’Tis the season for escapism and they don’t get more escapist than Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven (Tor Science Fiction). This time-travelling romp to the Red Planet quickly turns into a pastiche of everything ever written about the place, from Percival Lowell’s mythical canals, through HG Wells’s War of the Worlds to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s jolly green giants, and plenty more besides. The central theme is the old Russian fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Great fun, and a good way to get over the election.’ ~ Mungo
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. ‘Simply written with a very powerful life message. I have passed this book on many times and everyone that has read it thoroughly enjoyed it.’ ~ Jules
‘Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre is a 2003 book. I never liked the title or the cover, but after hearing how attractive women found the author I thought I might pick up some tips.
The fifteen-year-old title character from some godforsaken place in America is obsessed with panties and pooing, but turns out to be a surprisingly resourceful extortionist who doles out amusing insights as he deals with being falsely accused of a school massacre.
Funny, easy to read, fast-moving, this debut novel won the Man Booker Prize.
He’s recently written Lights Out In Wonderland.’ ~ Simon
‘In his novel The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ Philip Pullman turns our culture’s central myth inside out, with entertaining and illuminating results. Could be read in conjunction with the Royal Commission’s report on child abuse (clerical section) when it comes out.’ ~ David