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Can anyone recommend books to help me enjoy fiction again?

(58 Posts)
MilkandCereal Wed 30-Jul-14 19:59:37

I mostly read non-fiction,but I'm hoping to try to get back into the habit of regularly reading novels.

I'd appreciate if anyone could recommend books with a good story,or interesting characters. I'm a fan of psychological thrillers,but open to any genre,so long as the story is good.

Something with a good 'human' story ideally. If that makes any sense. I tend to avoid books about conspiracies,government agencies,drug wars and that sort of thing. I'm more interested in the lives of individuals,even if they take place during a huge event like WW2 for example.

Any suggestions would be very welcome.


MilkandCereal Wed 30-Jul-14 20:04:10

This was supposed to be in Adult Fiction. Apologies.

stargirl1701 Wed 30-Jul-14 20:06:57

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

MilkandCereal Wed 30-Jul-14 20:17:40

Thankyou Stargirl. I'd heard of that,but had no idea what it was about.
It sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.

fairylightsintheloft Wed 30-Jul-14 20:24:49

Am just finishing Two Brothers by Ben Elton. Its great, twins born in 1920 in Berlin to a Jewish family. Follows them through and after the war. Don't let it being by Be n Elton put you off - his writing has really improved. If you like it, I'd also recommend his WW1 book "The First Casualty".

iamdivergent Wed 30-Jul-14 20:25:59

The book thief
Dear thing
Game of thrones

googlenut Wed 30-Jul-14 20:27:48

I've been going through all the Richard and judy book club choices as I reckon they would only put up books that a number if researchers have read and enjoyed. All have been page turners so far. And I'm enjoying fiction again as like you I had got out the habit

Happy36 Wed 30-Jul-14 20:29:30

Have you read the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson? It's action-packed and very readable.

You may find The Siege by Helen Dunmore enjoyable too.

Happy36 Wed 30-Jul-14 20:31:33

Also I think you'd like "Red Joan" by Jennie Rooney, an outstanding young writer. (It makes Ian McEwan's "Sweet Tooth" look like dross by comparison).

TipsyLipsy Wed 30-Jul-14 20:39:32

I've just finished Until you're mine by Samantha Hayes.

I was hooked from start to finish with a twist at the end I was not expecting.

NellVarnish Wed 30-Jul-14 20:57:07

Recently I've liked ...

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith aka JKR - it's only £1.99 on kindle today, as is the sequel, The Silkworm

Alys, Always - Harriet Lane (looking forward to reading her next one, Her)

Love, Nina - Nina Stibbe (letters she wrote to her sister when she was a nanny in London in the eighties. V funny, she write v well)

Instructions For A Heatwave - Maggie O'Farrell (love her books, and Kate Atkinson's too)

And oldies but goodies - Into The Darkest Corner (Elizabeth Haynes), The Wicked Girls (Alex Marwoo), Appletree Yard (Louise Doughty), Broken Harbour (Tana French) - all psychological type thrillers but not gory - I'm too lily livered. grin

Sorry for waffling. I've read two books recently that I didn't like much so it's good to remember the ones I did like. I started to read Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick last night, it's about North Korea, very interesting so far.

Hope you find something you like!

knitknack Wed 30-Jul-14 21:06:37

Tana Fench! You will love her smile

clearsommespace Wed 30-Jul-14 21:13:18

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel : afictionalised biography about Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell was born a 'nobody' and rose to be a powerful minister in Henry VIII court.

ballstoit Wed 30-Jul-14 21:16:49

Just read Eeny Meeny, on R&J summer book list. I've been rather rude to dp and dcs, as I couldn't bear to put it down!

MegBusset Wed 30-Jul-14 21:19:03

The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell.

Also Wolf Hall.

GatoradeMeBitch Wed 30-Jul-14 22:04:45

I've just finished 'The Family Fang' by Kevin Wilson. It was excellent! It's kind of light hearted but there's also a good amount of tension and friction. Camille and Caleb Fang are extreme performance artists who make their children take part in their stunts even when it puts them in danger, and part of the story is about the fall out from that when the children grow up.

LeBearPolar Wed 30-Jul-14 22:12:26

Hmmm - I have started The Poisonwood Bible but it's not gripped me - have just picked it up again after a few weeks of it lying there...

On the other hand I have just read Jamaica Inn and Rebecca in a couple of days. And have picked up The Thornbirds to read again after not reading it since I was a teenager! Have no idea what it'll be like second time around.

The English Patient is a good example of a human story taking place against a backdrop of larger events.

sanssoleil Wed 30-Jul-14 22:16:52

Nell I have just read 'Her' grin

I think A Family Arrangement and Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead are both good

And I am always recommending Liz Jensen-'The Ninth Life of Louis Drax' and'The Rapture' in particular.

Deborah Levy 'Swimming Home' is a favourite too

barnet Wed 30-Jul-14 22:18:16

Any Human Heart
William Boyd

Oneforthemummy Wed 30-Jul-14 22:33:07

I find Sophie Hannah's novels very readable, although the more recent ones have been a little more far-fetched so not as enjoyable (IMHO). For solid police crime type novels I'd thoroughly recommend Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Wed 30-Jul-14 22:35:44

Wolf Hall. No.

Life of pi!
Not a thriller but such an amazing read!

Not long finished 77 shadow street by dean Koontz and that was a good read

NellVarnish Wed 30-Jul-14 22:41:05

sanssoleil did you like it? Was waiting for it to come down in price a bit before I download it. I've seen it recommended on here - apparently the writer used to be (maybe still is) a MNr.

sanssoleil Wed 30-Jul-14 22:41:33

A no here for Wolf Hall but Hilary Mantel's non-historical work is goodgrin

Beyond Black I enjoyed

LondonRocks Wed 30-Jul-14 22:43:01

YY to Maggie O'Farrell. Brilliant.

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