloan)

Defies categorization, just a lot of slightly nerdy fun.

The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution (Henry Gee)

A very readable & illuminating book on human evolution.

Reamde (Neal Stephenson)

I thought long & hard about whether to include another of Stephenson’s books but this one is just so much fun I couldn’t resist.

The Son (Jo Nesbo)

There’s something about Scandinavian fiction that just appeals to me and this is a good ‘un.

Blue Remembered Earth (Alastair Reynolds)

The first of a trilogy of great SciFi novels.

The Dark Tourist (Dom Joly)

A hilarious look at some vacation destinations you probably won’t want to visit.

Quantum: Einstein, Bohr & the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality (Manjit Kumar)

For anyone with an interest in physics, especially of the quantum variety.

The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Mark Forsyth)

A wonderful read if you’ve ever been curious about the origins of a word.

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (Oliver Sacks)

Sacks’ rather unconventional childhood.

The Hour Between Dog & Wolf (John Coates)

A former Goldman Sachs trader discusses the physiology of speculation.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)

There probably isn’t anyone on the planet that hasn’t read the book or seen the movie but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great book.

Ringworld (Larry Niven)

A SciFi classic if ever there was one.

A Knight of the White Cross : a tale of the siege of Rhodes (GA Henty)

Gripping history.

Stealing Light (Gary Gibson)

First part of another great SciFi sequence.

Un Lun Dun (China Mieville)

A very quirky & original fantasy, kind of. 

Surface Detail (Iain M Banks)

I know I said I wasn’t going to put any more of Banks’ books on the list but this one was so great I couldn’t resist.

Altered Carbon (Richard Morgan)

All Morgan’s books are great but this one is spectacular. SciFi/thriller. 

Black Man (Richard Morgan)

This one’s good too.

Only Forward (Michael Marshall Smith)

A good read.

Absolution Gap (Alastair Reynolds)

Another good read from this SciFi author.

The House of Suns (Alastair Reynolds)

OK, so I liked this one, too.

The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine (Michael Lewis)

Great book on the financial crisis.

The Naked & the Dead (Norman Mailer)

An excellent war novel.

Lost Horizon (James Hilton)

A lovely, short, novel on the journey to Shangri La.

Neuromancer (William Gibson)

Brilliant SciFi.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)


1984 (George Orwell)

Dystopian classic.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Another dystopian classic.

The Time-Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)

A lovely story.

Animal Farm (George Orwell)

Political allegory. Another classic.

Fallen Dragon (Peter F Hamilton)

I’ve enjoyed a lot of Hamilton’s SciFi but this one had a particularly original idea at its core.

Stalingrad (Antony Beevor)

Many of Beevor’s World War II histories are excellent but I think this is one of his best, if rather depressing.

Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (Antony Beevor)

More classic Beevor.

American Rules (Stephen Gray)

An interesting & well-written counterfactual.

Freakonomics (Stephen Dubner)

Everyone should read this.

The Complete MAUS (Art Spiegelman)

A graphic novel on the persecution of the Jews.

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)

Bryson’s books are just fun to read and this one is especially enjoyable.

Trainspotting (Irvine Welsh)

Drug sub-culture in Scotland. Just an awesome book.

The New New Thing (Michael Lewis)

Amusing & engaging tale of the early days of the internet.

The Colin Omnibus (Colin MacInnes)

Some people might have seen the movie Absolute Beginners but the trilogy works much better read in its entirely. Notting Hill in the 1950s/60s.