Book recs for 17 year old dd

(63 Posts)

Would like to get dd1 some books for Christmas, as she loves reading and hasn't had much chance recently as she's been working so hard for school. She hopes to read English at uni. She's read a lot of the classics already and particularly loves Austen, Plath and Madame Bovary.

I'd like to get her some lovely copies of classics, or modern classics, but want it to be something that she hasn't already read or that we haven't already got.

Help please!

notnowImreading Sat 24-Nov-12 22:55:18

I managed Les Liaisons Dangereuses in French at 17, I seem to remember (with help from a translation and the film). I don't think it was too hard and because it's epistolary it's in short sections, which helped.

notnowImreading Sat 24-Nov-12 22:56:01

It must be such a pleasure to have a reading daughter. I hope I have one!

Thank you. I've mean meaning to read that for ages, so I might have to buy it in English!

Themumsnot Sat 24-Nov-12 22:56:22

I made a couple of lists for A-level students on my website - you might want to have a look here There is a list of coming of age novels and if you scroll down top ten lists by genre.

DD2 insists that she isn't my real daughter, because she hates reading! So I am very grateful for dd1. smile

mean meaning? BEEN meaning!

Thanks Mumsnot.

notnowImreading Sat 24-Nov-12 23:04:27

Love the list mumsnot. Yy to Name of the Rose. Also, if you're after male writers, how about some EM Forster, John Fowles and Mario Puzo? (Making the link because I remember a family holiday where I read NotR, Room with a View, The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Godfather - very happy memory; barely spoke to my family, though.)

SkiBumMum Sat 24-Nov-12 23:08:08

whatever happened to Flowers in the Attic et al

Does she like Jane Eyre? If so, Wild Sargasso Sea is wonderful.

John Irving - I would start with Garp and Cider House Rules

Sebastian Faulks - Charlotte Grey, Birdsong

ohfunnyface Sat 24-Nov-12 23:09:52

John Updike- Run, Rabbit or his short stories.

Donna Tart- The Secret History

Raymond Carver- short stories

James Joyce- The Dubliners

Graham Greene- England Made Me, The End of the Affaire

Margret Atwood- A Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassins

My mother has bought me folio society books in the past- beautiful editions that I treasure.

Raymond Carver - ooh yes then I can re-read!

'Wild Sargasso Sea' a good idea too.

She's read a fair few Atwoods.

I think she'd hate Joyce tbh.

Lots of food for thought here and a great list, Mumsnot.

elkiedee Sun 25-Nov-12 01:56:18

If she liked Cold Comfort Farm, Virago have republished Nightingale Wood.

They are publishing a lot of books by Rumer Godden and some by Barbara Comyns next year (I know, you want something now!)

Trying to remember what I liked at her age.

I liked Cat's Eye by Atwood when I was young, but you say she's already read a few.

Mary McCarthy, The Group (VMC)

Jessica Mitford's memoir Hons and Rebels

I liked Dubliners when I was 18, not Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Edna O'Brien's Country Girls trilogy or just the first one

Colette, Claudine novels and short stories

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (VMC and other editions, recent TV drama)

Elizabeth Taylor, Palladian (VMC)

Short stories - Katherine Mansfield, Mavis Gallant, Anne Tyler

Emile Zola - Nana and maybe L'Assommoir, The Ladies' Paradise (recent TV drama)

Antonia White, Frost in May (VMC)

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth (VMC)

Sybille Bedford

Willa Cather, My Antonia, The Song of the Lark (VMC)

Janet Frame, An Angel at My Table

Florence King, Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady (I might well have been 17 when I first read it)

Muriel Spark

elkiedee Sun 25-Nov-12 02:06:22

Male writers, I don't seem to have got past Zola

Improbably, I loved Francois Mauriac's Le Noeud de Viperes when I was 16 (A level French) but I didn't like his English translator at all, so that's probably no good.

At university we studied lots of male writers and not nearly enough women - for some reason I loved Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Oh, and I loved Robert Graves' memoir of WW1 Goodbye to All That and Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front - and I probably read both at 16/17. I also had Henri Barbusse, Under Fire pressed on me by my History teacher but I think I need to go back to that one.

