What can I read? Please help

(21 Posts)
Grockle Mon 11-Mar-13 22:19:44

I'm not well and have limited concentration but I'm desperate to find some books that I can manage. I'm currently trying to finish The Slap & The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of Window... but I'm bored & am struggling to finish them.

I need to find some new books. Something relatively easy but engaging. It could be non-fiction or fiction. I like biographies, romance, historical novels, WW2, food-related books (like Not on The Label, In defence of Food etc) & travel (A year in Provence etc)

I have recently enjoyed:

Matilda blush
The Railway Children
One Girl & her dogs
A Tiny bit Marvellous
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Unlilely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry

And not enjoyed:
The picture of Dorian Gray
The Slap
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of Window

Any suggestions, please?

BirdStrike Mon 11-Mar-13 22:35:33

I've just been reading some books by Maeve Binchy, I think you might like that. I can't remember the titles (sorry!) but one was a book of short stories all about Christmas, the other a novel but with a series of interconnected stories that are individually quite short. Well written and engaging, but nothing too heavy.
Hope that helps! smile

Lexagon Mon 11-Mar-13 22:58:26

Have you ever read Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck? He writes about his travels around America with his dog, it's not too heavy, I really love it. Also, seeing as you like Matilda (so do I grin), you could try some of Roald Dahl's short stories, they're always fun smile

KurriKurri Tue 12-Mar-13 00:04:45

I've just been reading some books by Mary Higgins Clark - they are mystery/thriller type things, - not great literature, but very easy and relaxing to read.

I've also recently enjoyed The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams, Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier, and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. None of them too strenuous to read.

Also there is some brilliant Teen fiction out there - I often search through the shelves at the library, and they tend not to be as long as adult fiction (although often just as good IMO) - my adult kids have both really enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy (sorry I've forgotten the name of the author).
The Philip Pullman trilogy is brilliant too, and his other books. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonothan Stroud is excellent too.

When I was ill for a long time a few years ago, and couldn't cope with any heavy reading, and my concentration was not so hot, - I found audiobooks were great, you can just lie down and listen to someone else doing the reading for you grin - and because you have ear phones on it blocks out background noise and makes concentrating a bit easier.

Hope you are feeling better soon smile

Oh and don't bother trying to finish The Slap - it's an awful book and not worth the effort. grin

Agree about The Slap. I forced and forced myself, think i finally gave up after 7/8ths. Silly muppet that I am.

I am currently reading The Hunger Games trilogy and am totally engrossed.

Have you readany Bill Bryson?

anonymosity Tue 12-Mar-13 03:03:10

How about Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks? Its WW2 and a romance as well as a very well written war time novel.

Turnipsoup Tue 12-Mar-13 04:11:29

My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin - very easy to read
The Room - Emma Donoaghue

Birdinho Tue 12-Mar-13 04:28:41

I'm currently loving The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend, of Adrian Mole fame. V funny and quite similar in tone to the Dawn French.

YY to Hunger Games- these are by Suzanne Collins I think. Was also totally gripped. I must confess I do like a bit of teen fiction. Also worth a try in a similar vein to HG:

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. The following ones are The Power of Six and The Rise of Nine.

Time riders series by Alex Scarrow (I think)

Hope you feel better soon OP. grin

TanteRose Tue 12-Mar-13 04:36:24

Dawn's newer book, Oh Dear Silvia, is good too

I loved Baking Cakes in Kigali

Me Before You was not bad

TanteRose Tue 12-Mar-13 04:36:53

oh and hope you're on the mend soon smile

pollywollydoodle Tue 12-Mar-13 09:17:56

i'd second a bit of maeve binchy when ill

Bill bryson's thunderbolt kid about his childhood is sqawk out loud funny

pollywollydoodle Tue 12-Mar-13 09:25:47

toast by Nigel slater is a moving and funny goodies memoir
i've also got "how to eat out ...a life spent mainly in restaurants " by Giles coren waiting in my pile

cluelessnchaos Tue 12-Mar-13 09:32:16

Have you read the book thief? My mil loved it, my 11 year old dd loved it and I loved it

Sonotkylie Tue 12-Mar-13 11:20:45

Cazalet series by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Starts with The Light Years. Family saga of large wartime family - wealthy but not upper class (trade you know). Not a lot happens as it follows their lives, thoughts etc but well written and observed and very absorbing. If you like it there are 4 of them ...

