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?

Tell me yours, I know exactly what you mean! In the woods by tana French is one for me, plus her others but not to the same extent

HumphreyCobbler Thu 21-Mar-13 22:03:15

I found that I got this all the time when reading as a child and teenager. It happens much more rarely now I am middle aged, but I think that may be because I don't give books the wholehearted attention that I used to. I am hoping that when my small children are grown my life of the mind will grow stronger again.

Having said all that Mary Renault books always still do it for me, also Robertson Davies. I still think of Will and Lyra sitting on their bench.

partystress Thu 21-Mar-13 22:03:18

Love/hate that feeling! Life of Pi. Most early John Irving. Birdsong. Atonement. Non-fiction - St Caitlin's How to be a Woman.

I've just finished Robin Hobb's Tawny Man series (it's the third series of three books each, so I've read nine of them back to back!). I also had it when finishing the His Dark Materials books, The Chronicles of Narnia and <whispers> The Hunger Games trilogy.

Obviously I have a penchant for fantasy fiction, but it's about more than that - strong characters with themes of unrequited love and noble sacrifice really get me. I love feeling that strength of emotion as its not something there's a huge amount of in RL.

X-post with Humphrey - yes!! to Will and Lyra on the bench. And yes too to this being a feeling I often had as a child/teenager but that's harder to get now. God, it was wonderful being a reader as a young teen.

BertieBotts Thu 21-Mar-13 22:06:27

Oh yes I got it with The Hunger Games and HDM, definitely. I struggle to find adult books that I get so involved in.

Sometimes you can get it with a really good TV series too - Fringe has made me feel like that.

StuffezLaBouche Thu 21-Mar-13 22:07:44

Yes yes and yes! Haven't felt properly immersed in a series of books for years. Absolutely regarding will and Lyra - am currently on The Amber Spyglass with my year sixes.
In the woods was also a brilliant charity shop find - never read any of her others though.
I got very obsessed with a computer game called Myst years ago and I devoured the three accompanying novels to the point of obsession.
Will be watching this thread with interest... Have recently been recommended a book called Angel Maker and have downloaded the sample onto my ipad - not sure tough, it seems it bit annoyingly worded. God, trying to think of others now!

StuffezLaBouche Thu 21-Mar-13 22:09:36

Posted in haste, hence the drivel!

yorkshirepuddings Thu 21-Mar-13 22:12:32

I love that feeling. Only occasionally a book is so good I find it impossible to start a new one until I have finished thinking about the characters and imagining endings for all the little unfinished strands.

The most recent one for me was East of Eden by John Steinbeck - absolutely fabulous.

StuffezLaBouche Thu 21-Mar-13 22:16:09

Oh also, I know this divides opinion on here, but I read Captain Corelli when I was 17 or so. I had recently studied Mussolini, the War, etc and very proud that I was 'getting' the book. By the end though, I was absolutely engrossed. I cried at the shooting part.
Frustratingly, the end felt hollow and unfulfilled though, when I kind of felt the characters "owed" it to me to end on a happy note...

HumphreyCobbler Thu 21-Mar-13 22:16:25

East of Eden is a remarkable book. I read it as a teen, then again and again throughout my life.

Also just remembered A Town Like Alice and Round The Bend by Nevil Shute. I find these books linger in my mind.

I think that is the key thing about these books - that their characters and situations remain real to you as a reader, even long after you have finished reading it.

Mintyy Thu 21-Mar-13 22:18:24

I have read thousands of books, both professionally and for pleasure.

I strongly recommend Restoration by Rose Tremain. It is quite remarkable. I defy you not to cry at the end.

ThePathanKhansAmnesiac Thu 21-Mar-13 22:20:32

The Handmaidens tale, anything by Atwood in fact.

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:21:03

All Hilary Mantel's books make me feel like that. They are mesmerising. I am so pissed off I have read Bring Up The Bodies, I looked forward to it so much and now it's finished sad

Other books that have had that effect on me:

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
Possession, AS Byatt
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
Most of Margaret Atwood's books
The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

I had that feeling almost all the time as a kid/teen. It seemed to be easier then - more time to get really engrossed I suppose.

