Tuesday, 10 July 2012

What shall I read on holiday?

Well I'm afraid this is a non-quilty post and is a blatant request for advice and suggestions.  Would you let me have a few ideas for books to read when I go on my summer holiday this year.  All time favourite books, page turners, funny books, sad books, books that make you think, this year's best books - and let me know why you liked the book so much so I can try to guage whether it would suit me too.  And because I don't like a post without pictures, I'll drop in a picture of one of the books on the Penguin Books quilt I made for my sister many moons ago.

Quilting nearly done

84 comments:

  1. Anything by Maureen Lipman, she is one of those rare writers that make me giggle out loud when I'm reading. Ditto Terry Pratchett. I read Call the Midwife when I was on holiday and enjoyed it. If you like detective thrillers then anything by Jo Nesbo is good. And if you want to feel noble and enjoy a classic then Dickens is a great read - Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby and Pickwick Papers are my favourite. It's not everyone's cup of tea though, my husband just can't get going on Dickens.

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  2. You mean you don't want a list of all quilting books to bring?! But that is what I might possibly be informed on.

    Seriously though...nah...I'm not in a serious mood... comedic ally then...

    You can't go wrong reading or rereading the first Harry Potter books for some good fun.

    For a funny but definitely geared towards young readers (aka easy to read) you could try The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Lots of great play on words and fairy tales. http://www.amazon.com/The-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles-Searching/dp/0152050523/ref=pd_sim_b_9

    If you haven't read the Hunger Games, then you should. At least the first book. Your kids could probably tell you about it.

    If anyone recommends Twilight or 50 Shades of grey, I would definitely check to see what you have in common with those people. ;)

    I have lots of opinions. But you know that already.

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  3. If you haven't already grab the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy ;)

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  4. I have no idea of your reading tastes but Always love to make booky suggestions; Top holiday reads of mine lately in no particular order have been: guernsey Literary and Potato peel Pie Society, light but warM and thought provoking? Barbara Trapido's Brother of the More Famous Jack; Ian McEwan's Saturday, (Solar is well written too, but has the most despicable main character I've ever read!) Niffenegger,s The Time Traveller's Wife is light and entertaining and thought provoking and well written. Also Rose Tremain,s The Road Home about an E European immigrant's experience in UK? I love Marilynne Robinson's Gilead and Home but not much happens and not everyone likes it, it's all about character; Ishiguro's Never Let me Go (recently made into a film, good but the book's better) And for tear jerkers:Still Alice written by a neurologist about a neurologist who develops Alzheimers, not so "literary" and fairly light but still well written; and an oldie but a goody, tragically amazing:The Bone People by Keri Hulme. For a taste of Australia try Tim Winton's Cloudstreet or Dirt Music? Would love to know if you read any of these and what you think!

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  5. For a reading suggestion, I would recommend Jasper Fforde's Thrusday Next series. They are so funny, especially if you have read some of the classics they refer to (but even if you don't get all the references, they're still fun) and how many men can succesfully pull of a middle aged woman as their main character. I love them!

    But oh, I just found out about this Penguin Book Quilt of yours! I'm a total book addict and would love to have one. I think I need to learn quilting. How hard is it to make? I saw you printed the stuff on the fabric, how did that go? (That would be my main worry). I've never been this enthousiastic about a quilt. I think I'll need one for my Paris home... I should call my aunt who's an experienced quilter...

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    1. It was pretty easy to make - if you search "penguin books" on my blog you should find most of the posts about making the quilt and printing on fabric!

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    2. I was going to suggest the Thursday Next series, too! I absolutely love his books, their super fast reads, and a new release always seemed to coincide with our holidays, so they were perfect.

      I also love Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. A detective with magical powers, lots of London history, and water spirits with attitude. What else do you need?

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  6. Ever read any Carl Hiaasen books? Set in Florida and full of oddballs (some particularly odd!), murder and lots of humour. A good summer read.