OKnotOK Tue 12-Mar-13 11:25:00

The Hitchikers Guide to The Galaxy
Give it a try, something for everyone and you will belly laugh, it will also make you think without you even noticing.

It should also give you a lift, get well soon thanks

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 12-Mar-13 19:40:35

If you like WWII, try La's Orchestra Saves the World. By the Ladies Detective Agency author, but set in England. A pleasant, easy read. Shute's Pied Piper went straight onto my all time top ten list recently - another good WWII book.

TanteRose - I also read Baking Cakes in Kigali and enjoyed it.

If you've enjoyed The Railway Children, how about Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, or something like that? Some of the children's classics are brilliant but easy reads.

joanna1985 Tue 12-Mar-13 19:57:22

I just finished a thousand splendid suns it was the best book ive ever read! Amazing, and the kite runner was brilliant too. They are both by khaled hosseinei.

Leo35 Tue 12-Mar-13 22:38:14

I know what you mean about concentration levels. I always want a good read, but nothing that is too demanding. Second Travels with Charley, a brill book.

WW2 - how about the Ben MacIntyre NF books on spies in WW2: Agent Zig-Zag or Operation Mincemeat? I also enjoyed Restless by William Boyd.

I've got the latest Jojo Moyes on the go at the moment, but her best was Ship of Brides about WW2 brides' voyage to be reunited with their husbands.

Laurie Graham is another writer of a good read - many would fit your historical novels criteria.

Grockle Wed 13-Mar-13 03:35:44

Thank you all for the suggestions. I don't usually do names in bold & address each person but since it's 3.30 am & I can't sleep, I will!

I've never read Maeve Binchy but those two sound perfect for me, birdstrike

Lexagon & Leo Travels with Charley sounds ideal too - I used to live in the US.

Kurri, thank you. I will shelve The Slap and not waste any more time reading it! I've not read any of your teen fiction suggestions but that is about the level I am at. I enjoyed the Twilight series when they came out

Chaos I love Bill Bryson but have read most of his. I think I still need to finish 'At Home' so should try to dig that out. Thunderbolt kid sounds ideal too.

Charlotte Gray is on my pile to read - I enjoyed On Chesil Beach so bought Charlotte Gray but haven't read it yet. Thank you for reminding me, Anonymosity.

Birdinho I keep looking at The Woman who went to Bed for a Year because I loved Adrian Mole. I wasn't sure about it because I have been bed bound at times but I'll give it a go.

Tante Rose - The new Dawn French one sounds great.

Clueless I haven't read The Book Thief but will now grin and the Cazalet series were recommended to me before so thanks Sonotkylie

OKnotOK I read The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy a while ago when I tried to read some books that I felt I should have read. I didn't love it but I'm not great at sci-fi type things. It did make me smile though.

MiddleAged I read an Alexander MaColl thingy book ages ago & really enjoyed it - I can't remember which one but I'll try the one you mentioned too. And the Red Piper one. Anne of Green Gables is on my Kindle. Childrens books are great grin

joanna, they're good, aren't they?

Great suggestions. I now have a long reading list!

CaptainMartinCrieff Wed 13-Mar-13 03:43:54

If you can't concentrate I would plump for some fast placed YA fiction...
Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
Legend Marie Lu
Divergent Veronica Roth
Maybe...
Discovery of Witches Deborah Harkness

They're very quick, easy to read but engaging. Cheap on kindle.

Don't try to read anything too literary when your ill if your concentration is low.

Hope you feel better soon.

Crikeyme Tue 19-Mar-13 07:34:14

Hope you're feeling better now, poor thing. I tend to revert to children's books when I'm low - The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge is a winner for me, with its beautiful descriptions of clothes and food!

I've just finished Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - partly set in WW2, with lots of oddness at its heart. It's also illustrated with some fantastically weird vintage photos given a new context by the story. And The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is again odd, but sumptuous, romantic and dreamlike - definitely a break from reality!

Feel better soon xx

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