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Posted by helen 
November 04, 2016 09:37PM
Having had some great book recommendations from here before I am interested to hear if you have read anything lately that is worth recommending?

I liked The History of the Rain by Niall Williams although it wouldn't make it to one of my best books ever list.

A Man Called Ove would possibly be one of my favourite books this year.

Anything to suggest from you?
Re: Books
November 04, 2016 10:40PM
A couple of years ago I read The Light Between Oceans by M L Steadman and I enjoyed it. I see it is due to be released as a film on 23 November.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2016 10:42PM by Lorna.
Re: Books
November 05, 2016 12:02AM
I'm enjoying Alan Bennett's Keeping on Keeping on, his latest collection of diary entries.

Books I have enjoyed recently - John le Carré's The Pigeon Tunnel, Ian McEwan's Nutshell, Marc Lewis's The Biology of Desire [an alternative to the disease model of addiction], and Fay Weldon's Love and Inheritance trilogy (trashy but gripping).

Helen - I downloaded A Man Called Ove last week and it is next on my list. Good to see your recommendation.
Re: Books
November 05, 2016 11:34AM
I've recently read Curtis Sittenfeld's book 'Eligible' which is a modern version of Pride & Prejudice. The story is set in Cincinnati. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I've just finished Lionel Shriver's latest novel 'The Mandibles, A Family - 2029-2047. The US$ is worthless and China is the world power now. It's a rather disturbing and thought provoking book.
Re: Books
November 05, 2016 01:04PM
Ahh Eligible sounds interesting. Thanks Chris, I will download it onto my kindle.

Lorna I found A Light Between Oceans so distressing - a real emotional roller coaster.
Re: Books
November 15, 2016 02:59AM
Helen, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is my definite Book of the Year. Absolutely stunning.
Re: Books
November 15, 2016 03:10AM
Betty I have had mixed reviews on A Little Life. One of my good friends has just said that she is struggling through it and is finding it traumatising and another said that she wish she had given up on it.
Without giving away spoilers can you tell me why you rate it so highly?
Re: Books
November 15, 2016 03:11AM
I am currently reading The Wonder by Emma Donaghue,. It is too early to say what I think of it but it came to me with rave reviews.
Re: Books
November 15, 2016 11:21PM
A Little LIfe gets my book of the year vote as well. It is not a light read and is very sad in a haunting way such that it stays with you. It covers sexual abuse and physical abuse, but there is also lots deep pure love - parental, platonic, spousal. At the end of it. I was very glad I read it. It is real life and real life isnt charming and can be traumatising but it gave me an awareness of issues, e.g. cutting, I didn't fully understand.
Re: Books
November 19, 2016 08:52AM
After struggling through 124 pages of 'This must be the place' by Maggie O'Farrell, I gave up last night. The book got great reviews and I recall Helen and others enjoyed it very much but I just couldn't get into it. I might try one of her other books though.
Re: Books
November 19, 2016 11:03AM
I was the same with this book, had got it on the reviews but just didn't get into it.
Re: Books
November 19, 2016 11:19AM
I read 'This Must Be The Place' after reading about it here. I enjoyed it but I was glad I had read the synopsis beforehand, otherwise it could have taken me longer to get into it.

I have several light reads on my e-reader to get through before I download 'A Man Called Ove'.
Re: Books
November 21, 2016 10:51AM
I finished "The Wonder" by Emma Donnaghue but unlike those that gave it 4+ start on Goodreads I didn't particularly like it.
Actually I don't think I liked it at all.
I didn't read Room as I knew the subject wouldn't appeal and had I thought more about The Wonder I probably wouldn't have picked it up either.
Has anyone else read it?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2016 11:24AM by helen.
Re: Books
November 22, 2016 01:22AM
Just finished Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel [] and prior to that Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight []
Both excellent, well written engrossing books.
Re: Books
January 23, 2017 04:30PM
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. It’s beautiful and engrossing and charming and wonderful.
The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters. I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but the descriptions of daily life in 1922 London are so vivid that I now feel like I have first-hand experience living in that time period. It’s won all kinds of awards, it’s fantastic, just read it.
The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford. I’m reading this right now and, eeek, it’s so good, how did I not read this earlier? It’s hilarious and beautifully written and perfect for reading under a bunch of blankets with a cup of tea.
Re: Books
January 24, 2017 12:17AM
Thanks Stream26, I have read The History of Love but will go and download the other two.
Have you read The Light Of Paris? I found that a lovely summer time read.

