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Books/book club

Is anyone else reading less demanding books?

(60 Posts)
Deedaa Mon 22-Oct-12 22:32:16

Am I alone in rarely reading the sort of intellectually demanding "literature" that I ploughed through in my youth? Huxley, Kafka, Camus, Dostoevsky and reams of feminist writing from most of the Virago collection to deeply depressing collections of poetry published in very small editions. I suspect that as we get older we find that life throws enough awful stuff at us without reading about other peoples' troubles. Most of the time I would just rather be entertained.

annodomini Tue 23-Oct-12 18:45:41

baNANA,there's a series, each one focusing on one of the Walsh sisters. Can't remember the order! There's a new one out about now.

baNANA Tue 23-Oct-12 19:05:01

Thanks I'll look out for it.

Smoluski Tue 23-Oct-12 20:05:38

Also love Marian Keyes ...mystery of Mersey close is on my wish list as is Felix Francis..son of Dick....Martina cole,Paul ogrady,and a whole lot of chick lit...just want to be entertained,have just recently joined a book club,and battled through a crime book,of mega boring c**pxxxx

Ana Tue 23-Oct-12 20:18:37

Ooh, that Marian Keyes book's on offer at Asda for £10 (hardback), so start dropping heavy hints, nellie!

I've just finished Jenny Eclair's latest, Life, Death and Vanilla Slices and really enjoyed it. It's not a comedy, although there are some funny bits, but very easy to read with a troubling mystery at the heart of it which is resolved satisfactorily by the end. A very sharp picture of family relationships.

Marelli Tue 23-Oct-12 20:22:22

I don't think I'd be able to cope with a book club, because I can't read to order hmm. Some books I flee through and some I take a time to read because I daydream a lot....but I just cannot be without one quite close by. smile

MargaretX Tue 23-Oct-12 21:14:24

I could not cope with a Book Club. I hate the feeling of having to read a particular book. For the rest of my life I'm going to read what I like but I have a system. I have a downstairs book and an upstairs book. Downstairs I usually have something like an autobiography or non fiction and upstairs I love to read novels and Ruth Rendell or Donna Leon or other women novelists.

I saw the book Anne Karenina in a Charity shop and it was unabridged. Almost 1000 pages. I have read it twice but never that long version. It would be impossible.

I did read Gone with the Wind at 1000 pages but that is a real page turner. I can't get along with chick lit. Living abroad I have never got used to that kind of dialogue. That way they have of talking to each other, about shopping and sex ...oh dear! Now my age is showing.

numberplease Tue 23-Oct-12 21:16:00

I read every one of Georgette Heyer`s books in my teens, might just give `em another go. Am currently working my way, now and again, through Louisa May Alcott, for the first time in nearly 60 years. But I do love a nice, juicy, gory thriller, can`t think why Marelli doesn`t like them! {grin}

numberplease Tue 23-Oct-12 21:17:21

Oh dear, clicked the wrong brackets!

eGJ Tue 23-Oct-12 21:20:43

If you've enjoyed Miss Read, have you tried Gervase Phinn and his Little School,in the Dales? And have you read What Katy Did again ................lovely!! Having re-read all the Louisa M Alcott books, I happened on March by Geraldine Brooks; it's the American Civil War but featuring Mr March. {read it won the Puliitzer Prize too!] smile

Deedaa Tue 23-Oct-12 21:27:24

So many good books are being mentioned! I've always enjoyed the Miss Read books and older detective novelists like Josephine Tey and Marjorie Allingham. For modern crime I love Donna Leon's Venice based Guido Brunetti and the wonderful Inspector Montalbano of Andrea Camilleri, (Anyone watching the lovely BBC 4 series?) For comedy there is Terry Pratchett, whose books work on so many levels and I've always enjoyed the Lucia books by E.F.Benson. I stopped reading historical novels years ago because most of them seemed so false and made up- but having recently discovered C.J.Sansom's tudor novels I would thoroughly recommend them. Very atmospheric and well researched. From them I moved on to Wolf Hall, which I enjoyed in spite of it winning the Booker Prize smile

numberplease Tue 23-Oct-12 21:47:37

I`ve been impatiently waiting for the next C.J.Sansom book, but it`s a different genre to the Matthew Shadlake stories, it`s called Dominion, set in Britain in 1952, Britain lost the war in 1940 and have been run by Germany since then, and Germany and Russia are still at war. Not sure if I fancy it or not.

