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Ann Widdecombe's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Ann Widdecombe recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Ann Widdecombe's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Ghosts of Eden

Winner of the 2010 Waverton Good Read Award and shortlisted for the 2011 Rubery International Book Award, this is a moving story of atonement and redemption set in East Africa.

Michael Lacey, the child of missionaries, and Zachye Katura, tending cattle for his father in the grasslands of Kaaro Karungi, are happy in their childhood idyll. However, the world around them is changing, propelling them towards tragedy. Haunted by grief and guilt, they grow up severed from their families and ancestral heritage. When they both fall for the same enigmatic woman they must face their past...
Recommended by Ann Widdecombe, and 1 others.

Ann WiddecombeIt is a wonderful story following two children: one colonial, one native African. It’s just out – very new. I thought: yes, this is a pretty rare book… (Source)

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The Go-Between

"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there."

Summering with a fellow schoolboy on a great English estate, Leo, the hero of L. P. Hartley's finest novel, encounters a world of unimagined luxury. But when his friend's beautiful older sister enlists him as the unwitting messenger in her illicit love affair, the aftershocks will be felt for years. The inspiration for the brilliant Joseph Losey/Harold Pinter film starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates, The Go-Between is a masterpiece—a richly layered, spellbinding story about past and present, naiveté and...
Recommended by Ann Widdecombe, and 1 others.

Ann WiddecombeThe Go-Between is about a child, Leo Colston, who goes to stay with a family. He ends up being used by adults to run errands: he’s taking letters between a couple, Marianne and Ted… (Source)

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A History Of Insects

Against the backdrop of monumental change taking place in 1956 throughout the world, the cantonment of the British High Commission in Peshawar, Pakistan, remains a corner of traditional England. The Jacksons' working class origins ensure they are kept on the fringe of diplomatic life and, for their nine-year-old daughter, Ella, growing up is a lonely, painful experience. Locked in a sterile marriage, her parents' dissatisfaction with each other finds expression in their neglect of Ella. Left increasingly to her own devices, Ella withdraws, recording the hypocrisy and cruelties of adult... more
Recommended by Ann Widdecombe, and 1 others.

Ann WiddecombeA History of Insects is about a girl of about eight or nine growing up in Pakistan in the days of Empire, getting very friendly with a Pakistani man who works in the household… (Source)

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Oliver Twist

Oliver is an orphan living on the dangerous London streets with no one but himself to rely on. Fleeing from poverty and hardship, he falls in with a criminal street gang who will not let him go, however hard he tries to escape.

One of the most swiftly moving and unified of Charles Dickens’s great novels, Oliver Twist is also famous for its re-creation–through the splendidly realized figures of Fagin, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and the evil Bill Sikes–of the vast London underworld of pickpockets, thieves, prostitutes, and abandoned children. Victorian critics took Dickens to...

Audrey PennI’m going to go with Oliver Twist. I was raised on all of these books, but I loved Oliver Twist. I have always believed that people, no matter how bad they are, when they see a really good kid in trouble, they’re going to help. (Source)

Chigozie ObiomaOne day he had this radical idea that, if you want something, you can actually make a demand on life. (Source)

Ann WiddecombeOliver is a boy who has escaped the workhouse and is adopted by a family of pickpockets. He’s the exception – because he’s being manipulated by the grownups… (Source)

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The Jungle Books

"The Jungle Books", which includes Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" and "The Second Jungle Book" is a classic collection of fables with animal characters used to teach moral lessons. Among the most famous are the stories of Mowgli, a 'man-cub' raised by wolves in the Indian jungle; that of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a heroic mongoose; and 'Toomai of the Elephants', the story of a young elephant-handler. Interspersed with numerous poems "The Jungle Books" are regarded as some of Kipling's most memorable tales which will enchant and educate readers both young and old. less
Recommended by Richard Branson, Ann Widdecombe, and 2 others.

Richard BransonToday is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime. (Source)

Ann WiddecombeMowgli has great adventures: we have the Bandar-log, and Kaa the snake who at one point almost swallows up Mowgli’s later protector, Bagheera the panther. But there is nobody else. (Source)

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