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:22:20

Oh Restoration by Rose Tremain is beautiful. I cried buckets. All the times I have read it grin

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:23:40

Frost in May by Antonia White also made me cry

Bertie - oh yes, Fringe did it for me, too. It made me feel like a teenager again!

stifnstav Thu 21-Mar-13 22:25:14

Love Warps The Mind A Little by John Dufresne.

Crazy, bonkers, heartbreaking, love it. When you described the feeling, I thought of this book.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. That was another highlight of my teens. Yy to anything by Margaret Atwood.

The Knife of Never Letting Go was also great. I do love a good YA novel (my emotional immaturity showing?).

Passiveaggressivecakeeater Thu 21-Mar-13 22:29:39

The Black Jewels trilogy. God that was amazing. It was my life for the duration of the books. <sad fucker emoticon>

Zatopek Thu 21-Mar-13 22:29:49

This Thing of Darkness-Harry Thompson

Recreating the relationship, verbal sparring and intellectual parting of ways between Darwin and Fitzroy (an absolutely amazing person "pioneer of the weather forecast, explorer, wonderful sea captain" who I knew nothing about) aboard HMS Beagle

It's long, takes a little while to get into (lots of seafaring terminology in first chapter) but it is absolutely magnificent- unputdownable by the end.

ozymandiusking Thu 21-Mar-13 22:30:21

greenshoots I had forgotten all about Frost in May!! Absolutely fabulous book,
and the sequel too but I can't remember the name of it. Do you know it?

Yorkshirepuddings - that's exactly the feeling I'm left with now. I want to be reading again, but I can't let go of my beloved characters yet.

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:32:52

I didn't know there was a sequel! You may have just made my week grin I have been given a date today for my knee operation and am stuck on my arse for another month, so am desperate for reading material!

<heads off happily to ebay>

MamaMary Thu 21-Mar-13 22:33:23

Books that have stayed with me include:

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The L-shaped Room by Lynn Reid Banks
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (warning: it's a ghost story!)
Solar by Ian McEwan (my favourite of his)

yorkshirepuddings Thu 21-Mar-13 22:34:15

I'm now having to go to Amazon to look up all these books! I'm going to enjoy this thread.

Passiveaggresive, that sounds like my kind of trilogy. Off to investigate.

Also intrigued by Mintyy's suggestion, Restoration.

Reading is the greatest gift I've ever received, truly. How remarkable the human mind is.

AngelsWithSilverWings Thu 21-Mar-13 22:35:25

Oh spaghetti as soon as I read the title of your post I remembered the moment I finished reading I Capture the Castle. I remember telling my DH that I'd enjoyed the book so much that I just felt like sitting and hugging it for a while!

I've enjoyed lots of great books but that one really got me.

Ooh yes, The Road, MamaMary. I also love a good post-apocalyptic read. Anyone read World War Z?

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:37:46

Spaggy you MUST read Restoration, it is beautiful. It's one of those books that leaves a taste in your mouth

It was achingly romantic, wasn't it, Angels. <sigh>

I love/hate that feeling too its rare i find a book i love that much hasn't happened for a while I think the last time was The book thief by Marcus Zusak I'm overdue another!

Really enjoyed Tad Williams - The dirty streets of heaven but it didn't quite give me that feeling.

Others that have were Jasper Fforde's Eyre Affair and my all time favourite comfort books The Belgariad series by David Eddings.

Already downloaded it Green! Got to love kindle instant gratification.

Passiveaggressivecakeeater Thu 21-Mar-13 22:47:51

spaghetti, PLEASE listen; the first chapter is utter utter torture to get through. It took me 3 months to be bothered to get through it. I kept giving up and putting it down, thinking nothing interesting could ever come from something that starts like that, but YOU MUST PERSEVERE. It's so worth it!!!!!!! You will be enthralled, I promise you!!! Everyone I've passed this book to has fallen completely in love with it.