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  7. Getting ready to go away on your travels again ... enjoy
    This year when I get away I'll be Kindle ready too - oh boy what a difference there will be in my suitcase - I could easily take 10 paperbacks and go through them all whilst away ...
    I know we have similar tastes - what with Andy McDermott and Lee Child but how about Nora Roberts, Karen Rose, Clive Cussler, Wilbur Smith, Janet Evanovich, and if you can get them some of the quilting mystery books by say Earlene Fowler and Jennifer Chiaverini for some light entertainment

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  8. I haven't read much since my kids were born, but I still love books :) for something light I would recommend The Hunger Games, or any of the Kurt Wallander mysteries by Henning Mankell. For something literary, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (the writing is almost lyrical, and the romance is epic!), For something a bit darker, Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley (a feminist retelling of Noah and the Ark - but very sad), or London Fields by Martin Amis (hard to describe, but the protagonist is quite unlikeable!). For something funny, I am dying to read Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, aka The Blogess.

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  9. Try Tana French - "In the Woods", "The Likeness" and "Faithful Place" - detective novels set in and around Dublin..just checked on Amazon to remind myself of the titles and see she has written a fourth so I a well chuffed.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-the-Woods-ebook/dp/B002V091ZW/ref=pd_sim_b_4

    Have a great holiday.

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  10. Deborah Harkness', "A Discovery of Witches" is fantastic, sequel "Shadow of Night" out this month. Anything by Geraldine Brooks, particularly "People of the Book' and "Year of Wonders". Amazing books, all, but if you haven't read "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, it is probably the best book I have ever read!

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  11. ditto shadow of the wind....best book ever.....anything by rose tremain, the book thief will make you cry......

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  12. Have you read "Bel Canto"? It is a beautifully written novel with a taut storyline and moments of extreme beauty.

    I would also wholeheartedly recommend the Three Pines series of novels by Louise Penny, beginning with "Still Life". They are in the mystery genre, but they are so much more than that. Each book has themes that are larger and deeper, embodied by characters who evolve as the series unfolds. Really fine books with characters who are good company.

    Enjoy your holiday!

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  13. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach, Room by Emma Donoghue, Me Before You by JoJo Moyles, What Will Survive by Mark Gartside are some recent reads which I have enjoyed. I love courtroom/legal dramas so anything by Michael Connolly or John Lescroart if you enjoy that genre.( I will check out Tana French as suggested by Sheila.) I also loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society suggested by Camilla - a good light hearted holiday read. Oh, and anything by Laurie Graham.

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  14. I recently read "The Art of Fielding" which was absolutely fantastic and is about a guy called Henry Skrimshander who wants to be baseball star. It obviously talks a lot about baseball but fear not you don't need to know much about it and it talks in length about the people and family around him and the stories that evolve. A great, great read that will stay with you forever. Then I just finished the 'The Sisters Brothers' which is about the Wild West and two brothers who are killers. It is very funny and tender at the same time. And lastly I just started 'Canada' by Richard Ford and am well impressed with that too.

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  15. I loved Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett - a good, epic, sweeping tale.
    Steig Larssen's Millenium trilogy is fab - The Girl with the Dragon tattoo, etc. They are gritty, well written thrillers with great characters. I was gutted to reach the end of the series and realise there would never be any more, they are just that good!
    Hunger Games trilogy is well written too, don't let the fact that its written for teenagers put you off, or the premiss of children in a post apocalyptic world fighting to the death for food. Its terrific.
    I'm a huge Lee Child fan too, so try James Rollins or Matthew Reilly.
    For something a bit lighter, Marne Davis Kellogg is hard to find but has written some delightful books about art, diamonds, jewel thieves and food - with a little romance on the side.
    Mark Kurlansky makes history and bizarre facts so interesting - Cod is brilliant.
    Bill Bryson's Short history of nearly Everything is a must read.
    Nelson de Mille's Kindle single The Book Case was on my holiday reading list last week. A great New York detective story.
    Have a lovely trip!

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  16. It really depends what type of 'read' you want on holiday. I love the Alexander McCall Series 'Scotland Street' and also the 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' Series, but I know they are not for everyone. Personally I find them so enchanting. Shadow of the Wind (mentioned above)is a great read too, quite a page turner but quite serious. If you are into WWII literature, one of the best books I have ever read is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It's so moving and a very strange experience to read it while lying peacefully on a sunbed as I did several years ago. Another recent title that was very thought provoking is State of Wonder by Ann Pratchett - everyone in my book group loved it, I really hadn't expected to enjoy it as much as I did. And finally (I could go on for days) I loved Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunnant and anything by Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger, Fingersmith etc. Let us know what you decide!

