Five books NOT to read

1. The Da Vinci Code

The Marmite of bestsellers! Couldn’t stomach the style myself (in my defence, I do enjoy JK Rowling and Dick Francis, neither of whom is known for the elegance of their style) and I already knew about the whole Sang Réal thing. But still..

2. Captain Corelli’s Mandollin

Millions have carried it round with them, but do you know anyone who actually finished it? Honestly?

3. Anything long and complicated

Unless you’re really motivated to follow a cast of thousands, usually with multiple names (and often shared between characters), skip books such as War and Peace and Lord of the Rings. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great books – but you wouldn’t try to run a marathon without training, would you? And they’re definitely best left home if you’re planning your sun-lounger fare…

4. Chick lit

Yes, it’s a popular genre and I’m sure some of it’s well written, but you can’t live on Gummi bears alone either. This also applies to the books about tragic childhoods and “star” biographies (unless they’ve actually done something or have something useful to relate – Jordan et al don’t count).

5. Books recommended by those close to you

Yes, it’s hypocritical, as we’re asking for your recommendations, but those from friends have an added level of complication. If your best friend/sister/significant other tells you to read the book that’s transformed his/her life and you hate it, what do you do? If you think the question “does my bum look big in this?” is fraught with danger, it’s nothing compared to what can happen if you don’t see eye to eye over a book.

So what are your pet hates and the books you simply couldn’t get through? Don’t worry – you’ll be able to talk to us afterwards…

* Ten books to read