Richard Bailey recently asked this, and yesterday the Observer asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005 and tomorrow is the Booker Prize. It seems you can't turn today without some very credible source telling you you must be reading.
And, as credible sources often are, they are right. We should, I should and everybody should. But we don't.
While I was at school I was a bit of a bookworm (to be fair my house was always filled with literature), I read recreationally constantly throughout my degree. It does improve your writing, it gives you a wealth of different linguistic stylings, points of view and allows you relax for a while.
But these days I am stuck in a rut and reading has taken a back seat to other activities. So I have decided to run a little survey and see what people can recommend to me. What have you read in the last few months that I could learn further from. I'd rather not be lugging textbooks but in the same breath no Mills and Boon. Something I can learn from, be it through beautiful prose or a relevant storyline.
What do you think? What makes a good book?