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Novels that look over a life as it was lived attract me even as they terrify me! My favourite is “Stoner” by John Williams which some in the local book club found depressing but I just found it spoke to me and so well written so possibly my all time favourite. After that it would be “A Whole Life” by Robert Seethaler. “The Way we Live Now” by Anthony Trollope is perhaps my all time favourite book. Long enough to feel sad at leaving the characters at the end but even though written so long ago it is really about the way we live now – nothing changes. Also perhaps “House for Mr Biswas” by V S Naipaul. Oh and I have read all of the Simenon “Maigret” books (76 of them) several times. For me they are the best detective and crime books of all time. Helps that I can never remember the ending. I love Helen Dunmore too but it is her poetry particularly.