NomNomDePlum Thu 21-Mar-13 22:50:50

Marilynne Robinson's Home - the sentences, the subtlety, the clear view. she is an amazing writer, and this is such a moving book.
and Hilary Mantel, i am reading bring up the bodies as slowly as i can...

but reading when young - now that was fabulous. the wind in the willows, watership down, the greengage summer - i think dd1 will be a reader when she can read, and i am jealous of her...

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:52:30

When I was younger I liked "Summer of my German Soldier", it was fab and I've ever met anyone else who has heard of it

BlatantRedhead Thu 21-Mar-13 22:52:35

Thanks to this thread I literally just welled up trying to explain Lyra and Will saying goodbye to DP! I had forgotten how much I loved HDM, must read them again.. Hunger games took a long time to let go of after finishing the series, so did Harry Potter (I am of the generation that grew up reading them so was deeply emotionally invested).

One book that really got me was Jodi Picoults' My Sisters Keeper. The ending in the book left me an emotional wreck and I didn't read again for quite a while after. I also made every single 'reader' in my family read it. I was so excited about the film and gutted that they changed the end of the story completely.

BertieBotts Thu 21-Mar-13 23:22:01

I've just remembered that I got this with One Day as well! I know a lot of people thought it was drivel but I loved it. I think because it reminded me a bit of a relationship I'd had when I was younger!

BumgrapesofWrath Thu 21-Mar-13 23:35:37

The books that have made me feel like this

The Book Thief
A Prayer for Owen Meany
The Time Traveller's Wife

Allalonenow Thu 21-Mar-13 23:35:58

Read some time ago, but probably could be ordered from the library, At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill. Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop should be easy to get hold of.
Recently I've enjoyed Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom.
If you especially like a series where the characters develop, the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian are very enjoyable.

jenrendo Thu 21-Mar-13 23:47:58

I have just finished 'The Secret Keeper' by Kate Morton and can think of nothing else. The ending is so bittersweet but also gives you a satisfying conclusion too. I am still thinking about it and can't begin another book smile

BertieBotts Thu 21-Mar-13 23:48:48

Oh I want to read The Book Thief.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 21-Mar-13 23:49:54

Another vote for Restoration. I also think the film of it is good as well. It stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Sam Neill.

LittleBunnyFeileFooFoo Thu 21-Mar-13 23:54:56

I just read The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. Its not what I would usually read, it's gritty man fiction (dick lit?) and I tend to read sci-fi/fantasy. But it was amazing, really truly moved me.

There's some magic in it, but lots of swearing and some violence. Oh, and tragic romance.

Umlauf Fri 22-Mar-13 07:27:07

Another vote for A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I mourned finishing that book for weeks. One of the only books I've cried at too.

Also the Carlos Ruiz Zafon novels do it for me, but they're not everyone's cup of tea.

Ilovemyteddy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:25

Greenshoots there are three sequels to the Frost in May books
The Lost Traveller
The Sugar House
Beyond the Glass

I remember reading them when they were republished back in the late 70s <old gimmer> and loving them.. I read Beyond the Glass in one go, and the world around me just stopped for those few hours that I was reading it.

I've just taken my old Virago editions off the bookshelf and see that they were only £2.95 each. Those were the days!

SorrelForbes Fri 22-Mar-13 09:26:49

Requiem For A Wren by Neville Shute. Beautiful.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 22-Mar-13 10:15:54

SorrelForbes I've just posted about Shute's Pied Piper on the thread about books about the war. One of my very favourite books.

I love A Town Like Alice, too. Haven't read Requeim for a Wren so will add that to my list.

SorrelForbes Fri 22-Mar-13 10:24:51

Just seen your post! Pied Piper is another favourite. I love A Town Like Alice but I don't consider it to be his best. Have you read Rainbow and The Rose or No Highway?

Poor old Neville doesn't seem very popular these days.

Allalonenow Fri 22-Mar-13 10:44:14

YY to Requiem for a Wren, I can't understand why Shute seems to have fallen from favour now.

