Go Book Yourself: Anna’s All-Time Top 5 Books

We hit 100,000 followers on Tumblr! To celebrate, each of us are posting our five favourite books. Here are Anna’s picks:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger for speculative, heartbreaking romance

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton for a breathtaking story, beautifully told

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman for an outstanding magical trilogy of adventure, identity and philosophy

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro for something totally unique

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger for two wonderful stories about life, family, and philosophy

Anna is the Recommendations Editor at Go Book Yourself. She also writes about books for The Bookseller and Elle UK. Find her on Twitter here.

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Post-Penny Dreadful
Reading List

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful had its season finale this past Sunday. Fortunately for fans of the series, and Victorian Gothic yarns in general, it has been renewed for a 10 episode second season set to air next year. However, for those of you needing to slake your (blood)thirst for further gaslight Gothic horrors, here are a few reading suggestions to tide you over in the meantime.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Two great late-Victorian era classics, both beautifully written and chilling to the bone. Modern readers already know the twist that so shocked Victorian readers yet Stevenson’s tale of a man quite literally losing his mind, body, and soul is still startlingly powerful, as is Henry James’s novella concerning a governess who seeks to protect her charges from a malevolent menace, who may or may not be real.
Late Victorian Gothic Tales, ed. by Roger Luckhurst
In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu Luckhurst’s anthology contains an excellent selection of terrifying tales from the era including Arthur Conan Doyle’s story of a murderous mummy, “Lot 249,” and Arthur Machen’s sensational novella “The Great God Pan,” about a mysterious beauty whose ability to corrupt is every bit the equal to Dorian Gray as well as works by Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, and the aforementioned Henry James. Le Fanu’s collection of tales comes from the “casebook” of the fictitious Dr. Martin Hesselius (an early forerunner for Stoker’s Van Helsing), whose papers recount an encounter with a spectral monkey, the fate of a vindictive judge, and Le Fanu’s masterpiece “Carmilla,” in which a young teen’s melancholic new friend is more than what she seems.
The Monk by Matthew Lewis
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin Upon its original publication, Lewis’s scandalous early Gothic novel was deemed both horrid and blasphemous, which didn’t prevent it from becoming a runaway best seller. The novel charts the diabolical decline of Ambrosio, a Capuchin superior, who succumbs to increasingly depraved acts of sex, sorcery, torture and murder. The eponymous character from Maturin’s novel has sold his soul for 150 years of extended life, but his Faustian bargain comes with an escape clause, leading Melmoth to tempt other souls in their darkest hour in order to free themselves from their wretchedness.
Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough
The Quick by Lauren Owen Sarah Pinborough’s eerie novel is set against the notorious torso murders that rocked London less than a year after Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror while in Lauren Owen’s critically acclaimed new novel, a shy, young poet arrives in London seeking fame and fortune only to mysteriously vanish. Shortly thereafter, his sister arrives to investigate the circumstances surrounding his disappearance only to find the answer may lie with the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose members number among the most elite in England.

After the end of True Detective and Penny Dreadful, it’s becoming increasingly clear to us that one of the most important functions of Penguin Classics is to entertain you with relevant literature while your favorite TV shows are on hiatus. And we are so totally okay with that.