Rock and read! The 10 funkiest novels for music lovers

Songs about books, books about music: who says worlds don’t collide? For all you ravers and disco-queens, grungers and jazz fans, we reckon there’s a book there that’ll yoke all your passions together. Here’s ten, we think, give you the best of both worlds.

10 war novels that will turn you into a pacifist

There’s a great tradition of dissent expressed in literature, perhaps most obviously exemplified in the WWI poetry of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and their contemporaries, whose ambivalence about wartime sacrifice and the demands of nationalism made them famous. War is great fodder for art, after all – it’s visual and visceral and morally weighty. In fiction, particularly since WWII, the novel has been put to great use as an anti-war satirical device. Here are ten that we reckon ought to put anybody off the smell of napalm in the morning

15 timeless observations from history’s greatest dystopian novels

The dystopian novel has a long, dark and intriguing history. Kicking off in 1726 with Jonathan Swift’s rip-roaring satire Gulliver’s Travels, it’s gone through numerous transformations in the last three centuries. One thing all these books share, though, is that they make us think long and hard about the societies we live in.

The 10 greatest Stephen King horror novels according to Goodreads

Although dismissed by critics for much of his career—one New York Times review called him “a writer of fairly engaging and preposterous claptrap” Stephen King is, by any measure, one of the greatest horror writers of all time. The author of fifty novels, nearly two hundred short stories and nine collections of short fiction, he is as productive as he is versatile. With so much fiction to choose from it can be difficult to decide where to begin.

10 sci-fi novel opening lines that’ll take your breath away

The opening sentence of a science fiction novel, perhaps more than any other genre, has a lot of work to do. Like all good fiction, it needs to hook you, jolt you into the story and establish the tone. Yet it also needs to get you interested in a whole new alternative world, a place where you'll live for the duration of the book. It's a big ask. Nonetheless, there are some masterly examples of opening lines that do that and more. Here's ten which quite literally take our breath away.

The 6 books that turned Roald Dahl into an insatiable reader

This day, ninety-seven years ago, the legendary author Roald Dahl was born to Norwegian parents in Wales. He went on to become one of the world’s best selling authors. Famed for darkly humorous children’s classics like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches, he first started writing during the Forties when he was a fighter pilot in North Africa.

16 reasons why history’s greatest writers loved books

Stephen King has called books a “a uniquely portable magic.” It's probably one reason that Americans still buy approximately five million books a day and that 125 new ones are published in the US every twenty-four hours. In fact, Google estimates that as of August 2010, there were 129,864,880 books in existence. This love affair with the written word has a long and passionate history and, unsurprisingly, its most ardent supporters have often been writers. Here's why in their own words.