#HAY30BOOKS

To celebrate our 30th Hay Festival in Wales, we asked our audiences to recommend 30 books from the last 30 years that deserve more attention.

Woman reading in deckchair

These #HAY30BOOKS will be discussed and celebrated at our festivals around the world - in Mexico, Peru, Spain, Colombia and Denmark - and on our digital channels throughout the year.

It was a chance to reevaluate, rediscover, and honour the essential reads from the last 30 years across fiction and non-fiction.

The final selection includes:

  • A Gentle Plea for Chaos by Mirabel Osler (1989)
  • Wise Children by Angela Carter (1991)
  • Kid by Simon Armitage (1992)
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (1993)
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (1995)
  • Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (1997)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd (2002)
  • Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson (2002)
  • The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad (2002)
  • Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver (2004)
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004)
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)
  • A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (2007)
  • Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine (2007)
  • God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (2007)
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain (2007)
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (2007)
  • Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman (2009)
  • Oblivion: A Memoir by Héctor Abad (2010)
  • There but for the… by Ali Smith (2011)
  • How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell (2010)
  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane (2012)
  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (2012)
  • Pink Mist by Owen Sheers (2013)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toíbín (2015)
  • Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy (2015)
  • ONE by Sarah Crossan (2015)
  • East West Street by Philippe Sands (2016)