Just One More Page

Recently I chose to indulge in a little light reading, and the experience was disappointing, to say the least. By way of antithesis, I recalled some great page-turners I read over the years.

So here’s a random list of eleven books for light reading (in no particular order), based on one criteria only: you can’t put them down.


The Golden Rendezvous by Alistair MacLean

The luxury cruise liner cum cargo ship SS Campari in the Caribbean suffers a series of misfortunes: a search by customs from top to bottom, delays with embarking passengers and a coffin coming on board… When a steward disappears in mysterious circumstances and the radio officer is found dead, it becomes obvious that something sinister is going on. The first officer of the SS Campari is racing against time to unravel the plot…

Pigs Have Wings by P. G. Wodehouse

Wodehouse was the ultimate entertainer and I’m not going to spoil the plot of this, perhaps his most hilarious, book. It’s a Blandings Castle story and a couple of disappearing and reappearing pigs are involved…

The Last Place God Made by Jack Higgins

It starts with a plane crash in the Amazon jungle. It goes on with blood-thirsty savages along the River of Death, some seat-of-the-pants flying in the 1930s, rivalry, double-crossing, violence… and there’s a beautiful woman involved. Need I say more?

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan-Doyle

A large dog of diabolical appearance and supernatural origin haunts the Baskerville family. Sir Charles died in mysterious circumstances and now his heir, Sir Henry fears for his life too. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are called to solve the case…

The Happy Return by C. S. Forester

It’s 1808, the Napoleonic Wars, and Captain Hornblower, in command of the 36-gun frigate HMS Lydia is sent to Latin-America to aid a local landlord in rebelling against Spain. But nothing goes smoothly on this mission: the local landlord is a raving lunatic, there’s a 50-gun Spanish ship in the local waters, and to top it all, there is Lady Barbara demanding a passage back to England…

Guards, Guards! by Terry Pratchett

The first of the novels about the Night Watch of Ankh-Morpork. The Night Watch is a joke: a cynical, permanently drunk captain in charge of two incompetent officers and a new recruit whose honesty and literal interpretation of the law causes endless problems. But somebody summoned a dragon to terrorise the city, the Patrician has been removed from office, and suddenly there’s nobody else but Captain Vimes and his misfits to save the day.

John MacNab by John Buchan

Three respectable pillars of society (a banker, a minister and a lawyer), clearly suffering from mid-life crisis, decide to liven up their life by a game of poaching. Going up to Scotland, they challenge three local landlords to prevent them from poaching a stag or a salmon from their land. As not all three landlords take the challenge in a sporting spirit, the game is not entirely without risks…

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

David Balfour, a 17-year old orphan in Scotland goes to live with his uncle but instead of being received in his house with love, the uncle arranges for his kidnap, to prevent David claiming his rightful inheritance. Put on board of a ship bound for the Carolinas, David’s fate seems sealed… But first a veteran Jacobite soldier comes on board, then the ship gets wrecked in the Hebrides. David sets out on foot to return home across the Highlands in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion and gets caught up in the historical events of 1752

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Earth has been demolished in order to build a hyperspace bypass. The only surviving human, Arthur Dent, an Englishman, is now tagging along the human shaped alien, Ford Prefect, a contributor for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an electronic travel guide…

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Paris, 1600s. Three musketeers of the king, the world-weary Athos, the vain Porthos and the intriguer Aramis are all about to duel with the rash Gascogne youth, D’Artagnan – except the guards of the Cardinal turn up to arrest them all. The four end up fighting side-by-side, and this is the beginning of a friendship which sees the three musketeers dragged into royal intrigue by D’Artagnan – who has an unfailing instinct for getting into trouble…

Quarantine in the Grand Hotel by Jenő Rejtő

The English translation lets this book down somewhat but even so this comedy cum detective story will have you in stitches. In the opening paragraph the ‘hero’ emerges from a cupboard wearing pyjamas and an elegant bright green lampshade on his head and is confronted by the unknown girl whose bedroom he’s in; and his situation is not going to improve from here… In a hotel full of questionable characters and under medical quarantine, with the police hot on the trail of a murderer, he is forced to skulk from bedroom to bedroom in desperate search of clothes and food while trying to evade capture. Authentic 1930s pulp fiction at its very best.


6 thoughts on “Just One More Page

  1. Was pleasantly surprised to find authors i have read…….Higgins and MacLean……takes me back to when we went to library and got our allotment (10 books or so 😀 now i have my goal on good reads again, and must come back here and visit…..sorry i am popping round the party some more bee back later 😀


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