Books for a better world

Today’s US election result has reminded me of one of my key personal reasons for writing: to promote empathy and compassion. I’m not going to pontificate, but here, mostly for my own benefit, are some books that help inspire me to stand up for the vulnerable and disenfranchised and to fight for social justice.

This is very much a personal list, but if anyone wants to add suggestions in the comments, I welcome that.

Adult fiction:

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

The Guards and Witches books by Terry Pratchett – my favourites, partly because they are both about unlikely heroes standing up against a seemingly unbeatable elite, are Night Watch and Lords and Ladies.

Anything by Ray Bradbury

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

The Passage and sequels by Justin Cronin

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

Smiley’s People by John le Carré

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Fiction for children and young adults:

The Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett, starting with The Wee Free Men

The Harry Potter books by JK Rowling

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by CS Lewis

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Emily of New Moon and sequels by LM Montgomery. Actually, pretty much anything by LM Montgomery.

The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Pure and sequels by Juliana Baggott

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak