You know that heart-achingly wonderful, bittersweet feeling you get when you finish an incredible book? I want more of that in my life.

(136 Posts)

That feeling you're left with when you've been utterly immersed in another life or another universe. I've just finished a wonderful series. Not high literature by any stretch, but beautifully written with characters who lived and breathed and moved me. I finished with my eyes full of tears and I feel bereft, but in a good way smile.

I want more of that in my life. What books have left others feeling this way?

Jellybellyrbest Fri 26-Apr-13 21:50:17

Loved the Poisonwood Bible! Cutting for Stone...brilliant.

JoyceDivision Fri 26-Apr-13 21:53:32

I was engrossed by J K Rowling The Casual Vacancy. At teh end I was shock and one sentence in it had me in tears.

Jellybellyrbest Fri 26-Apr-13 22:19:04

My favourite book EVER is Jane Eyre though. Might read it again now that I've been inspired!! Loved The Time Travellers Wife, liked One Day. Am so brain dead & energy depleted since DD3 was born I can't even REMEMBER all the brilliant books I've read. This thread is bringing some back though. And I've made a list of books to look for next time we're at the library. Was my favourite place in the world when I was growing up. Thk you all! Oh-The Help was pretty good. Trying hard to remember books that took my breath away....

tumbletumble Sat 27-Apr-13 07:46:13

Yes yes to many already mentioned on this thread - The L Shaped Room and I Capture The Castle when I was younger, and Atonement and The Book Thief more recently.

Also Wuthering Heights as a teen - not sure it would stand the test of time though.

I loved The Pursuit of Love too.

Will try Saplings. Does anyone remember Noel Streatfield's semi autobiography, A Vicarage Girl?

Also as a result of this thread I will give His Dark Materials another try. I didn't really get into it last time.

AtYourCervix Sat 27-Apr-13 08:16:07

My clutch-to-the-chests

Frenchmans creek
Great Gatsby
Time Travellers Wife
The Red Tent

I have Restoration lined up for my next.

TheRealFellatio Sat 27-Apr-13 08:17:34

The one that most recently did that for me was Room by Emma Donaghue.

TheRealFellatio Sat 27-Apr-13 08:19:56

And I always feel a little bit bereft when I get to the end of a David Sedaris book, but the beauty of those is that you can pick one up again and again, and dip in and out for twenty minutes, marvel at the man's brilliiance and laugh like a drain, as though you were reading it for the first time. grin

Yika Sat 27-Apr-13 08:25:30

I also loved the poisonwood bible and immediately reread it when I got to the end, but THE book that did this to me was A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I had to slow down towards the end to make it last longer and I felt lonely and deflated after it. I missed the characters. I loved spending time with them.

Dorothy Dunnett`s books leave me drained but in a good way. Takes a couple of days to come back to earth.

comeonbishbosh Mon 29-Apr-13 00:14:29

Some books just need a respectful pause at the end of them... No rushing off to the next in the pile. Sometimes I need to dip back into odd sections just to 'say goodbye', if that doesn't sound to whimsical.

A Suitable Boy certainly is one of them. Loved Kinsolver's 'The Lacuna', wonderful book, so can recommend to all the Poisenwood Bible fans out there. Will return to Restoration now... I can't remember why I didn't get on with it but maybe it was the troubling 1st chapter! Love many of her other books.

CrazyCatLady78 Mon 29-Apr-13 10:40:22

There's a trilogy that follows on from Frost in May, looking it up: The Lost Traveller, The Sugar House and Beyond the Glass. As a teenager I read The Lost Traveller and enjoyed it as far as I remember, but I never loved it like I loved Frost in May - I kind of lost interest when she left the convent to be honest.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 30-Apr-13 21:18:48

Restoration is a wonderful book, though IMO Music and Silence is better!

Rules of Civility was unputdownable, and I keep willing Mr. Amor Towles to hurry up and write another book!

