Stylist’s guest editor picks out 10 books from 1995 that are still some of her top reads
“Pre-iPhone, you always had a paperback in your bag, for ‘something to do’ when alone. It would have people’s phone numbers scribbled in the back,” says Caitlin Moran.
HIGH FIDELITY, Nick Hornby
A snapshot of 1990s north London when indie record shops, pints and lad culture flourished, Hornby’s book about love, confusion and commitment remains sweet and very funny.
THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES, Amy Tan
Filled with the author’s trademark frankness and wit, the plot moves between 19th-century China and 1990s San Francisco, making for entertaining (and emotional) reading.
NORTHERN LIGHTS, Philip Pullman
Coming soon to HBO and the BBC as an epic starring Ruth Wilson, the first in Pullman’s His Dark Materials series is rich, complex and has one of literature’s finest feminist heroines, Lyra.
THE GHOST ROAD, Pat Barker
In the third novel of her Regeneration trilogy, Barker beautifully tackles war, class and sexuality. Reviewers at the time said it was so convincing that it could have been written by a man…
PRACTICAL MAGIC, Alice Hoffman
The inspiration for the classic Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman film, Practical Magic is the story of two sisters who don’t want to admit that they’ve got some crazy Wiccan powers.
BLOODCHILD & OTHER STORIES, Octavia E Butler
The only collection of short stories by the legendary sci-fi writer, Butler tackles everything from male pregnancy and family abuse to strict social castes and wrongful imprisonment.
(£8.99, Seven Stories)
LADDER OF YEARS, Anne Tyler
Number 13 of Tyler’s astonishing 22 novels (there’s another on the way), this is the tale of Delia Grinstead, who one day walks out on her husband and children and starts a new life.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM, Kate Atkinson
Despite being looked down upon by critics, this tragicomic family tale was the first step in Atkinson’s enduring career as one of Britain’s greatest writers.
THE MERMAIDS SINGING, Val McDermid
The first book in the Dr Tony Hill series, this marries north England with the best crime fiction tropes: a serial killer on the loose and a brilliant profiler beset by his own demons.
DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, Barack Obama
Thirteen years before he was elected president, Obama’s moving memoir details his father’s abandonment, his work in Chicago’s deprived South Side area and an emotional visit to Kenya.
Francesca Brown is books editor for Stylist magazine and Stylist Loves; she also compiles the Style List on a weekly basis. She is a self-confessed HBO abuser and has a wide selection of grey sweatshirts. Honestly, you just can’t have enough. @franabouttown