Help please. So if I liked these, then what else should I read?

(32 Posts)
evelynj Sun 11-May-14 23:52:19

..Middlesex
Cloud atlas
Rebecca
The wind up bird chronicle (and other Murakami)
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
The fault in our stars
His dark materials trilogy
Room
Maus

I have enjoyed many others that are 'mainstream' but can't really remember what they were about now-e.g. Off the top of my head, shadow of the wind, Donna Tart, Kate Atkinson Brodie books, I'll go to bed at noon, (although I found it hilarious & my friend found it depressing), lots of booker shortlists & when I was younger I loved the sandman comics/graphic novels.

I'm off to Spain for 2 weeks with extended family soon, (woohoo!) I need a couple of books & the unread ones I have feel a bit meh. I was enjoying 'there but for the'. But have misplaced it somewhere!

I'm not really into war & history, (I know that sounds really awful & not against it if it's a good read but just not what I'd usually go for) and generally prefer something not too heavy to hold & gripping enough to make me want to keep reading (and go to bed earlyish so I don't drink as much vino as aI anticipate;)

Thanks in eager anticipation for your recs!

thegambler Mon 12-May-14 00:07:59

I find people who read Murakami read Iain Banks though they are quite different.

evelynj Mon 12-May-14 00:11:39

Thanks the gambler-I tried him years ago & couldn't get int it-the wasp factory I think but should maybe try again. Have you a favourite you'd suggest of his?

thegambler Mon 12-May-14 00:25:43

"The Crow road" is my fave. "The steep road to Garbadale" and "Stonemouth" are similar to The Crow road but that is best, IMO. Espedair street is quite good. I could imagine The Wasp factory, The Business etc not being up everyones street.

Out of curiosity which of Murikami's themes did you prefer, the supernatural (Wind up bird, Kafka), The more straightforward (Norwegian wood) or the bizarre (The Sheep chases) ?

The Banks books I've reccomended are much more straightforward, more towards Norwegian wood.

Also the Stieg Larsson "Millenium" trilogy. Not my normal sort of reading, huge holes in the plot, some ridiculous plot lines, but kept me turning the pages at some rate.

exexpat Mon 12-May-14 00:26:06

Have you read any of the other David Mitchell books? They are quite different, but also very good - the early ones (Number9Dream, Ghostwritten) are quite Murakami-esque, Black Swan Green is more of a British coming-of-age novel, and the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is I suppose historical but I definitely found it gripping, and I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction.

I like most of the books you have listed, so I guess our tastes must be similar. Some of my other favourite authors are Barbara Kingsolver (Prodigal Summer etc), Richard Powers (maybe start with Generosity - similar feel to some Mitchell/Murakami) and William Boyd.

You might also enjoy one of my recent favourite reads: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Booker shortlisted last year).

And one more suggestion: A Fraction of the Whole.

exexpat Mon 12-May-14 00:27:16

Btw, my favourite Banks novels are Complicity and the Crow Road.

thegambler Mon 12-May-14 00:31:17

Forgot about "Complicity", hasn't it just been made into a film aswell ?

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 00:32:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thegambler Mon 12-May-14 00:32:31

Just checked and yes it has just been made into a film......................14yrs ago!!

exexpat Mon 12-May-14 00:33:01

I think it was made into a film/TV drama years ago, but wouldn't be surprised if various new versions of Banks novels were due to come out in the wake of his death.

ShanghaiDiva Mon 12-May-14 00:45:16

The northern clemency - hensher
Black swan green
Cutting for stone - verghese (sp)
Life after life - atkinson
Maggie o'farell especially the Esme Lennox one
Also recommend crow road, best opening line ever!

highlandcoo Mon 12-May-14 07:25:23

YY to Iain Banks, especially Espedair Street and The Crow Road, also Barbara Kingsolver and William Boyd.

I like a lot of the same authors as you and am sure you would enjoy The Observations by Jane Harris. Great narrative voice and intriguing plot.

And maybe look at Fingersmith by Sarah Waters too.

CalamityJones Mon 12-May-14 07:33:56

I'm a big Murakami fan as well, in fact I like everything on your list barring the Pullman (haven't read any). I like my holiday reading to be set in foreign places so I'd suggest trying Gabriel Garcia Marquez, if you haven't read all of his - his books tend to be more dreamy than gripping though.

thegambler Mon 12-May-14 10:37:32

and if you like Marquez then Louis De bernieres is the next stop.

shouldbeelsewhere Mon 12-May-14 11:37:14

If you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars then why not try some of John Green's other books? An Abundance of Katherine's is good as is Looking for Alaska but I think Paper Towns was brilliant.