Sephy Tue 30-Apr-13 21:29:10

I read the vicarage girl tumble - that and saplings are two of my recent reads. I loved apple bough as a child, and one whose name I can't remember that had a cousin called Miriam in it - was that also about a circus? My memory of all the different Noel Streatfeild books is awful but I absolutely loved them.

The Childrens book by A S Byatt - those characters stayed with me a fair while afterwards too

tumbletumble Tue 30-Apr-13 21:43:12

I think the one with the cousin Miriam was Curtain Up. Loved that one too!

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Apr-13 21:44:23

The pheonix and the carpet - E.Nesbit - read it to DD and we both sobbed at the end blush only to find a whole series of books about the Psammead - there will be memories forever.

For me:
Rebecca
Jamaica Inn - deeply disturbing
Jonathan strange and Mr Norrel - LOVED this, but couldnt get into it a second time.
Crime and Punishment - by FAR the best book I have ever read, but can't penetrate any of his other work.

I never seem to really remember books, i used to read so much more - i need to do so again. Am reading something by Will Self just now - i'm not sure its good for me [hm]

fromparistoberlin Wed 01-May-13 22:05:00

margaret atwood
jilly cooper riders and lace (albeit when i was 14..)
cutting for stone

cant think but more!!

fromparistoberlin Wed 01-May-13 22:12:43

I do think though some books are best on the first read

wally lamb, she's come undoone
kate atkinson
tipping the velvet

blue2 Wed 01-May-13 22:16:38

Margaret Atwood for me - also Daphne Du Maurier, Lynne Reid Banks and Dodie Smiths 'I Capture The Castle'. I had NO idea that the last book was so popular with so may people.

Latterly, I've loved 'The Book Thief' and 'The Help'.

I usually love Rose Tremain, but didn't like the subject matter of Restoration, so didn't buy it.

You lot have persuaded me otherwise! Thank you smile

blue2 Wed 01-May-13 22:17:56

Oh, and Kate Atkinson (Thank you *from paris*)

Has anyone read Kates' new book? - "Life after Life"?

fromparistoberlin Wed 01-May-13 22:29:32

isabel allende!

DuchessofMalfi Thu 23-May-13 16:31:44

I've just finished listening to an audio version of The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman. Heartbreaking and absolutely amazingly beautiful novel.

LaQueen Thu 23-May-13 18:47:37

Oh, I love that feeling, it's what fuels my life. I always have at least one book, always to hand - and so many books feel like lifelong friends to me smile

So my list

The Alexanda trilogy - Mary Renault
The King Must Die & The Bull From The Sea - Mary Renault
The Wideacre trilogy - Philippa Gregory
We Speak No Treason/Courts of Illusion/Crown In Candlelight - Rosemary Hawley Jarman
Anything by Angela Carter
Anything by Norah Lofts (have just rediscovered her, and I'm obsessed)
Mirror of Her Dreams/Horseman Riding By - Stephen Donaldson

Galaxymum Fri 24-May-13 09:22:58

The Light Between Oceans - just as Duchess has said, this book is heartachingly beautiful. It stands out in its story and the credibility of the characters above other novels at the moment. I can't praise it enough and hope other people discover this wonderful reading experience. This book will stay with me for a long time. Do read it!

DuchessofMalfi Fri 24-May-13 12:06:49

It's staggering that The Light Between Oceans is M L Stedman's first novel. It's just so accomplished. The only other novel that has left me a sobbing wreck in recent times was My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young. It think it must be the connection to the WW1 that affects me so much.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 24-May-13 17:51:19

Nice to see so many of my favourites on here.

I re-read the last few pages of Nights at the Circus several times to stop the book from ending.

I Capture the Castle & The Pursuit of Love both stayed with me and I love them.

Eva Ibbotson is good at making that feeling - The Secret Countess and Song for Summer particularly. Diana Wynne-Jones's character stay with me as well, Sophie Hatter and her sisters are fab and the Derkholm series characters are like real people to me.

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