I have just finished Acorn by Ian McEwan which I found quite unusual. Initially I thought I was going to really enjoy it but despite the wonderful writing style I just didn't like the subject at all.
Has anyone else read it yet?
Re: Books
January 24, 2017 12:59AM
Helen do you mean Nutshell? I have read it and I was disappointed. I have always loved Ian McEwan's novels, but this one seemed dominated by the contrivance of the foetal narrator, a self conscious conceit that I found annoying.
Re: Books
January 24, 2017 01:25AM
Haha yes you are right Tpandav, nutshell not acorn, same same but very different. smiling smiley

The characters were so unappealing and the squalor they lived in was quite revolting.

The only endearing feature is McEwan's writing style.
Re: Books
January 25, 2017 01:38PM
I don't know really why, but try to read Marc levy. I like his books and the way he writes
Re: Books
January 27, 2017 04:06AM
Loved "A Man Called Ove' and enjoyed the film too. Just reading Ann Patchett's 'Commonwealth'. I am only about one quarter through and loving it.
Re: Books
February 10, 2017 07:20AM
I thought I'd draw attention to Lionel Shriver's book again 'The Mandibles, A Family - 2029-2047. Now, that Donald Trump is President of the USA recalling the story of this family sends a shiver down my spine. It's of course pure fiction but somehow it seems prophetic. Has anybody else read this and if so, what do you think?
Re: Books
February 10, 2017 07:42AM
Yes, I read it as soon as it came out (she is one of my favourite writers). I must read it again in light of what's happening this year. I know Shriver's novels get criticised for being unpleasant and unrelenting but to me she is clear eyed and sometimes very funny.
Re: Books
February 11, 2017 10:20AM
I'm re-reading Goodbye Sarajevo - its just as good 2nd time around. Its written by a woman who now lives in NZ after escaping the war in Sarajevo. Its beautifully written and a real strength against adversity kind of story.
Re: Books
February 15, 2017 09:02PM
I'm re-reading Shashank Redemptionspinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: Books
April 04, 2017 01:46AM
From reading and hearing many rave reviews I am reading "All the Light We Cannot See". I want to say that I am loving it and can't put it down but the reality is I am plodding along from page to page and am not finding it compelling reading at all.
I know it is beautifully written but the subject isn't grabbing me. It may be that my brain is better with light fiction at present but I am wondering what others might have thought of it?
Re: Books
April 04, 2017 02:06AM
I was the same Helen. I just couldn't raise enough interest and gave up after a while. My husband, who is fascinated by and very knowledgeable about that era, loved it.
Re: Books
April 04, 2017 06:36AM
Great to hear I am not alone, after hearing so many people rave about the book I really thought it must be me but don't actually think I will bother finishing it.
Re: Books
May 29, 2017 11:35PM
I have just finished a few good reads that I thought worth sharing.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos - Dominic Smith.
The book traverses time and continents following the journey of a painting and those whose lives are impacted in one way or another because of it. While at times a bit weighty on art history I really did enjoy it.

Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
A little unusual to get into but an interesting read on relationships and family dynamics.

The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng (although I must admit the central character annoyed me)
Set in Malaya after the Japanese occupation, informative as well as being a great read.
I just wish the main character could have softened a little at some stage over the years...

Has anyone else read these or have anything else to recommend?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2017 01:08AM by helen.
Re: Books
May 30, 2017 01:41PM
A book I've just finished and really enjoyed is A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. A London woman sets out just before the outbreak of World War Two on a sea voyage to Australia on the assisted passage scheme. The characters are really well drawn and the plot kept me guessing. I really felt the tension of the times and also what the sea journey and all the ports they visited were like. This kind of ship is how I arrived in New Zealand myself (aged 2) so it had a personal connection for me, but I think anyone with the slightest interest in history would enjoy it.
Re: Books
May 30, 2017 05:50PM
I have just finished The Devil in the white city, a bit borring
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