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Books to read during self-isolation

(86 Posts)
NatashaGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 27-Mar-20 15:35:47

Hi all, smile

With social distancing and self-isolation, many of us now have more time on our hands than before. If you're looking for some entertainment, we've put together this page with HarperCollins on their recommended reads while you're stuck inside.

We also want to hear what books you'd recommend to gransnetters who are in isolation. Whether it's a gripping thriller or a forgotten classic, leave your suggestions on this thread.

And don't forget to come back and let us know if you read a good book over the coming weeks. flowers

TerriBull Wed 01-Apr-20 09:12:37

I discovered William Boyd and Joanne Harris recently, really enjoyed "Ordinary Thunderstorms" and "A Different Class" written by them respectively.

I enjoyed Eleanor O, but not sure I thought it deserved all the adulation that was heaped on it. Although I suspect like "Elizabeth is Missing" again didn't go overboard about the book, it could be a winner of a dramatisation if it had anyone as good as Glenda Jackson playing the lead.

SueDonim Wed 01-Apr-20 13:15:59

We did All The Light for my book group. smile

Sirchenjin I’m glad you enjoyed Burial Rites. Most people I know who read it felt it was too dark and gloomy. I thought it was an incredible evocation of time and place.

SirChenjin Wed 01-Apr-20 13:38:38

It was very dark and obviously a terrible, tragic, heart breaking end but I think it also showed the absolute kindness and compassion that humans are capable of showing. It’s great to ‘meet’ someone who has also enjoyed this book smile

SueDonim Wed 01-Apr-20 13:40:55

Same! smile I don’t think that many people have heard of it. I came across by accident - one of my DC gave me a book subscription for my birthday. The company sends you a book a month, and this was one of the titles they sent.

gulligranny Wed 01-Apr-20 13:47:37

Having recently finished the Louise Penney Inspector Gamache novels, I can endorse the previous recommendation - they are excellent but really should be read in order as there are ongoing plot lines.

I have just embarked on a re-read of Robert Harris's wonderful "Cicero" trilogy: "Imperium", "Lustrum" and "Dictator". I am more than a little in love with Marcus Tullius, and Harris brings him (and the politics and mores of the time) to brilliant life

SirChenjin Wed 01-Apr-20 16:06:10

Sue - one of my work colleagues suggested it, I was very glad she did. We’ve obviously got similar tastes in books - do you have any other suggestions?

There are some great ones on here, I’m looking forward to adding them to my ‘must read’ list smile

SueDonim Wed 01-Apr-20 16:32:45

These are some I’ve enjoyed, Sirchenjin.

Stay With Me by Adebyo Adebami, set in Nigeria and is about a woman’s marriage as they confront infertility. It’s v unusual.

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar, set in 1800’s Australia.

The Dutch House by Anne Patchett, an American novel.

The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock by Imogen Gower Hermes. Or Hermes Gower. confused That’s set in 17thC Britain. It’s got a bit of magic realism in it which isn’t really my bag but it’s a very light touch.

SueDonim Wed 01-Apr-20 16:36:50

I’ve also discovered Elizabeth Taylor. Not the one married to Richard Burton. Twice. grin The book I read is A View from the Harbour. It’s set in a seaside town in the ?1950’s and relates the inhabitants’ doing but not in a Miss Read manner.

It’s actually quite pertinent to today in that their lives are lived within small boundaries, just as we are having to do.

SirChenjin Wed 01-Apr-20 16:44:46

Thanks so much - they sound wonderful and absolutely up my street smile

SueDonim Wed 01-Apr-20 19:34:55

Tell me what you’ve enjoyed, too! I like it when a book is personally recommended.