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  17. dear lilly ,i just read: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson,and it was incredible,it is one of the best books i ever read,i can just recommend it very much,susi

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  18. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (if you've not read it already) Hilarious, interesting, a little nostalgic and a lot empowering. You will laugh out loud and either not want to explain why or instead find yourself annoying people with 'Oh let me just read you this one more bit'. I genuinely believe that everyone should read that book.

    Smut by Alan Bennett (the assumptions I've made based on your tweets) but then again anything by Alan Bennett. If you want English, human tragi-funny he's so your man.

    Blindness by Jose Sarramago is the book I most highly recommend though. It's a real sensory experience much like Perfume by Patrick Suskind both of which really do something dark but special.

    Otherwise, to my mind, you really can't go wrong with anything by Angela Carter or Margaret Atwood.

    Happy holidaying!

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  19. If you like detective books, Jo Nesbo is a great read - all that Scandinavian bleakness is fun! 'Nine Lives' by William Dalrymple is a lovely book about 9 extraordinary people William encountered when travelling in India - spiritual and food for thought. I'm currently reading a beautiful book called 'A History of Love' by Nicole Krauss which I can't recommend highly enough. Enjoy your break!

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  20. What fascinating responses, all very varied! I would say anything by Anita Shreve or Jodi Piccoult, for deep and meaningful and human relationships.

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  21. hehe I remember you asking last time, my choices remain the same, I havent read any new books this year.
    As for this whole Grey business I've yet to wake up to it..

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  22. oh I love talking books. I tweeted you back too (@hellofromcat), then had a lovely tweet-chat with Danielle (petitelefants) about books.

    I love all Ann Patchett, particularly State of Wonder, Run and The Magician's Assistant. Saw her at the Brisbane's Writers' Festival last year, she is just great. Her non-fiction book Truth and Beauty is amazing, about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, who wrote Autobiography of a Face.

    I love all Anne Tyler, all Lily Brett (essays and fiction), all Helen Garner and Tim Winton (last two both Australian, not sure if available in UK).

    Love everything about and by any Mitford sister, particularly Mary S Lovell's biography, and the Letters between Sisters book edited by Charlotte Mosely. Currently reading letters between Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh. Pretty nasty but funny.

    Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks is awesome - had it for ages and didn't pick it up, as I thought it would be too heavy and serious, but it was great.

    Same goes for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - didn't read it for ages, as thought it would be a thesis on superior mothering :P , but it's not at all, I really liked it.

    I get sidetracked by my kids' books a lot - the Sisters Grimm series was great - 9 books in all, and I just read The Puzzle Ring.

    OK enough. Hope you snap up some good reads for your hols. see you, Cat

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  23. Just got your tweet, trying another profile ... Thanks for letting me know. And happy book-shopping, Cat.

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  24. I'd take Winnie the Pooh. And for afterwards if you feel like a bit more of a stretch, The Tao of Pooh. Keep it light, you are on holiday....

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  25. I'm currently reading "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (aka @theblogess). It is really funny!
    http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Pretend-This-Never-Happened/dp/0399159010
    Another favorite, although more serious in content is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This nonfiction book was fascinating, and I have passed it along to several friends who have loved it.
    http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Life-Henrietta-Lacks/dp/1400052181/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341917854&sr=1-1&keywords=henrietta+lacks
    Enjoy your vacation!

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  26. Have just bought The Bloggess book mentioned above! - it's in the pile next to my bed. OK. I think I've sorted out my profile/reply issues. If I haven't, please give up on me, you have been too kind already! see you, Cat

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  27. Oh my, Lynne - well, let's see here. I adore reading - it used to be my big addiction before I found quilting. I read less than I used to, but I still love reading.

    Here's a few recent faves - I echo Spoolhardy Girl's recommendation for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - though it was nonfiction, it was so utterly compelling and un-put-down-able.

    For something lighter, I loved "The Bungalow" by Sarah Jio, which was an interesting blend of intrigue and romance, with vivid settings that practically leapt off the page.

    I also just finished "The Arrivals" by Meg Mitchell Moore, which was a great-portrait-of-a-family kind of novel.

    Sometimes I like to read some fun fluff, and Sophie Kinsella's latest, "I've Got Your Number," fits the bill perfectly. Fun, fast, breezy story, perfect for reading on vacation or by the beach. It's a zany little book, that will totally make you smile if not laugh out loud.