SorrelForbes Fri 22-Mar-13 10:56:52

His style is quite 'British, stiff upper lip' I suppose but I just love his books. My BiL has a full set of NS hardbacks which he's never read but won't give to me [mean]

Really really enjoying this thread! It is making me appreciate that we should just enjoy books and try not to be too swayed by the opinions of others.

I was reading through the list, nodding away to myself at so many of the books mentioned, but then I came to a few I absolutely hated. But that's alright, we are all different!

yy to Nevil Shute. I read his books voraciously as a teenager and have just been coming back to them now and enjoying them all over again.

Greenshootsandleeves I read Summer of my German Soldier as a teenager - loved it smile Also greengage Summer, When Hitler stole Pink rabbit, and Joan Lingard's Kevin and Sadie stories. Aaaah happy days!

Rose Tremain is a great author - I always find myself totally immersed in her characters and the setting she creates for them. I haven't read Restoration though - am off to the library later so will see if they have it.

champagnesupernovum Fri 22-Mar-13 11:00:29

I felt like this when I read a Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

And I havejust seen refs to Summer of My German Soldier - I always think of it whenever I hear the word FORMIDABLE

<marking place for later>
Need that feeling more too (also need another 3 hours in the day. )

BookFairy Fri 22-Mar-13 11:13:47

I had that feeling late last night as I stayed up to finish Wally Lamb's "I Know This Much Is True". Fantastic smile

Oh yes, I ached after A Fine Balance! So many emotions - I have Shantaram and A Suitable Boy to try as a follow up...

Entirely different, and much more light weight, I always enjoy books by Adriana Trigliani. She tells such a good story smile

Arf at Dick Lit - the next publishing phenomenon?

Champagne, I know what you mean about needing extra hours in the day. I'm at home on mat leave with three week old DS2 atm and shamelessly taking advantage of the fact that we have inlaws staying to focus on reading as much as possible establishing breastfeeding before they go home and the full chaos of looking after a newborn and a boisterous toddler becomes real.

I miss my commute!

Yes to the ending of 'His Dark Materials' although those bloody horse things left me cold.
Yes to This Thing Of Darkness and its desperately sad ending.
Yes to The Book Thief.

Owen Meany and A Fine Balance both left me really angry and cheated though - they annoyed the hell out of me.

King's Dark Tower series - the ending is just so, so awful but so, so right.

A Handful Of Dust.

The end of the Harry Potter series.

Persuasion - beautiful, tender and just so, so satisfying.

MandyAJ7 Fri 22-Mar-13 16:03:30

Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith
Shabby Tiger by Howard Spring
Venetia by Georgette Heyer
More recently - One Day by David Nicholls

HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Mar-13 16:09:50

Oh Goodness, is the ending of the Dark Tower awful? Book four just arrived in the post.

HC - awful and perfect and lovely and heartbreaking, and just right - all at the same time! In fact, I now want to re-read them all again and I've already read them all at least six times!

HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Mar-13 16:17:53


You'll love it!

HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Mar-13 16:20:20

I have loved it so far. It is so vivid in my mind, exactly what this thread is about


And I think you'll really love number 4. It's my least favourite but there are reasons for that which I will explain later to you, once you've read it - actually it is v good. But how on earth can you be on here, when you know it's waiting for you? smile

HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Mar-13 16:25:08

The dc are wailing around my feet and I am waiting till they are in bed grin

Sounds like it's going to be bad mother time this evening - DVD and pizza then an early bath and bedtime then!


HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Mar-13 16:35:26

I owe it all to you grin

I would never have got round to it otherwise


Sorry for the hijack Spaghetti but it should now be clear that you should read The Dark Tower series. smile

Ooh, yes (hijack away!). Awful and perfect and lovely and heartbreaking is exactly what I'm after.

WormCanner Fri 22-Mar-13 21:00:07

Can I just say that Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower 4) can stand by itself as a fabulous read.

And the same goes for The Wind Through The Keyhole, an enchanting story. You don't need to have read any Dark Tower to enjoy it, although your enjoyment will be fuller if you have.

