I apologize if my English is a bit off, but my allergies are killing me today. So here we go:
Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich: Powerful, harrowing, heartbreaking and unforgettable. One of the best books I have read ever read.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: I basically love everything about this book and in this one you can find my favorite character of all time, Robert Frobisher. And it´s one of these books, in which you find something new upon each reread. And in my case it is definitely time for a reread.
A Place of Greater Safety by Hillary Mantel: A beast of a book. But this one showed me, that an author can tell a compelling story without changing the historical facts. And I cared so much for these characters toward the end. Knowing what would happen to them devastated me even before I was reading that last chapter and I wished just for a brief moment that I could change history in order to save these characters.
Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers: Parker and Mary! My first OTP even before Wimsey and Harriet became a thing. And the actual mystery plot in this one was great as well.
4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie: (I guess all the usual suspects have already been named, at least I hope so). I choose my favorite Marple Christie with the inimitable Lucy Eyelesbarrow and the one question, we never will get an answer for. Which of these guys does she choose? Oh, and of course, the mystery was a great one as well.
Dialogues of the Dead by Reginald Hill: This is the perfect mystery novel, at least for me. It´s so good! And I have so many fond memories reading this book, especially since it has been a recommendation by my dear colleague.
Endurance by Alfred Lansing: A testament to humans will to survive. Non-fiction at its best.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: A sweeping, epic western saga with unforgettable characters. That ending destroyed me. BTW, I don´t like western stories.
True Grit by Charles Portis: Another western, this time with a fierce, headstrong teenage girl as main character, who is unforgettable as well. I repeat, I don´t like western stories and yet I had to include two on my list, because they were exceptional reads.
Hyperion & Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons: These two books belong together and together they become one of the most exceptional science fiction stories I have ever read. And the conclusion to this story is pure perfection and I cried like a baby.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: I had to include a Highsmith and the honor goes to one of the most unlikeable characters of all time. A character, who we all secretly like and who we root for.
Perfume by Patrick Süskind: A controversial pick. I know a lot of people do not like this book and they even find it disgusting. I find it amazing and Süskind´s ability to describe a smell is phenomenal.
Der Schimmelreiter (The Rider on the White Horse) by Theodor Storm: I just have to include my favorite German classic on this list. This novella is a piece of my home and its fabulous.
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham: Big, carnivorous, walking plants … do I need to say more? I´m not a big fan of dystopian novels, but I really loved this one and for this it needs to go on the list. Another dystopian novel I liked was The Handmaids Tale, but I think someone else had this one on their list.
A lot of the books that I would have put on my list have already been claimed, like the Harry Bosch series, a lot of the Christies or Rebecca. So I think I will stick with my selection, even though I haven´t come up with 25 books.