    And lastly, "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern was a totally fascinating read - a bit out of my usual comfort zone, being a bit about magic and such, but it was so amazing. The descriptions were so striking and picturesque, it was the kind of book that totally creates a movie in your mind. :)

    Where are you off to for your holiday?

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  28. How about Kate Morton? I've read three of her books and enjoyed them all. I do read alot but rarely remember the names/authors of books so that's about all I can manage!
    xx

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  29. Any of the Joanne Fluke books (Hannah Swensen mysteries) they are light fun mysteries. Some nice old Agatha Christie mysteries if you haven't already read them all ( I love Jane Marple)

    Silenced by the Yams (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #3)
    Cut, Crop & Die (A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery)
    Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
    Cake Icing, Butt Budder and Tea Lids (actually NOT a mystery)

    Can you tell that I lean toward the mystery genre? But I find them great holiday reading.

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  30. I'm so pleased you asked! I am totally obsessed by George RR Martin's Game of Thrones books! They are such an amazing read and there are 7 of them! (7 physical books, 5 if you read them on your kindle). They are classed as fantasy but read much more like historical fiction, and can I just say that I am big reader but not for any genre books, these books totally surpass their genre as the characterisation is so amazing and they are incredibly exciting and well written. I simply can't put them down! I am on book 5 and Jonathan is on book 1 and lots of my extended family are at different stages through them all. And the best thing is the author is still writing more!! I am so obsessed that I am even planning an embroidery inspired by them! I couldn't recommend these books highly enough. Have a great holiday, mine ends today :(

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  31. If you like the inter-war period in England (WWI-WWII, I mean) and smart mysteries, pick up any of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy Sayers. They're some of my favorite books, and the characters are really well developed. Lord Peter is the second son of an aristocratic family, who solves mysteries as something to do after coming back from WWI. He's everything Bertie Wooster isn't: sensible, witty, smart, and his man Bunter is a brilliant character, too. My favorites are Murder Must Advertise and Gaudy Night, but it's probably better to start with Whose Body or Strong Poison.

    If you'd rather something a little less close to home, try Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay -- it's the story of a man in the 9th Qitan dynasty (historic/imaginary China) gifted with 250 amazing horses, who has to figure out how on earth to get them home without being killed for the unimaginable wealth they embody. There's a thread of love story and a thread of politics and a well-developed world with a number of narrators. The women all narrate in the present tense, while the men do in the past tense, which annoyed me, but I found it a satisfying read.

    For something even less realistic, try Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. Rae Seddon, a coffeehouse baker, has a totally normal life until she goes out to her parents old cabin by the lake one night and is abducted by vampires. I know -- it's ANOTHER vampire book? Please, no! -- but it was written before Twilight, is not a kid's book, and has Robin McKinley's usual 3-D strong female lead character. If you like good fantasy world-building and a book that's more character-driven than plot driven, this is a must. Also, the desserts and muffins mentioned make me want to bake ALL THE TIME when I read it. :)

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  32. (Okay, two comments, sorry!)

    In non-fiction, I have to echo the above recommendation for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

    And if you like travel writing at all, or just funny stories about being in other countries, try Bill Bryson. In a Sunburned Country is great, about Australia (and how everything in it will kill you). If you want something that's more about understanding the world around you and less about funny travel anecdotes, try A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is exactly what it says on the tin, and is really, really enjoyable.

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  33. Where to start!?! Sci Fi/Fantasy: I really enjoyed "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell. Or for something lighter "The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" by Douglas Adams or anything by Mercedes Lackey.

    I'd also echo Alisa's Bill Bryson...especially "I'm a Stranger Here myself" and I've given away a ton of copies of "The water is wide" by Pat Conroy

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  34. The Hunger Games triology is a good read - easy. Earlier this summer, I read "The Dressmaker" by Kate Alcott - great female story about a young girl's voyage on the Titanic. Very good read. I just finished "Unbroken" by Lauren Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit) non-fiction about the life of Louis Zamparini - Olympian/WW II POW survivor. It's a tough read just from the side of the abuse he lived through and overcame but a page turner...couldn't put it down. It's one of those books that will stay with you for a long time, if not forever. Have fun and let us know what you read!

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  35. Going slightly off the fiction path I would thoroughly recommend "Colour. Travels through the paintbox." Written by Victoria Finlay it is my first suggestion whenever asked about a good read. It is of particular value to artists and crafters because it builds an understanding of the how, why and when we use colour in our work.