I was horribly disappointed with, 'The Wind Through The Keyhole.'

montage Fri 22-Mar-13 21:06:19

Antonia Forest described Nicola as being "in the afterglow of a good read" in one of her books. I loved that term and I think of it whenever it happens now.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Mar-13 21:23:04

Wasn't she referring to a Mary Renault book there? The Mask of Apollo I think it was.

I love it when that happens. Someone in one of my favourite books talking about another of my favourite books.

FriedSprout Fri 22-Mar-13 21:31:26

You might like to give Patrick Rothfuss's book Name of the Wind a try.
Dh and I rarely both fall for the same book, but this one just blew us away.

have just started 'the long song' andrea levy, and i can't put it down, anybody else read it?

perplexedpirate Fri 22-Mar-13 21:44:41

Brideshead Revisited. That last conversation between Charles and Julia is like a punch to the heart.
Every time.

WormCanner Sat 23-Mar-13 11:47:23

RemusLupin Why were you disappointed? Was it because you were expecting something different from what it was?

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 23-Mar-13 11:53:47

Stand-out book for me was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - astonishingly original and gripping. Just brilliant.

Stropzilla Sat 23-Mar-13 12:01:19

The Stand had that effect on me! I worried about the characters even when not reading. Get the uncut version. Also Only Forward byMMichael Marshall Smith.

I was disappointed because I thought it was a waste of time. It was just a silly little padded out thing and added nothing to my love of Roland and his Ka tet. Style over substance and King should be ashamed of himself for it imo.

Agree that, 'Brideshead Revisited' is lovely - but the ending isn't as haunting as, that of, 'A Handful Of Dust' for me.

WormCanner Sat 23-Mar-13 17:42:04

Yes, I think some people were disappointed that The Wind Through The Keyhole didn't really feature Roland & the ka-tet. I didn't mind that, because I was soon drawn in by the central story which was almost like an old-fashioned fairy tale. I loved it.

valiumredhead Mon 25-Mar-13 16:43:33

I felt bereft when I finished We Need to talk about Kevin, I thought I'd never read again!

Poledra Mon 25-Mar-13 16:54:40

The Summer of my German Soldier - yes yes yes! Along with FORMIDABLE, I always remember the bit about the difference between aptitude and ability - strange the things that stick in your head.

The Tawny Man series was brilliant too. And The L-shaped Room. Does anyone remember My Darling Villain, by Lynne Reid Banks? I so wanted to be Kate.

BookFairy Mon 25-Mar-13 18:19:20

valiumredhead Yes! I finished We Need To Talk About Kevin quite late at night and the next day I couldn't stop thinking about it.

GetOeuf Mon 25-Mar-13 18:28:33

I remember the heartbroken joy when I said goodbye to Darrell in Malory Towers when I was about 8. Similarly the end of Veronica at the Wells when she gets with Sebastian. I was a bit of a twat of a child, admittedly.

As an adult it has been very rare to be so emotionally invested in a novel, but have felt it most at the end of Amber Spyglass (just the thought of Lyra and Will sitting on that bench), Charlotte Grey (those poor children in Drancy), Bring Up the Bodies (the brilliance of the plot for the 4 players downfall and just the beauty of how it was written) and Silas Marner (Eppie's golden curls and the love they had for each other).

Sephy Mon 25-Mar-13 19:42:41

Thanks so much for this thread - I'm reminded so easily of childhood / teenaged moments like this (one more random one - was anyone moved by Galaxarena as a youngish child?) but have rarely felt this as an adult. Off to finish my Noel Streatfeild I bought this weekend (saplings) with fingers crossed for this kind of love.

AuldAlliance Mon 25-Mar-13 19:58:40

Oh, yes, the Poisonwood Bible. I got really caught up in that.
And almost all Margaret Atwood.
We read Sunset Song at school as part of the Highers syllabus and some of the passages are still really vivid in my mind.
I seem to remember that Middlesex (Eugenides) had me fairly gripped for a while.

It's so long since I had that oddly happy yet sorrowful, empty feeling after finishing a book. Am hoping that when the kids are older I'll get back to reading other than for work...

