5 red cars
If, like me, you find you never actually get round to reading that small forest of books that have been piling up on your shelf, then you really need something easy to read but utterly captivating in order to drag your eyes across the page.
Well, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was one such book. For those that have been trapped in Dimension NoBooks for the last year and who don't have a habit of reading press-releases, "its a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down".
And, personally speaking, I thought it was rather wonderful. It was very well crafted, with the book being written as Christopher narrating his own "detective" book, and as the author let you into the workings of his character's mind with such naturalistic flair, it was an utterly convincing read. As well as witty and moving and thought-provoking, to name but a few superlatives.
Its strange, but viewing the world through the mind's eye of a 15 year old kid living with an autistic spectrum disorder, I recognised a hell of a lot of myself in there, and it's very different perspective made me think about the way that I view the world. And I learned a whole lot of interesting new pub-facts along the way...