    Although it is non-fiction Victoria Finlay's style is easy to read and turns a potentially dry rendition of chemicals and method into a sociological, historical exploration of cultures across the world and history. For me the book was fascinating and enlightening. Go buy it in a hard copy format so you too can enjoy the pictures she includes.

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  36. i woulkd really reccomend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows . A beuatfil little story about dsome one who is a lover of letter writing and the outcome of that love. Also Mr Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons. A tale of a small man's strive to be English - again a very heart warming little tale which will make you smile and sad - perfect holiday reading . Finally if you like a big of a gripping tale, I am currently reading 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan which is in New York in the 1850's. Not quite finished it but it is keeping me hanging on wondering "who done it". Happy reading and relaxing

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    1. so sorry about all the typos on this comment Lynne - I wrote it on the train from my phone... bad idea obviously. I have changed my settings by the way so hopefully the No reply has been removed. If you get a chance to let me know that would be wonderful

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  37. I love the quilt...and C.S. Lewis. What an amazing man. I started reading
    Alan Brady's series about Flavia De Luce. The first one is the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Here is a link about Flavia http://www.flaviadeluce.com/

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    1. I was wondering when someone was going to recommend the marvelous Flavia. You must read these if you haven't already Lynne. I think you (and the twins) would utterly adore Flavia. You've been given a lot of teen lit recommendations here but this series is totally holiday beach-worthy. On the other hand, maybe Nigel would prefer you try 50 Shades, since you are returning to your honeymoon hotel and all...

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  38. Ann B Ross Ms Julia series. You will be entertained:)

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  39. It always depends on personal taste but here is my 2 cents worth.
    Anything by Jasper Fforde - The Fourth Bear or the Thursday Next series. These are absurd mysteries but very fun.
    Anything by Bill Bryson, my fave is At Home but really anything by him is great.
    For total silliness the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich is great.
    I get most of my books from Book Depository - cheap, free & fast delivery, can't beat that.
    Whatever you choose, I hope you have a great break!
    Cheers
    Lush x
    PS do you have an email address for Trash please? Her link above does not seem to be working for me??

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  40. Without a doubt 'Cutting for Stone' by Abraham Vergese - by far the best book I've read in a very, very long time!

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    1. Agreed. I loved this story. I didn't enjoy his other 'true story' The Tennis Partner as much.

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  41. Recently I have enjoyed A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark and Everything Matters! by Ron Currie

    Thanks starting this discussion and to everyone else for all the ideas, I now have quite a list to take to the library today!

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  42. Louise Penny is my favorite author without a doubt. She does not write the typical mystery. The books primarily take place in Three Pines (near Quebec) which is where I would love to live if it existed. The characters include a poet (with a unique, crotchety style all her own), an artist couple who have different perspectives on art, a psychologist turned used books store owner and last but not least Inspector Armand Gamache. If (God forbid) a murder ever happened that even remotely touched my life--I pray that there is an investigator like him involved.

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  43. It so depends on what kind of this you normally read - if you enjoy period fiction, try Miss Pettigrew lives for a day which is a funny, clever and poignant day in the life of type book and one of my repeat offenders. The Night Circus was good, kind of light reading in a dream state but it carries you along, if you've not seen the film Water for Elephants is such a well written book, The Glass House by Simon Mawer, The Novel in the Viola, if you like books set in normal settings but with a slight magical edge, I'd highly recommend anything by Sarah Addison Allen. I could go on, and on...

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  44. - I love The Time Traveler's Wife. It's an awesome audio book. Interesting ideas, amazing love story. Memoirs of a Geisha is very descriptive. Tina Fey's Bossypants will have you cracking up to be sure ;-) I also really enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series for the twists and turns in the story.

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    1. I heartily second "Memoirs of a Geisha". What a gorgeous book that was!

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  45. I am going to come back and read all your comments later for ideas too. I have found that much of my free reading time has been consumed by blog reading and sewing lately. The last book I read was Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - about the future if we don't watch out. Very thought provoking, a bit disturbing and continues to make me think. It is not that new but had been on my shelf for a long while waiting to be read.

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    1. I adore Margaret Atwood. "Alias Grace" is probably my favorite of hers, and the book that got me interested in quilting. It's a wonderfully constructed tale based around a real Canadian murder case in the mid-1800s that was the most notorious murder of its time.