Grannyeggs Tue 23-Oct-12 21:51:46

I was a bit disappointed that it was not a Shardlake mystery, number but I will read it anyway.

annodomini Tue 23-Oct-12 21:53:54

Ann Cleeves's detective stories - the Shetland Quartet - were recommended once by gracesmum. I've read all four and really enjoyed the plot,the characters and the settings. I also like the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child - often quite gory! A bit more demanding are Iain M Banks's sci fi books, but not everyone's cuppa.

Deedaa Tue 23-Oct-12 23:28:55

The owner of the Italian hotel we always stay in gave me a Jack Reacher book someone had left behind. It was well beyond his 2 dozen words of English. I found it much more enjoyable than I expected and learned a lot about recognising lone terrorists. (Not a lot of call for it on the school run, but you never know smile

baNANA Wed 24-Oct-12 12:01:01

Marelli and MargaretX, I'm with you on one hand I would like to join a book club, but I know that I wouldn't like to be told what I have to read, I like to read whatever takes my fancy anything from Pulitzer Prize winner, Middlesex and the Booker Prize winner A S Byatt's much lauded Possession and Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys biography The Unequalled Self all of which I enjoyed, to lighter stuff like easy read crime Peter James's Roy Grace series and as mentioned before Lisa Jewell and Maeve Binchy. Like most of us I read for pleasure and being told to read something you don't really fancy or starting a book that proves to be a penance is somehow not what you want. At the moment I'm reading Sue Townsend's The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year, a really funny light hearted book that I'm enjoying. I don't like abandoning books but sometimes life's too short, I only managed 100 pages of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell I found it tedious and I had 700 pages or more to plough through. I recently read a Dickensian like pastiche called the Quincunx which had about 1200 pages and I whizzed through that and the Crimson Petal and the White which has about 800 pages, it really depends on whether the story grabs you I suppose. My husband loves Jack Reacher and CJ Sansom's Shardlake and is always waiting for the latest of those.

Pamaga Wed 24-Oct-12 20:49:46

I spent my working life reading research papers and academic articles. Now I am retired I enjoy a good crime novel, especially Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series and Susan Hill's Simon Serailler series. I have a lot of ex-academic friends who are very into crime (well reading about it) too. I also like to read some of the Richard and Judy book club recommendations and my daughter often points me in the direction of 'good reads' she has encountered, e.g. Room, The Help, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

JessM Thu 25-Oct-12 07:37:42

I enjoyed Sansom's book set in the Spanish Civil War but it was very different to the shardlake stories. I thought the last of these more than a bit contrived and not up to standard.

Wheniwasyourage Thu 25-Oct-12 19:32:33

I find re-reading old favourites is a great help at times of stress. Michael Gilbert, Dick Francis, Dorothy Dunnett (the Dolly books, not the historical ones), Terry Pratchett and others. I did it through the year after my father died and am doing it again now that my mother is not well, and think of it as comfort reading (fewer calories than comfort eating after all). Someone mentioned Josephine Tey whose books I'm going through just now. On the other hand, I do find that some books I never read or didn't enjoy reading at school are more enjoyable now.

MiceElf Thu 25-Oct-12 20:29:59

There's a bit of a theme here which I recognise in myself. And it's the enjoyment to be gained from a 'good murder'. I read heaps of them in between or alongside other books and generally it's my bedtime book. I have no idea why women are so good at writing in this genre and enjoy reading it so much as well.


Anyone read William Brodrick? Wonderful.

Deedaa Thu 25-Oct-12 22:24:14

Hmm..... are we enjoying the murders or looking for ideas? hmm

annodomini Thu 25-Oct-12 22:54:52

Jess, I agree about the last Shardlake which I thought was contrived to bring in the story of the Mary Rose and was a bit like a rather tedious 'road' movie!

RINKY Thu 25-Oct-12 23:05:19

I read a selection of books from political thrillers, conspiracy theories, biographies etc but love going back to Monica Dickens.. Another thread... And Georgette Heyers romantic novels of Georgian England. Lightweight, fluffy to some degree but so well done. Is anyone else a fan? She wrote a good crime novel too. Too many heavy books and I need to take a break for a while.

RINKY Thu 25-Oct-12 23:12:56

Oh! Number Please. Just seen your post. Go on give georgette a go again. Highly entertaining. Just remembered she also did a historical series about Harry Smith during Napoleonic wars. Spanish Bride was a cracking read. Lent it to someone a never got it back.

numberplease Fri 26-Oct-12 17:39:10

I might just do that RINKY!

Deedaa Fri 26-Oct-12 21:02:43

annodomini I think you're right about the last Shardlake. I felt there were too many plot lines jostling for a place. Perhaps that's why he's taken a break from the Tudors?