Books which return to you, long after the event

(41 Posts)
anonymosity Thu 28-Mar-13 00:20:02

At the moment its the Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Society, the island, the protagonist - flitting back into my head nearly 2 yrs after reading the book.

Anyone else have this with a recent / not so recent reading? That its made a deeper imprint than other books?

grabaspoon Sun 28-Apr-13 19:38:49

the monsters of templeton

highlandcoo Sun 28-Apr-13 19:29:16

A Fine Balance is just excellent. A mixture of heartbreaking and uplifting writing.

However the scene which haunted me for years came from Sophie's Choice. The decision she was forced to make was unspeakably cruel sad

BestIsWest Sun 28-Apr-13 18:48:24

It was Grapes of Wrath for me too. I read it as a teenager and it's taken me 35 years to be able to read it again.

Never Let Me Go was another one which stayed with me for a long time even though I didn't particularly like it.

wundawoman Sat 27-Apr-13 18:42:35

Les Miserable by Victor Hugo (all of it!!), Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Chocolat by Joanne Harris, Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough, Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin. All great stories IMHO.

juneau Sat 27-Apr-13 13:49:11

A Fine Balance is one of the best books I've ever read.

louisianablue2000 Wed 24-Apr-13 00:00:31

Agree about A Fine Balance.

For me it's probably 'Never Let Me Go'. And there's a bit in Middlemarch where two marriages are contrasted which always sticks with me. I read that 20 years ago and still remember it.

squoosh Tue 23-Apr-13 23:49:00

A Gun For Sale by Graham Greene - The very last pages, they are travelling back to London on the train and the last page of the book features a really moving description of a centuries old yet changing English countryside that just grabs at my heartstrings. I love to re-read it.

Fall on your Knees - Ann Marie MacDonald - all of it really, so bleak, so beautiful.

tumbletumble Sun 21-Apr-13 19:07:34

The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell - I won't spoil it for anyone by describing it, but if you've read it you'll know which bit I mean.

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively - when her brother dies.

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene - the relationship between the priest and the lieutenant, and especially when the priest asks "the pain... does it last for long?... I've always been afraid of the pain...".

Love Story by Erich Segal - I know it's a bit corny, but I read it aged around 14 and it's always stayed with me.

Are we allowed poems? Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I read it about 6 months ago on foot of a rec on here. I just can't get it out of my head and don't think I ever will (in a good way)

LittleMissLucy Sat 20-Apr-13 22:50:55

Yes Juneau, I read Before I say Goodbye and it was so heart-wrenching. Also John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things. I wept.

PenelopeLane Wed 17-Apr-13 10:39:23

I think about Pigeon English as well, usually when cleaning the toilet and remembering how the main character liked going after it had been cleaned as it was like going on a cloud. It was such a good book.

Remains of the Day. It didn't stand out more than other good books at the time, but 7 years later I still think about the butler's attempts at banter.

ubik Tue 16-Apr-13 21:52:06

threebeegeeone

I once saw short gilm made by The Children's Film Foundation back in the 80's which had a similar storyline - I wonder if it was based on that short story? I think it was called The One Day Summer and the little girl was locked in te cupboard while the other children went out and enjoyed the flowers - I think this was meant to be post nuclear war, or I assumed that was the case.

BumgrapesofWrath Wed 10-Apr-13 14:19:25

A book I find myself thinking about a lot is Catch-22, even though I last read it 5 years ago. There are a few scenes in it that come back time and again...

Recently finished Memoirs of A Geisha and I think it's going to stay in my mind a long time. It's subject matter is so unusual, yet the way the characters deal with their lot in life and the decisions they make can be applied universally.

Orchid56 Tue 09-Apr-13 22:47:41

A Prayer For Owen Meany. John Irving. Wonderful

SucksFake Tue 09-Apr-13 21:23:22

FarelyKnuts, the Bryce Courtenay book is called April Fool's Day. AFAIR his son was born on April 1st. I read his book The Power of One when I was about 15. I loved it so much I wrote to him. And he wrote back, twice. I'm sure I still have the letters somewhere.

One book that stays with me is East of Eden, have read it about 3 times. Due a reread soon.

Also The Woodlanders, found it a very unhappy tale.

juneau Tue 09-Apr-13 15:44:42

Oh I loved The Grapes of Wrath! I read it as a teenager, because I thought I should read something a bit 'improving' hmm and it completely blew me away - not a chore to read at all (at that age I thought anything considered a 'classic' would require a bit of effort).

There are lots of books that I still think about - Into the Darkest Corner, The Other Hand, Before I Say Goodbye, Happy Like Murderers (I wish this one didn't haunt me sad), The Hacienda, Auschwitz, and many more.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 09-Apr-13 15:25:38

She's come undone and Swan Song.

I've had multiple well-thumbed copies of both. They'll always be with me.

anonymosity Sun 07-Apr-13 15:13:48

I read Grapes of Wrath when I was about 12, for school and I think its part of the curriculum locally for the 16 yr olds now. Definitely an American classic. I remember really enjoying Of Mice & Men around the same age but not being so enamoured of Cannary Row.

Thanks, Zamboni. I have read 2 of his books, if I remember rightly, the other one had a plot twist where an adult with autism remembered every word of a conversation. I enjoyed both very much and they were so different! Will definitely read A Special Relationship on your recommendation.

highlandcoo Sat 06-Apr-13 21:57:12

kiwigirl I've just read The Grapes of Wrath for my book club and thought it was superb.

I'd read it as a teenager and could hardly remember a thing about it , except for the very powerful last scene which had stayed with me for over thirty years.

It is an absolute classic which everyone should read IMO.

The Road. I sometimes wake up thinking about it.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 06-Apr-13 20:52:06

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.

The last line is haunting.

Zamboni Sat 06-Apr-13 20:35:50

cheapskate it's the image of the neighbour dead on the filthy toilet with the brush in his mouth. <shudder>

I adore Douglas Kennedy. Have read all of his books. A Special Relationship is a fantastic book. Not for pregnant women or parents of babies though.

anonymosity Sat 06-Apr-13 19:18:20

Thanks for posting the story ThreeBeeOneGee, I really want to read that one.

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