Any good books to recommend after a Summer of reading, chaps and chapesses?

I’m currently reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Unaccustomed Earth’, which is an excellent collection of short stories.

I have also recently read ‘A Secret Scripture’ by Sebastian Barry which I can highly recommend, though with one of two reservations. It is about an elderly woman and her relationship with her doctor after years of confinement in a mental institution, and her secret writings that are found after her death.

Another good book I enjoyed is ‘The Sea’ by John Banville. I had been put off this novel, after reading a couple of reviews which said it was difficult. However I found it not at all difficult, very enjoyable and rather after the style of ‘Spies’ by Michael Frayn, which I enjoyed a few years ago.

For book group I have just read ‘Dress your family in corduroy and velvet’ by David Sedaris, but was not enamoured of his style or content, though I have heard several people say they loved the book. I shall find out on Wednesday.

Author: Sarah

No time to lose. No, time to lose. Make time to stand and stare.... Did you see that?

27 thoughts on “Reddit?”

  1. If a light read is what you would like, then I would recommend Natsume Soseki’s “Botchan” — a light-hearted story about an urbanite thrown into the deepest countryside in late 19th century Japan.

  2. If you like crime thrillers, try Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millenium’ trilogy – big, fat stories about an anti-heroine in a world of social misdemeanours.

  3. If you want a good laugh and an insight into corporate life that is worrying then try anything by Max Barry:- Jennifer Government a scary look into the future, Syrup a look into adverising and so true, Company have you worked in a place like this?

    If you want crime then Mark Billingham, I can’t praise this guy enough. Good read real Britishness no US super hero.

    Or I am reading The Dervish House by Ian MacDonald, strange story in the not too distant future when Turkey is in the EU and the hunt for a Melified Man (look up Melified man, but not before breakfast)

  4. Pseu – I have just finished ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ by Sir Ranulph Fiennes and absolutely fascinating it was too.


  5. I’d agree with Rick about Mark Billingham – also Peter Robinson.

    In my view, steer clear of Wolf Hall. I read it after recommendations from people here – and remembered why I always avoid books that have won literary prizes! Every page should carry a warning that the book is a novel…

  6. Morning, Pseu

    The book I enjoyed most over the summer was ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ which Mrs M. had nagged me into reading. This is the comment which I sent to another cyber friend.

    ‘TGL&PPPS’ was the first and last novel of Mary Ann Shaffer. Set in London and Guernsey in 1946, it is a novel in letters set in a world of publishers, bibliophiles, published authors and avid and sometimes eccentric readers. Juliet Ashton, published author, receives a letter from somebody who bought a second hand copy of Charles Lamb’s essays in which she had written her name and address. From that beginning, she corresponds with an ever-widening circle of members of the ‘TGL&PPPS’, her own friends and potential lovers. Becoming fascinated by the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands, she goes to visit Guernsey to research for her next book.

    It has a feel of ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ for me and I found it enthralling with its mixture of tales of life under the Nazis which are, by turn, chilling, mundane, humorous, poignant and downright tear-jerking. Enough twists and turns in the plot and only a few forced contrivances but, for me, a thoroughly enjoyable read, falling well into the cliched category of ‘Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down.’ Read it at a single sitting.’

  7. Interesting comments.
    I loved ‘Wolf Hall’ akershally, Boa… but it was quite hard going! I hadn’t read any of her other books so had no other expectations.
    Apparently her biog is fascinating.

    I’d heard of ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ but knew nothing else of it, JM. You have intrigued me now. I shall have to add it to my Amazon wish list!

    OZ I shall look up ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ by Sir Randolph Fiennes on your recommendation.

    Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millenium’ trilogy has had so much publicity, but not sure it’s my thing… will possibly borrow this one to try as a friend has it.

    Natsume Soseki’s “Botchan” is somehting I have never heard of… from your secription it doesn’t sound like a light read!

    Rick, I’m always wary when someone recommends something humorous as I often do not find it tickles my funny bone…

    The lastest crime I ever read was “When Will There Be Good News?” by Kate Atkinson, which was goodish, but no as good as some reviews suggested.

  8. Pseu – I know that people enjoyed it. Hard going isn’t quite how I’d describe it! I picked up a book by Alison Weir just after that called ‘The Lady in the Tower’ – a historical account of the role of Cromwell in Ann Boleyn’s downfall… it made far more sense to me! Any book that tries to paint Thomas Cromwell as a cuddly bear and Jane Seymour as a timid mouse should definitely carry a warning… 🙂

  9. I do agree about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, JM. I was sorry the author did not manage any other works. Another book my daughter’s Book Group tried is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and I would definitely recommend it.

    I agree with you about Vargas, Bearsy, though oddly her works are not in great demand in the library where I do voluntary work in France.

  10. Pseu they are not laugh at out loud funny, but funny in the way he looks at life a way we all do from time to time. If you have worked for a large corporation then you will understand it all.

    A bit like Dilbert.

  11. Pseu @ 7 – Would that be Randolph Scott the actor or Ranulph Fiennes the explorer chappie? Pssst! Go for the latter. 🙂 @18 – Waddya mean, ‘Other books on my wish list are on mosaics’. Speak in English, girl!

    Despite Bearsy’s hatchet job, Wolf Hall sounds interesting, if only for the title. I may well look further.


  12. “My wish list on Amazon, OZ, include titles which uncover the mysteries of making mosaics.” Clearer?

  13. ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne. Though you will guess the ending of this little gem about 20 pages in, I defy you not to sniffle a little at the end…

  14. I enjoyed it with reservations. I felt it was simplistic in some ways, and stretched too far the readers credibility of the naivety of the boy – however it was very effective.

    I read it at a similar time to another book which personified death, ‘The Book Thief’ also set in the war, written by Marcus Zusak which is incredible in its effect, but possibly aimed at an older child audience. Then Michael Morpurgo has written several times around the subject of war, including The War Horse and one about a musician in the war, which is a picture book, incredibly illustrated.

    There’s a lot out there. When Hilter Stole Pink Rabbit, by Judith Kerr is one I haven’t read.

  15. I think you’ll enjoy When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit, Pseu. I thought that “The Boy in the striped Pyjamas” was slightly unbelievable in that I couldn’t see the child being allowed anywhere close to the fence, let alone that the fence could be breached.

  16. The Pleistecene Saga by Julian May.

    I must have read them 5 times at least, each time there is something new to discover. An excellent plotline and superbly penned.

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