I was blown away by James Baldwin, Another Country at 14/15 - I borrowed a library copy with no dust jacket and no indication of what it was about - I think I thought it was the novel that a Rupert Everett film was based on, wrongly - this is one I have to reread to see if I like it nearly 30 years later, and actually, I think I'd like to read the book I thought I was reading then.

I also loved Jane Gardam, and A Long Way from Verona has an interesting take on literary taste!

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Sun 25-Nov-12 02:11:47

Norwegian Wood

JessePinkman Sun 25-Nov-12 02:37:35

Zola and de balzac
Why didnt she like the Woman in White?
Dickens are brilliant, so funny and nicely written. I mean they are considered classics for a very good reason.

I am a sad act that makes reading lists for my children, I love literature and I want to share that with my children.

God, actually get your dd to read Foucalt's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, and then let her talk to me, please. Please.

boxoftricks Sun 25-Nov-12 02:44:00

Jodie picoult?

FairPhyllis Sun 25-Nov-12 02:44:01

Has she read Gaskell? Cranford, North and South, Life of Charlotte Bronte.
Braddon? Lady Audley's Secret

OK male writers:

Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
Mapp and Lucia are great
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
PG Wodehouse
de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Fielding, Tom Jones
Jerome, Three Men in a Boat. I remember reading it at about that age and finding it hysterically funny.
Childers, The Riddle of the Sands
Naipaul, A Bend in the River
Primo Levi, The Periodic Table
Martin Amis, The Rachel Papers - actually that would be a great thing to read at that age.

Maybe some US writers?

Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms
Twain, Huck Finn
Edith Wharton
Henry James
Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
Salinger
Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Wallison Sun 25-Nov-12 02:55:57

Definitely Zola. As a melodrama-mad teenager, I loved them. And I was another who had lots of green-spined books from Virago and Penguin Modern Classics. DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, EM Forster etc. I think I read A Room With A View about 27 million times one year. Agree with the American suggestions and would add To Kill A Mockingbird. Maybe Edna St Vincent Millay for poetry - arch, witty, accesible. Ooh, and Vanity Fair. Everyone should read Vanity Fair.

Selks Sun 25-Nov-12 03:26:20

Steinbeck - the grapes of wrath
To kill a mockingbird
Thomas hardy - tess of the d'urbervilles
Charles dickens
John le carre - the constant gardener

I second Primo Levi!

Dickens is funny once you get into his style. The Old Curiosity Shop has another saint of a young heroine, but she's not as insufferable as most.

What about W. Somerset Maugham's portrait of Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence?

Balzac, yeah.....perfect for teenagers.

EM Forster is good too! I loved Maurice at a bit younger than she is.

HE Bates? My Uncle Silas is fun, and there's one about a 17 year old babysitter and her complicated relationship with the child.....

Trying to think of more male writers....I wish I was in my room so I could look at my shelves!

Oo she's not male, but what about Antonia White?

And Rosamond Lehman?

And one of my other favourites, Gertrude Stein, who I've so far held off on mentioning (I think?).....and Anais Nin!

You lot are brilliant!

She's read Steinbeck and Vanity Fair and 'All Quiet' and I think 'Fight Club' and a fair few Hardys and 'Lady Audley' and..erm...Kafka and...and..several of the others.

What I really want is lovely classics in a beautiful edition to save forever, so I'm now going to google all the things you've listed to see which ones are prettiest. Camus is currently top of the list. Oh and she's also heavily into Philosophy, so if you have any recs in that direction too, that would be great. smile

Yes to Forster too - she's reading, 'Howard's Bleedin' End' as we speak.

exexpat Sun 25-Nov-12 17:43:33

Ah, I think I missed the bit about wanting pretty, collectible-style editions. Maybe have a look at Everyman's Library - they have re-released a lot of good things in good, solid editions (I replaced most of my falling-apart Austens with their versions).

exexpat Sun 25-Nov-12 17:46:27

They have The Outsider and some other Camus, plus lots of others mentioned on this thread, I think.

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