Two really great 'feel good' books I've read recently are the Wedding Officer - Anthoney Capella and ;Mr Rosenblums list by Natasha Solomons (i think) oh and the missing Postman by Mark Wallingford is also good - all easy to read and all up beat (well mostly)
I have a thing about war books and my three favourites are : Robert Graves - 'Goodbye to all that', Sebastian Barry 'it's a long long way' and Vera Brittain ' Testament of Youth'. All trerrific books but a bit grim in places.
When I am feeling a bit lazy I read some children's novels, particularly Michael Morpergo - beautifully crafted and can be finished in a couple of days if there are few distractions.
I could go on and on....
Still like ti dip into the classics every now and then
Books I re read
Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility,Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights,
To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye,
Captain Correlli's Mandolin and The English Patient. ( I know I have mentioned this one before, but I love it)
Hi all! ( Great and v.useful thread!)
Yes, Snap! Alto (kind of) - just bought "World without End" on Amazon in good old-fashioned paper form - also keen to get a Kindle following this thread and TV ads. Will probably have to wait till Christmas, though! I prefer the time period in this one to the prequel (I think) Pillars of the Earth - I believe WWE is set the 14th C - can't beat a bit of plague! I may be wrong here re: subject matter, though! Have read most of The Tent, the Bucket and Me and agree it is v. funny, but has a few too many accidents involving poo for my taste! Quite enjoyed " Darkmans" - v.long and rambling (800+ pages), but curiously memorable! Need to pick up some good book ideas as I am prone to buying a boxful from Amazon, starting them all, quickly losing interest and abandoning them part of the way through. Tried some "Cancer-lit" books eg.My Sister's keeper and John Diamond's "Cowards get Cancer Too", but again abandoned them as too depressing! Thanks to all on this thread, sorry for meandering post!
An obsession by Nick Stevens,
All about the breed lines that made the working terrier what it is today and how the chocolate colours came about. Not for most people but it happens to be one of my obsessions.
Several books about intelligent horsemanship.
I also now realise my reading delights are quite different to most peoples lol a bit like my life ha ha.
Carry on reading folks.
Thanks for starting this thread SCACO. I've now spent a fortune on e-books for the kindle which I was given as a Christmas present. And several "free" books as well.
Latest read and would recommend-
"That's Another Story" Julie Walters biography
Funny, lots of personal info
Ease to follow with chemo brain 10/10
Happy Easter reading everyone- Diana
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STARTING THIS THREAD STAYCALMANDCARRYON.
BARBARA KINGSOLVER..... "PIGS IN HEAVEN"
EMMA DONOGHUE..... "ROOM"
RICHENDA FRANCIS...."THE BLOOD IS STRONG"
URSULA HEGI...." STONES FROM THE RIVER"
The first 3 I read on holiday recently. The last 2 are favourites.
I have read many of the books mentioned already. I keep a journal/notebook with small summary of books I have read. If I was starting again I would choose an ADDRESS book and put them in alphabetical order so that when I go to the good charity shops which have books in alphabetical order, or the library, I can easily look up an author that I have specially enjoyed.
"The Pillars of the earth" was chosen by Duncan Bannatyne to take on Dessert island discs. it was a great read.
"The Crimson Petal and the White" was a great book ( with a weak ending, sadly). These last 2 books were made into TV drama and NEITHER was a s good as the book.
What is great about this thread is that when I am looking for an new author I can come onto this thread for inspiration. So thanks again. Val
Just picked up this thread after going away for 4 days (great break, fantastic weather)- excellent thread!
Reading has got me through so much... i read so much, but the ones that have got me through the worst times have been:
Stephen King - Wolves of the Calla - read it just after first dx, really took me away from the sh*t!
Anita Shreve - A Wedding in December
Penny Vinczenzi - An Absolute Scandal - got me through the worst chemo cycle I ever had!
But i actually read more or less anything, just finished "Started early, took my dog" by Kate Atkinson. I also really like Peter Robinson, Faye Kellerman,Lee Child and John Grisham.
I love books, I could spend hours just mooching round Waterstones, my idea of heaven.
For a good old tear jerker you can't beat The Notebook,
Any Harlan Coben as a top crime book.... Brilliant,
Peter Kays autobiography for a good laugh....
And if I'm feeling intellectual, (not that that's a frequent occurrence), memoirs of a geisha, suite francaisse, the forsyte saga......
And my favourite book of all time..... Danny the champion of the world, by Roald Dahl... Unbeatable.xx
I read The Tent, The Bucket and Me on holiday last year. For those of us who were brought up in the 70s having camping holidays in the UK and then had their first one abroad it's the story of our childhood! I swear we could have been that family...
Ah, the happy memories of a brown and orange canvas frame tent... not a patch on ours in the woods CM!