      "Oryx and Crake" is very good, too. I think I read somewhere that she's writing a prequel, about the disaster that happens before the book's beginning.

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  46. I use Audible abd buy audio books so this is a great list for finding new titles. I wholeheartedly recommend Caitlin Moran, 'How to be a Woman', part 70s child memoire, part rant, modern feminism and at many times laugh out loud funny and knicker wettingly frank- so many areas are covered- bras, aging, babies. hilarious

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  47. Declaration by Gemma Malley - I downloaded it onto my kindle for my 12 year old son, but read it first to make sure it was age appropriate. It is actually the first of a short series. It really made me think about what would happen if somebody did invent a drug that meant you could live forever. It isn't set in a futuristic world, but bears a lot of similarlty to today.
    I second "A discovery of Witches" - I loved it, a really different take on the whole witch/vampire thing (can't wait to read the next one where they're back in Medieavel England!)
    The "Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite" was also good - not a comfortable read, quite sad in many ways - much of it set in Germany's depression era, but gripping. I can't decide whether I liked the main character or not!
    I have to confess I ammore often choose light fiction nowadays - as escapism. I quite liked some of the Trisha Ashley chick lit - refreshing because not set in London/Home counties, the heroines are generally capable and not necessarily that affluent! (Though the books I think may become a bit similar after a while). And I also like the Hollows series by Kim Harrison - though I am afraid they are more of the witch/werewolf/vampire theme (but I think quite unlike Twilight from what I an gather) - I like the heroine, she generally manages to survive some awful situations, and sticks to her moral code despite being framed/set up and banished.
    Phew - sorry that was a bit of a long reply!

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  48. I forgot to mention a non fiction title - "The Tent, the bucket and me" - various friends loved Emma Kennedy's description of her (disastrous) family caping holidays in the 70's. (I couldn't get into it I'm afraid) and might be a good choice if you're staying in the UK and this weather continues - as it might make it not seem so bad in comparison!

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  49. My two cents?..."The Help" - I listened to it on audiobook recently and my whole family ended up listening too. It's that good. A short time later we watched the movie version, which was well done, but the book is even better.

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    1. Yes, a super book and try The Secret Lives of Bees too.

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  50. I love any and all books by Jeffrey Archer - starting with Kane & Abel. He does such a wonderful job with his characters & interweaving stories. And he personally has his own storied history in your country.

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  51. I love A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers -- gripping historical fiction with great characters set in the ancient Roman world. I also love the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson about a set of seven orphans who adopted each other as adults to form their own family and have interesting careers as adults: hostage negotiator, forensic pathologist, fireman, paramedic, etc. Each book focuses on one of the characters, and I loved learning more about these different careers in the middle of a suspenseful mystery.

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  52. I love books that latch on to me and don't let go, and I wind up staying up until 5am just to finish it.

    Anything by Alice Hoffman - my favorite is her most recent book, "The Dovekeepers". It's a tragic tale, but a beautiful one. My other two favorites of hers are "The River King" and "Local Girls". She has a way with descriptive language that makes everything in the world seem steeped in mysticism and the extraordinary.

    Similar to her is a new author, Tiffany Baker, whose books "The Little Giant of Aberdeen County" (which features a quilt!) and "The Gilly Salt Sisters" reached in and grabbed onto my heart with beautiful poignancy.

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  53. Oh, and if you want something light, frothy, and fun, I'm a very big fan of Georgette Heyer's Regency Romances. They're very witty and just plain fun.

    (My mother laughs at my recent obsession with her, as apparently she's what everyone in her generation read in high school.)

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  54. I dont get much chance to read except on holiday and planning what I am going to read is all part of the build up. I always try and have at least one book either set in the place where I am going. Recently went on a cruise to the Nordic capitals and the whole ship seemed to have had the same idea as me and brought along the Steig Larssen books. Where are you going on holiday? Going to the Canary Islands this year and having difficulty tracking down one set there. Always read one Classic - the last one I read was Jane Eyre- its such an easy read and it doesnt matter that you know the ending its always great. Have a fab holiday. Linda x

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  55. Any of the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood books. Theyre total trash but addictive and fun!

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  56. I just read Make the Bread, Buy the Butter on vacation this weekend and LOVED it!! It's funny, informative and very helpful. I 100% recommend it if you have any desire whatsoever to make some food items from scratch (bread, pizza dough, crackers, butter etc). It has lots of delicious sounding recipes too - I'm trying the pizza dough tonight!