Are you on the 50 Books Year thread? I can’t remember. blush

SirChenjin Wed 01-Apr-20 19:56:39

No I’m not on that - I must have a look for it, thanks for the suggestion smile

I’m always nervous of recommending books in case the other person thinks ‘what on Earth?!’ but I’ve enjoyed the following:

1. One for the blackbird, one for the crow by Olivia Hawker
2. The night circus by Erin Morgenstern
3. The beekeepers promise by Fiona Valpy
4. A place called Winter by Patrick Gale
5. The secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd
6. Hanna’s daughters by Marianne Fredriksson (this won awards and can be hard to get hold of. It’s a bit of a lengthy read but if you like stories about strong women overcoming adversity it’s definitely worth a read - I loved it and don’t be put off by the reviews, they didn’t seem to be talking about the same book! ).

lemongrove Wed 01-Apr-20 21:43:01

I second The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, bizarre but a good, and unusual book.

lemongrove Wed 01-Apr-20 21:43:55

A favourite of mine...Winter In Madrid by C J Sansom.

SueDonim Wed 01-Apr-20 21:56:53

Thanks, Sirchenjin. Yes, I know the 👀 about recommending books. The Secret Life of Bees is one of my favourites. Have you seen the film? It’s wonderful. Also Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, which is also a film. My girls and I have watched both those films endless times. ❤️

SirChenjin Wed 01-Apr-20 22:14:32

Yes to both! ❤️ Both wonderful films and books smile

Thanks for the Winter in Madrid suggestion lemon - it looks really good, I’ve added it to my list.

almostelderly Sat 11-Apr-20 19:35:08

Anything by Pat Barker and Kate Atkinson. A re-read of Little Women and the sequels.

TerriBull Sat 11-Apr-20 19:52:36

I forgot to add this one to those I've already posted "Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver, Definitely right up there with other fantastic reads.

Willow500 Sun 12-Apr-20 06:59:30

I am reading the Shipyard Girls books by Nancy Revell - on book 5 how. Stories of a group of women who worked as welders in the Sunderland shipyards during WW2. Coming from up that way it feels nostalgic although I obviously wasn't around during the war. In today's climes it has a certain parallel sad

oldgimmer1 Sun 12-Apr-20 08:09:57

So many great ideas.

I've read Mirror and Light, a biography of Cromwell by Tracy Borman and I'm partway through a biog of Marie Colvin, which I'm not enjoying.

I'm looking forward to the new Simon Serrailer in paperback and also the new Alison Weir novel of Katherine Howard.

I'm very grateful to the Kindle at the moment. Currently reading a biog of Diana, Princess of Wales by Sarah Bradford which I'm really enjoying.

Lockdown has its compensations. smile

Jane10 Sun 12-Apr-20 11:25:02

I enjoy some of the books by 'forgotten' writers. I recently enjoyed several by Dorothy Whipple. A different time but the characters and settings were compelling.

Atqui Fri 24-Apr-20 21:34:01

Just finished audiobook Where the Crawdads sing bybDelia Owen. Husband and I both loved it (/which is unusual).Its one of the best books I’ve ‘read’ for ages. Also Ian Mccewans (sp?) Machines like me.Both unput downable

Greyduster Sat 25-Apr-20 12:15:03

Almostelderly, I like Pat Barker too. Have you read “Silence of the Girls”?

Alishka Sun 26-Apr-20 00:19:05

I've just finished Five Quarters of an Orange by Joanne Harris, which combines both my love of France and my love of foodsmile
And I've picked out from my shelves Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which seems quite apt just nowgrin to start tomorrow.

Busybee37 Mon 27-Apr-20 07:33:05

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which is beautifully written. I've read it twice, once two years ago and again recently for book club and would highly recommend it. His other book Rules of Civility is good too.

almostelderly Mon 27-Apr-20 12:14:33

Greyduster, 'Silence of the Girls' is on my lockdown list along with 'Circe' by Madeline Miller. I have just finished Paris Echo' by Sebastian Faulks and am confused by the second half of the tale! I would recommend Donna Tart for long reads. 'The Secret History' and ' The Goldfinch'.