#bookaday 18: Bought on a recommendation

In January 1999 I started my first 'proper' job on the same day as someone else, with whom I became good friends. A keen reader like me, she practically coerced me into buying The Secret History by Donna Tartt, a book of which I'd been aware but in which I hadn't been particularly interested in reading, because, she said, she 'needed to talk about it with someone.'

The Secret History now remains one of my favourite novels of all time. I don't think Donna Tartt has ever equalled it, but then again, I'm not sure anyone else has really equalled it either. It's been written about endlessly by a million critics and bloggers so I won't go into detail about it (there is a plot summary, with spoilers, here) but it was one of those books that I sometimes wish I'd never read, just so I could have the experience all over again of reading it for the first time, and I'm ever grateful to the person who recommended it to me.