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  57. Thanks for the question, Lynne, I've really enjoyed reading some of the suggestions. On holiday last week I started reading these - an interesting heroine, some good characters, sort of crime fiction and light. Here's a link to Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Charlaine-Harris-Mysteries-Collection-Books/dp/B005GKK07W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341946430&sr=8-1
    where you can get all five quite cheaply. Not an advert! - just where we got them - of course you may have a Kindle.

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  58. I just finished Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott. Is is non-fiction- a diary of sorts of the first year of her son's child's life. It was good to pick up and put down since it wasn't really written in long chapters but daily entries.

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  59. Threads by Victoria Hislop - this is her third book and is set in Greece just sat the first world war finishes through to present day. As you can see it is a historical story about the lives of people connected to the world of thread and cloth! A brilliant read. Have a good holiday.

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  60. If you haven't already read it, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is a great book to read on holiday. It's long but not too long, epic and well-written!

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  61. After Threads you must read The Return and, my favorite, The Island both by Victoria Hislop.

    For something completely different - Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Midnight Palace. I couldn't put it down. Don't let it put you off being a translation of a young adult book, it is a real page turner and up to the standard of The Angels Game.

    Have a wonderful holiday

    Janette

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  62. Well if you get through that lot, ask me again!

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  63. I've just finished 'Before I go to sleep' by SJ Watson. I read it in just under three days and struggled to put it down - easy to read but it makes you think about the way we take our memory for granted. I also loved 'No time for goodbye' by Linwood Barclay - another one I couldn't put down (although 50 pages from the end I did just that so I could save it! Twists and turns and a story that will keep you going to the very end. I'd also recommend 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop, 'The Time-traveller's wife' by Audrey Niffeneger (but NOT 'Her fearful symmetry - it's dire!), 'Hester's Story' by Adele Geras (poignant but lovely) and anything by Dorothy Koomson but particularly 'My best friend's girl' (be warned, you'll cry!). And, if you haven't already read it how about 'Message in a bottle' by Nicholas Sparks? (You'll cry, several times!) I also love the series of Lynley Mysteries by Elizabeth George - so much better than the series on telly! Have fun choosing from all the great suggestions you've got!
    P.S. I've just thought of 'The probable Future' by Alice Hoffman, 'Needles and pearls' and 'Divas don't knit' by Gil McNeil (but none of her other books) - I often chuckle out loud when reading these (I've read them at least half a dozen times!) and they're 'easy to read' but well-written. The Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts are also good (more 'easy to read' books!) as are The Concannon Sisters trilogy by the same author. She's also written some good suspense-type books (with a splash of romance for good luck!) but you have to be careful as some of her books are of the 'Mills and Boon' type - you can generally tell because they're shorter!!

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  64. I could very easily say "Snowman" by my son Mark Sedore. He wrote it in 3 days during the "3-Day Novel Writing Contest." It happens every Labour Day in Sept. Everyone who has read it is eagerly awaiting his next novel.
    On the other hand, I can also recommend Honolulu by Alan Brennert. It is about the story of Korean 'picture brides' in the very early days of Hawaii's capital. Loads of research went into the book, not just about Honolulu but also about Korea and particularly Korean women. A wonderful read.
    If you are looking for good action reads, try any of Lee Child's books. Jack Reacher is his main character and any of the books would do (there are several.) Then again, there is David Baldacci. I have read all but one of his books and have enjoyed them. American, anti-hero, CIA, FBI, betrayal by one's country are just some of the topics covered.

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  65. I love Christopher Brookmyre's books, they're hysterical, but you might need a Glasgow-English dictionary ;o)

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  66. Oh, wow. There are so many great suggestions above and I know you'll not get through them all, but I can't resist adding a few more. Sorry for the length of this. I only found your blog yesterday so I don't necessarily know what YOU will like, so these are some of the ones I love...

    Of Bees and Mist, by Erick Setiawan is just beautiful. Sort of magic realism, and I can't describe it other than to say just read it! In a similar vein - try The Girl with the Glass Feet, by Ali Shaw. It's almost like a fairy story. The Night Circus, recommended by a couple of people above reminded me of both of these two.