The poster above me suggested Louis De Bernieres - I really enjoyed Captain Correli's Mandolin

evelynj Mon 12-May-14 15:40:54

Many thanks all

The gambler-I loved wind up bird chronicle most, (especially the wonderfully composed formal letter from the old man-sorry can't recall specifics & I never re-read anything) but also loved wild sheep chase & Norwegian wood. I've put crow road in my basket cheers smile

I've read the first 2 millennium so may try the last at a push but don't get that 'ah' feeling when they're done iykwim?

Exexpat-the only book I've ever not finished reading is the thousand autumns of Jacob.....and I tried so many times. I have black swan green in my to read pile but back blurb mustn't have gripped am along with previous failure! Love the sound of tale for the time being-ordered! I've added fraction to my wishlist as too big for summer lugging about!

Thanks Coruskate-I know I should remove the ingrained stigma I've attached to sci fi books but I can't see myself starting to read one for the next year or so, (have had a couple of years reading hiatus until recently!

evelynj Mon 12-May-14 16:02:43

Shanghai-was hoping someone would suggest life after life smile

Highland-have added the Observations. Which Barbara kingsolver should I go for?

CalamityJones-love your name (please donate it to me if you ever leave mumsnet?!). Shamefully I've not read any Marquez yet & am aware that this must be remedied soon.

Shouldbe-have ordered paper towns, really looking forward to it!

Not sure about Captain Corelli-I'm feeling a bit risk averse in my reading choices & it seems to be a bit marmite.

Cheers all-loads of stuff, just off to pay for the eBay ones before someone else nabs them!

highlandcoo Mon 12-May-14 19:07:04

hi evelynj re Barbara Kingsolver, her classic novel is The Poisonwood Bible. It's a long time since I read it but do recall enjoying it at the time. Out of the others I'd go for Prodigal Summer I think. Flight Behaviour is good, but very much focuses on one theme and I enjoyed the portrayal of the varied relationships in Prodigal Summer more.
Oh, and also have a look at Ann Patchett, particularly Bel Canto and State of Wonder. A really engaging intelligent author; each novel she writes is different.

YoghurtRaisins Mon 12-May-14 19:17:41

I love Murakami's novels esp his ealier stuff. Have you read other Japanese authors? Banana Yoshimoto has some beautiful stories ("Kitchen" is my fave).

I would second a lot of the suggestions already made, but no one has yet mentioned Julian Barnes or Jonathan Franzen ("Freedom", I didn't like his first one at all).

evelynj Mon 12-May-14 21:22:19

Thanks highland-I've ordered prodigal now too. I used to have bel canto in my pile of to read so will see if it's still about-had it from so many years ago that it was always glossed over!

Yogurt-Have read the corrections & enjoyed it. Also sense of an ending but none of his others so will check them out. Kitchen looks good so it's ordered. Best stop now as dh will be displeased with all these new purchases!

Thanks so much for all the recs. I've also got a couple from the 'recommend a stonking book' thread

A couple of other books I've enjoyed of late that I forgot about:

Wonder
My year of meats (thought the author's name was familiar when you mentioned it exexpat!)
What is the what
The snow child
Never let me go
The road

CoteDAzur Mon 12-May-14 21:38:40

I think you would like:

This Thing Of Darkness (great book with similar themes to Cloud Atlas)
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
The Luminaries (winner of 2013 Booker Prize)

If you liked Cloud Atlas' last two stories, then you enjoy dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, both of which are subgenres of sci-fi smile

Iain M Banks' writes Space Opera - i.e. the soap opera of sci-fi. He has his fans, but his are not the books I would recommend if you want to venture into sci-fi.

evelynj Mon 12-May-14 21:44:42

Thanks cote-dudely added to the wishlist. I'm simultaneously giddy & panicky at having ordered 14 new books today!

evelynj Mon 12-May-14 21:47:16

Yes I need to get out of the closet re the sci-fi & also to start reading bigger books with more than 500 pages like a grown up, (would only read lord of the rings in the 7 book editionsmile

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 21:47:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 21:49:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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