Bestsellers

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The Da Vinci Code
If you omit every third vowel, reverse the consonants, and then read the book backwards, the hidden message is uncovered: “tHIs is rUBish”.

Harry Potter
Series of books about how magic can transform the life of an unlikely central character. In this case, a Scottish witch made a potion with eye of Billy Bunter, toe of Just William, wool of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and tongue of Enid Blyton, and stirred them all up with three cans of Latin alphabetti spaghetti to create the biggest sensation since Fabus & Fabus published The Bible in ancient Rome.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
And authors that write this kind of stuff talk out of Uranus.

A Brief History of Time
Top-selling science book, demonstrating how our experience of time is relative. One hour spent orbiting the Earth at half the speed of light can seem like just a few minutes. But, if you try to read this book while you’re doing it, it can suddenly seem like several weeks.

Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book
Like the Little Book of Calm, but more hard-line on Tibet.

James Bond
Secret-service agent and his gadgets. These include a poison pen, a cigarette that fires bullets and a flying car called Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang. The car is named after his sex-life, as are several characters, including Pussy Galore, Oddjob, and Mmm.

Murder at the Gallop/Vicarage/Manor etc
Series of whodunnits by Agatha Christie about a sweet little old lady who is always in the vicinity when a murder is committed. There’s a clue there.

No1 Ladies Detective Agency
An African PI arrives in Edinburgh on a mission to track down a patronising author. He convinces her to sit down, have a cup of tea, and witter blandly while he makes notes. Everything turns out really nice again, readers get to feel the warm glow of quasi-colonial superiority, and the real criminal gets away.

Jaws
Hugely successful novel helped by the fact that, in the book, you can’t see that the shark is really made of rubber.

Sophie’s World
The central character recieves strange messages in their mailbox. These include: “Have just received your latest manuscript, Mr Gaarder. Looking forward to reading it”. Two days later: “Eh?!” The next day, a strange dog vomits plot holes all over the front step.

Fear of Flying
Not exactly an airport novel.

Famous Five
A series of adventures featuring John, Paul, George, Ringo and Lassie. Lassie replaced Pete Best, who appeared briefly as one of the 101 Dalmatians, but never really got over the rejection.

Sweet Valley High
Series of 152 books. Let nobody say that quality suffers from quantity. Let nobody say it 152 times and see how tiresome it gets.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Allegory in which good eventually triumphs over evil and prevents the making of any more film adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia. Sadly, a fantasy.

The Cat In The Hat
Far from obtuse, was Dr Seuss, his books were written in rhyme.
They helped kids learn, and so in turn, his career turned out just fine.
When I was three, this was read to me, and it stayed in my head:
Why the hell, can he not spell? Z aint “zee” it’s “Zed”!

Twilight
Series about teenagers falling in love with vampires. Recommended reading when there’s not enough illumination to see many of the actual words.

Testament
Now we’re just waiting for the “Last Will and…” bit from John Grisham.

The Lost Symbol
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