    The old favourite I return to over and over is the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce, and the other books set in the same world - written as YA fiction (and the first books are over 20 years old now) but I've read them as a kid and as an adult, and passed them to a friend and her two teenage daughters who loved them too. Very strong female characters who don't sit there waiting to be rescued, or allow anyone to stop them following their dreams just because they're girls. My sister's expecting her first baby this summer and I've already said that when she's old enough, my new niece HAS to read these books.

    If you want to read something with a bit of romance, I very much like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series - well researched historical romance with characters you can really care about. Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms is good too, for more of a fantasy take on romance. I think each new book in that set is better than the last, but you should start with The Fairy Godmother so that the others make sense.

    If you enjoy crime reading, James Anderson deserves to be better known. He wrote three books set in a 1920s country house - it's like a cross between Lord Peter Whimsey and Jeeves and Wooster. Very wry sense of humour. The first one is The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy. I'd also agree with the other Katy above who suggested Christopher Brookmyre - I'd probably suggest starting with Not the End of the World, because it's set in LA and has less Glaswegian dialect to master, or All Fun amd Games Until Someone Loses an Eye, which is manore recent and he's become a better writer over the years - both are good standalones that give you a good idea of his writing without relying on knowing what happened in other books. And in a cross-over with crime and urban fantasy, the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher are very funny. Harry Dresden is the only wizard to advertise in the Chicago phone book, in a world where all the monsters are real.

    Once you've read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, as suggested above, my other favourite Persephone volume is Miss Buncle's Book, which is just completely charming. If you like the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, try Baking Cakes in Kigali, by Gaile Parkin, is really good, and would be great to relax with on holiday, and in looking up the book to check the author's name, I just found out she published a sequel this year, so that's going onto my next order!

    And finally, if you want something a bit intelligent to read, the Children's Book, by A S Byatt is very thought provoking, and focuses on the Arts and Craft movement and the wider society around the turn of the last century.

    Sorry for the length of this - I can never resist when asked to suggest books. Lucky it's my turn to pick the next one for my book group!

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  67. Oh, and I should have said - I love that Penguin quilt. Just, wow!

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  68. The End of Mr Y - Scarlett Thomas - part quantum physics, part matrix connected consciousness, part time travel, part philosophy, greatly funny and deeply thoughtful
    :)

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  69. Little coffee shop of Kabul!

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  70. Oh gosh, what do you like? Recently I have loved Delirium (and the second book Pandemonium). It's a dystopian story and in the future love has been declared an illness which causes anxiety, depression and a host of other mental illnesses. As a result adults have a procedure so they don't fall in love. The story focuses on the main character and some others who avoid the procedure and live "underground". It's a fast, interest romance/adventure.

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  71. A couple good reads that won't give you arm strain as you hold them above your head to block the sun from scorching your face while reclined in a chaise lounge:
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (A Man Booker prize winning novella)
    Burning Bright, The Lady and the Unicorn, The Girl with a Pearl Earring all by Tracey Chevalier
    The Art of Racing in the Rain (Jack will like this too, I think) by Garth Stein

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  72. The one book you must take on your holiday, along with a supply of Tena lights, is Roald Dahl's 'The Vicar if Nibbleswicke' I wept from both ends when I read it! The best book in the world me thinks.

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  73. I hope you're having a long, long holiday!

    We are a family of book lovers. So I'm recommending a series of books that all my daughters Ellie 13, Rosie 16, Emily 20 and Katie 21 and I have read over and over. They're by Megan Whalen Turner. So far there are 4 in the series: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia and A Conspiracy of Kings. We've been reading and rereading these for years and holding our breath for the next one to come out. I like them as much as C. S. Lewis' Narnia and from me that is high praise indeed. Danger, mystery, romance,humour, amazing characters,captivating settings and engaging plot beautifully crafted into a truly memorable read.

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  74. I'm not sure what your preferences for holiday reading are -light/heavy. a mixture but I would agree about the Hunger Games trilogy and the Night Circus.
    A lot of the other suggestions are great as well but two authors that haven't been mentioned are Phil Rickman and CJ Sansom. Rickman's mystery series on Rev Merrily Watkins are set on th English/Welsh border but there is more to them than just the mystery - single parenthood, the changes in country life etc. Sansom's historical series set in Henry the Eighth England centred around Matthew Shardlake are very readable.
    Personally I would avoid the Fifty shades trilogy - books in need of a good editor.

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