JRR Tolkien's epic tale of fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, was voted Britain's favourite novel after almost three-quarters of a million bookworms answered a BBC poll.
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, in second place, was the only non-fantasy book among Britons' five favourite works. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman won third spot ahead of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which just pushed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - the fourth instalment of the boy wizard adventures - into fifth place. The Lord of the Rings trilogy has enjoyed renewed popularity following its successful switch to the cinema screen.
Novels falling just short of the top five included Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, AA Milne's Winnie The Pooh and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Lord of the Rings won 174,000 votes in the final poll, 39,000 ahead of its nearest rival Pride and Prejudice and over 100,000 more than the fourth instalment of Harry Potter.
I'm with the mobs voting for LOTR as my favourite, but I also agree with no reds re Stephen Hawking's books.
Iain Banks "The Crow Road" is a great favourite of mine altjough any of his stuff is quite good. If he likes Science Fiction, then Banks writes as Iain M Banks. His "Culture" novels like "Consider Phlebas" and "Use of Weapons" are both good reads.
"Things my Girlfriend and I Have Argued About" (Mil Millington) is amusing.
How right you are! I read American Tabloid in three days, I just could not put it down, however, I found number two in the trilogy to be unreadable - the cold six thousand I think. Elroy changed the narrative style & it was like wading through treacle.
I still reckon Perfume to be one of the best books I've ever read & The lovely bones by Alice Sebold takes a lot of beating.