Yay! I found the thread - thanks for the bump StayCalmandCarryOn! I too like Ian Rankin, and Sara Paretsky (a feisty female american detective heroine) and Donna Leon (detective set in Venice) and all Alexander McCall Smith books, which are beautifully written and undemanding...
Alto I too was very anti-Kindle....until I got one.I love the fact that I can take hundreds of books wherever I go.I have it 'as well as' not 'instead of' real books.
My one worry is about the public libraries-I used to go once or twice a week before I had my Kindle but now I rarely visit.
bumped for you x
The Tent The Bucket and Me.
Really funny, to the point i had to apologise to the woman next to me on the plane for my guffawing.
One womans real life memories of 70s holidays with her parents. being a child of the 70s myself and still remembering when 'abroad holidays' were a novelty, this rang a few bells.
ease to read: probably 10. i did read it before bc and all the lovlies that accompany it.
Just downloaded 6 new books to my i-pod (I know, it's too small, but I have used it quite a bit for reading on planes) for less than £7 in total, so will have plenty to read when waiting around the hospital on Tuesday! Finally persuaded to try Stieg Larrson, so looking forward to a good read.
I have a house overflowing with books, but there is nothing like the feel of a book in your hand. In "proper" books I am currently reading Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver - not easy to get into although beautifully written, and I have only completed the first two chapters so far, but I loved The Poisonwood Bible, and seem to remember that was slow to start too.
Oooh - Jean Auel - must re-read those now the last one's out. I was thinking of getting Lord of the Rings on my Kindle to keep me going for a while longer.
it's strange but I was very much a "real book" person before I got the Kindle and tbh I didn't really want one, but it was so convenient for taking into hospital. Then I worked out how much it would cost me to buy all the books in paper format that I wanted to read and the (non-existent) space they'd need on the shelves and realised there was no way I could have them all!
I will agree that it's very annoying if you just want to flick back (or forward 😉 ) a few pages to check something but really I'm a convert now. There's no way I'd have read all the books I have recently if I didn't have it. And of course, when you buy then you have them immediately!
As a long time on chemo gal I tend to stick to short stories at the moment. Carol Shields, Alice Munro, Helen Simpson, William Trevor amongst others. Nice thread. x
The Clan of the Cave Bear series, Jean Auel, has just written the final one after 20 odd years!!
Not an easy chemo/hosp read but really absorbing.
Plot - 8/10
Ease - 3/10
Love this thread, have read loads already mentioned but lots of lovely new ideas too!
dont know how you all get on with the kindle i like to turn a page, feel the book.
Dont like fiction much these days i prefer facts, biography but most of the time im always studying something so reading things like dog psychology.
True blood is based on the sookie stackhouse books, but the books are even better. I have a terrible crush on eric the viking vampire sherrif of area five :-). You can get the first ten in a set for about twenty quid at the book people. The 12th is out next month.
Cm, i enjoyed the jack reacher books too. And did you see the eddie izzard tv series for day of triffids last year? They changed it loads, was gutted.
I also love reading my cook books, esp nigella's domestic goddess one. Makes me content just reading about the lovely food.
I do read the classics too by the way! But at the moment its mainly the vampires.
Sci Fi - yup, was heavily into that when younger. John Wyndham's books made good films but were much better in their paper versions. I recently saw Day of the Triffids, the original, and nearly bust a gut laughing at the special effects, while remembering that I was hiding behind the sofa when I first saw it.
John Grisham's also a good "airport novel" kinda thing, along with the Jack Reacher series (Lee Childs) and loads of others that have been mentioned.
When I was in solitary a few weeks ago I know I read a book while I was in but I have NO IDEA what it was. It was a bit rubbish is all I can remember, so at least I didn't miss a good book.
I enjoy reading and re-reading Harry Potter for something just to put in front of my eyes. I've read them so often they're familiar friends that don't need a lot of concentration. Similar with Twilight, more concentration needed for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, they're all books that I've read more than once. Wouldn't bother re-reading any of the crime novels though, however enjoyable they are first time round.
ROOM was a recent read and I really enjoyed it. Very thought-provoking.
And my Kindle has had me reading some complete crap as well as some good stuff - well it's free! Currently reading the Dominion series by Robin Parrish. Undecided, but good enough to keep me reading.
I'm reading pretty much anything at the moment, so some very good suggestions, and three pages on the forum in only one day!
The daftest thing I have on my Kindle, which I was reading while waiting for my re-excision? The NICE Guidelines for early breast cancer! I kid you not, that was what I was reading before my op. Barking. Completely barking.
Thought i'd be able to read a book a day while on chemo, but alas that wasn't to be, my poor brain just loses the words.
I love all types of books of any genre depending on my mood. karen Rose writes really good crime novels. At the moment i,m reading chick lit because my brain digests it easily ( what does that say about me?)and i just need to laugh. Sophie kinsella,s a favourite
Vickie - are the Sookie stackhouse books the same as true blood on tv
I was given an ipad for Xmas and yes you can download a kindle app for free and then download whatever books you choose.
