World Book Day 2011 is on Thursday - lots of recommendations are coming in via our survey, which you can contribute to here. It looks as if there will be many more posts on 'If I had to recommend one book, it would be ...' Here are five more such recommendations:
woodrowbound: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I loved the characters in this story, the historical context, the bigotry from both black and white women and the sense of justice prevailing...it was a cracking read and now being turned into a film. Set in the 1960s, around the time of racial discontent, Dr Martin Luther King and the KKK, it tells the story of African -American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi.
The novel is told from the perspective of three characters: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson, an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.
Patricia: The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
A paean to life, love and loss, it made me glad to be alive.
Adam: Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Martial Art Maths Monks who save the future! This book changed how I thought about fiction. It is an amazing story, a fantastic adventure, a sprawling, epic science fiction story. The discovery of the plot, along with the characters, makes the actual book a fascinating look at maths. Along with many world theory, quantum mechanics … Also - Martial Art Maths Monks who save the future! What else do you need to know?
halfajack: Orlando by Virginia Woolf
It's probably the most accessible of Woolf's novels. It is a wonderful piece of fantasy exploring gender roles and expectations.
@ebd35 : To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One of the books which should be on everyone's must-read list!