'Anna Karenina' by Leo Tolstoy
Of course you know the story and have probably seen enough screen and TV adaptations to tell the story yourself. However, How many of them have stayed true to the original script? How awesome would it be to go back into work and gloat that you've finished the book that's usually on everyone's list of yearly reading challenges?
At nearly 950 pages (Modern Library Hardback edition), this well-known story has been described as one of the most penetrating novels of the late nineteenth century. Besides, 'Anna Karenina' has maintained its position since it was written in 1873 as a modern classic.
'A Suitable Boy' by Vikram Seth
A mammoth read at 1474 pages (Phoenix paperback edition), this is most likely to last you the winter. A love story at its core, the tale of Lata's - and her mother's- attempts to find a suitable boy through love or through exacting maternal appraisal.
At the same time this is the story of India, newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis as a sixth of the world's population faces its great General Election and the chance to map its own destiny.
'The Distant Hours' by Kate Morton
Always trust that Kate Morton will have you spellbound by the end of her novels' opening sentences. She is a master storyteller and there is magic in every single one. 'The Distant Hours' is no exception. This is a book about war, survival and the magical world of books and storytelling.
At 670 pages (Mantle paperback edition), this is a novel that will move swiftly along as you are engrossed in Edie Burchill's life in Milderhurst Castle. It all starts with a long-lost letter that arrives one Sunday afternoon with the return address of Middlehurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope.
Edie begins to suspect that her mother's emotional distance masks an old secret and as she begins to unravel her mother's past, other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle begin to reveal themselves as well for the truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.
'The Museum of Innocence' by Orhan Pamuk
This is the story of Kemal, a wealthy heir about to become engaged to the aristocratic Sibel when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shopgirl. He falls in love and finds his established world of westernised families, opulent parties, society gossip and dining room rituals is shattered.
This 728-page novel (Faber & Faber paperback) has inspired a real museum in Turkey, a legion of fans and now a film is in the pipes. This is one of Orhan Pamuk's finest writings compared by some as the 'Anna Karenina' of the East.
'The Luminaries' by Eleanor Catton
At 832 pages (Granta Books Paperback) 'The Luminaries' won the Booker Prize in 2013. It is the story of Walter Moody who has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the night of his arrival he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.
A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn in the mystery.