I love books too, though chemo has meant I've had time to read more, but lost the brainpower to do so! I've been working my way through the Stieg Larsson trilogy during chemo and usually means I'm up far too late.
Some of my favourites are Kate Atkinson (especially the Jackson Brodie trilogy, or there are four books now so not sure what that is...). They're quite easy to read and I might be tempted to go through the whole series again. I like the non-scifi books by Iain Banks book. Also like a few of Ian McEwans and some crime stuff e.g. Ian Rankin. I seem to have a thing about authors called Ian! Also like Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro (Remains of the Day and Never Let me go). And i really enjoyed Sadie Jones The Outcast which was easy reading so suitable even for chemo brains.
Am I the only one who hasn't read a single Harry Potter book?
Oooohhhhhhh this is my new favourite thread! Thetes nothing i love more than finding a new author i love and knowing i have their whole back catalogue to read!
I am entirely without shame and am happy to confirm that i am the person who has corrupted Deb/Midge into reading the Sookie Stackhouse books. I read all 11 within a few weeks and was a very hands off mother during that time, who needs to get tea on the table on time when the dallas vampires have just turned up to wreak hVoc in area 5 ? I have alwYs loved sci fi and fantasy books. John wnydham's The Chrysalids opened my eyes to this as our set book at school when i was 13. Day of the triffids is my all time favourite book. Terry brooks' shannarra series was another favourite.
I love most books, but during my chemo i just couldnt concentrate. However i bought The Times every day and read it cover to cover and the weekend supplements also kept me going.
I love the feel, smell and look of books. I would convert a room into a library snd go round it stroking my books if i could. Pre kids, i had to take a book a day for holiday. I am about to get an ipad2, and have been told you can download a kindle app and use it on there (?) or should i buy a kindle too?
I love this thread!
Yes, like the Sansom books too.
If you like Winter in Madrid, you will love In the Shadow of the Wind. great book.
Quite liked Kate Mosse, Labyrinth and Sepulchre . Romantics might like Four Letters of love by Niall Williams.
Love C J Sansom and Master Shardlake, Terry Pratchett and DEATH is favourite character there - as I've read them so often they're great for appointment visits as I can pick-up & put down with ease.
Currently reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The food taster.
Tried audio books and kindle but prefer the feel of a book in my hands.
I love the Shardlake/Sansome books as well. Try his 'Winter in Madrid'. Excellent.
Not sure about the kindle. Love the feel and smell of a book....
Am also a great Ken Follett fan - loved Pillars of the Earth annd World without End. Also into crime and psychological novels - currently reading The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill and can't put it down.
Also highly recommend C J Sansom series of books set in Tudor times featuring the lawyer Shardlake. Fascinating insight into that period as well as an absorbing read. Start with Dissolution and there's another four or five books after that.
I generally prefer books, but kindle is great if you are feeling very weak or have a sore arm or if you can't take enough books with you. I speak as a person whose first preparation for a holiday is to buy new books and half fill the suitcase with them. My older daughter gave me a kindle for Christmas, and it is good when you have to wait a long time, especially for a fast reader. I've been hunting up Dickens and Trollope that I haven't read yet (free) and it's also worthwhile checking Project Gutenberg for books out of copywrite--you just have to download them to your computer first and then transfer to the kindle or any other reader you have.
You need to check prices--I was going to download a book I wanted to read for CPD, but the kindle version was quite expensive and I got the hardback more cheaply on a discount. I'm glad I checked.
But I can read a book in the bath, and I wouldn't dare do that with the kindle. And yes, I really prefer books.
I love Anne McCaffrey and MZB. My first introduction to sci fi was my dad's old Isaac Asimov and EE "Doc" Smith books and I also devoured every Andre Norton and Robert Heinlein in the library. I never quite got the point of Arthur C. Clarke though.
Totally agree.( another teacher)I always loved reading. Favourite book is The Englsh Patient, but have been corrupted by a frequent bcc poster ( you know who you are) into reading the Sookie Stackhouse series of vampire trashy novels. Totally entertaining if you like that sort of thing but certainly not intellectually challenging. Escapism is great.
OH got a kindle and loves it, but I love the smell and feel of a book.
Alto I love sci-fi [and JD Robb] my Kindle is my new best friends-I'll name some sci fi favourite authors for you 🙂
Marion Zimmer Bradley
I also like Stephen Booth,James Patterson,Faye and Jonathan Kellerman and so many others I cant list them.Top of my light reading list is Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series.
Never be ashamed to tell anyone what you read.One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to let them see you reading a book[not a magazine or newspaper]just for pleasure.I am a retired English teacher-I love Jane Austen,some Dickens etc etc but light reading is good for your mind and soul honestly.[I've never managed a Mills and Boon though :)]
Absolutely no chance Wandy - far too embarrassing for a sensible, mature adult!
Cromercrab - you're a bad influence for mentioning the Amazon sale - you've just forced me to have a look and buy five more books, all for about £1. It's all your fault if I don't get my writing done!
I know what you mean Alto about naming and shaming secret reads!!
I named my JD Robbs though, so you ought to be able to name your sci-fi's!!
Not easy or hosp or chemo head reading but if you like historical, Dorothy Dunnetts' Lymond series and Niccolo series. Very dense reading, but absolutely stunning writing.
Plots - 10/10
Ease - 3/4 out /10.
My OH gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I had it a day early to take into hospital. That day I bought the Stieg Larsson "Girl" series.
However, given the time to read I am a totally avid and very fast reader. Since Christmas Eve I have put 50 books onto the Kindle and so far have read all but three of them! I'm afraid I've been reading when I really should have been writing something else... SCACO et al - I think you know what I mean!
I've downloaded a lot of free books just to try them (in fact the huge majority have been free) and have deleted about 5 of them immediately after reading as they were so awful.
The Stieg Larsson books - probably no comment needed about these!
A couple of the Aurelio Zen series by Michael Dibdin (recently dramatised on TV, but rather mangled from the books) - Plot 8/10. Ease of reading 4/10 (very hard to follow - far too much concentration needed!) I need to try these again when I can concentrate a bit more!
The Pawn (Patrick Bowers Files) by Steven James plus a couple more of this series - fairly junky crime thrillers - a bit forumulaic and predictable but OK with chemo head. Plot 7/10. Ease of reading 9/10
Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans by Rosalyn Story. I really enjoyed this book - set during and after the floods, partly documentary type story, partly mystery - wonderfully descriptive language about jazz and cooking - very evocative of the place and atmosphere. Plot 9/10. Ease of reading 8/10.
Plus some really junky sci-fi and fantasy books that I love to read but will not admit to, let alone name in public!!!
I've been re-reading some of the classic Agatha Christies, among other things. Just about right for waiting rooms or days when you're only half awake most of the time.
I recommend Jasper fforde's Thursday Next books to anyone who combines a love of books with a slightly surreal sense of humour or an appreciation of parodies of modern life. If you can't take it all in because of chemo fog, they are worth re-reading.
I also enjoy science fiction and fantasy at the more literary/social commentary end of the scale. I'll read anything by Ursula Le Guin, however bad I feel, and Terry Pratchett makes me laugh while he slips in the commentary.
I'll need to look through the pile; the more serious reading I've done has been for professional development and is about language.
What a good idea of yours 'stay calm'. I am also an avid reader but selectively so!
I've been touched by people's kindness in lending or giving me books - but most of the 'Triumph Over Cancer.... or any other adversity' genre are not for me. Everyone to their own, I guess.
Am a fan of William Boyd, Kate Atkinson, Anne Tyler .......
Shall follow this thread with interest.
Thanks for this thread. I had no idea how many ladies love reading crime novels! I also enjoy horror (feel I could write one now) novels, the usual - Steven King, James Patterson, Dean Koonz. I love all the Rebus books and havestarted trying out new authors. I cannot remember them all off hand at the moment (blame chemo-brain) but I will devour anything. Wandy, I agree about Michael Connelly and Lee Childs but haven't tried Simon Kernick - I intend to though.
Like the sound of the book you mentioned - my sister-in-law recommended " Pillars of the Earth", but I forgot to order it/watch it! We're quite interested in Medieval life at home at the moment as we have been watching "Filthy Cities" on BBC2, which is great, but not when you're eating! Kindles seem good too - will have to save up as my poor old credit card needs a rest!
When I've got my "reading head" on - Worzel Gummage style!- I love books. Recently enjoyed " Room" - very original - can't remember author, sorry, also " Engleby" by Sebastien Faulks is excellent. Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy v.good and thought- provoking re:religion, love, death - everything! Also like Audrey Niffenger or something - "Her fearful Symmetry" and "The Time Traveller's Wife" and all Marina Lywenka's books so far - immigrants' experience in UK. Sorry about spelling - last 2 surnames wrong! "Lucky Jim" - Kingsley Amis and Sue Townend's Adrian Mole series are v. funny.
All the best, Sarahx
If you fancy getting into a long read then Ken Follet is yer man. I have just read World without end, and found it fascinating. Set in Medieval England it gives you a real flavour of the social conditions people lived in through the eyes of a group of central characters.
One of his books was televised, Pillars of the Earth.
Its a huge volume but I found that I couldn't put it down and it was a good distraction. I have a kindle so didn't have to wrestle with a large book 8-). Amazon have a half price event on kindle books. I am so pleased I have mine.