CoteDAzur Mon 25-Mar-13 20:08:42

Dune and its first 3 sequels - Frank Herbert
Hyperion and its sequels - Dan Simmons
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

I don't know how close you will be to tears (don't do much crying while reading myself) but you will find in the books above epic stories of fine detail, brilliantly imagined worlds that are fantastical but credible, and characters that come alive.

marzipananimal Mon 25-Mar-13 20:50:03

Ooh I LOVE that feeling too. Yes to I Capture The Castle. Also Cloud Atlas and Lord of the Rings. I think maybe the first time I had it as a child was with a Michael Morpurgo book - King of the Cloud Forests or something

CoteDAzur Mon 25-Mar-13 21:01:39

Oh yes please to Cloud Atlas.

And of course we can't forget This Thing Of Darkness.

Both epic stories. Guaranteed immersion.

coffeeinbed Mon 25-Mar-13 21:03:43

It was Alias Grace for me.
Love that book.
Also The Siege of Krishapur.
Must re-read soon.

Melfish Mon 25-Mar-13 21:07:32

Most of the books by Daphne du Maurier do that for me. I feel like coming up for air at the end, they are so absorbing.

CardinalRichelieu Mon 25-Mar-13 21:13:18

I fucking love Restoration. It's brilliant. Also Bring Up The Bodies is really incredible. When Mantel was getting slated in the press for the Kate Middleton comments I thought 'I don't give a toss. She wrote BUTB. She is amazing'.

The Poisonwood Bible is amazing too, Atonement, THe Sea by John Banville I loved. The Remains of the Day breaks my heart. The Accidental by Ali Smith is brilliant and surprising.

Less profoundly brilliant but still loved them and couldn't put them down - all the C J Sansom Shardlake books, The Other Boleyn Girl (film was so shit tho), any Rumpole yarn makes me happy, and Snobs by Julian Fellowes is so true.

Great thread. I loved The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. A lot of Wharton's books are bittersweet (don't read Ethan Frome) but the journey is always amazing. Her prose is so beautiful.

SorrelForbes Mon 25-Mar-13 21:59:17

Saplings is a good read but quite dark. Very unlike Noel Streatfeild's children's books.

babybythesea Mon 25-Mar-13 22:03:37

An Equal Music - Vikram Seth.
I enjoyed A Suitable Boy but this one tore me apart.

Also The Map of Love - Ahdaf Soueif. Loved it.

Chubfuddler Mon 25-Mar-13 22:04:41

YY to Brideshead revisited. The Great Gatsby is similarly devastating.

The end of never let me go had the same resonance. As did (I expect to be mocked/jumped on for this) the pursuit of love by nancy Mitford. It really is an extraordinarily well written book.

Essexgirlupnorth Mon 25-Mar-13 22:37:29

Penny Vincenzi's Spoils of Time Trilogy
No Angel
Something Dangerous
Into Temptation
Follows the Lytton family from the early part of the century right through to the 1960's. I got so involved with all the family and was upset when I finished the last book. Might have to read them again.

valiumredhead Tue 26-Mar-13 09:09:12

YY The Poisonwood Bible - fantastic book.

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:
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.

LifeofPo Fri 24-May-13 17:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trills Fri 24-May-13 18:51:43

I loved the Tawny Man trilogy (and the Assassin trilogy). LiveShip books are good, but don't bother with Soldier Son set, they are rubbish.

I just wrote a review of a the Gone series by Michael Grant, which is a sort of Young Adult scifi dystopia sort of thing. It was good enough that when the last book came out I bothered to reread the earlier ones.

Trills - I couldn't get on with Gone. I liked the first one but I found it really disturbing, the violence, when they are all children. I love apocalyptic stories normally.

Fannie Flagg books are fabulous. Just finished Standing in the Rainbow - just so lovely! Sad bits and funny bits but overall really does just make things seem sunny.

Any Margaret Atwood, but particularly Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. And The Blind Assassin.

The Time Traveler's Wife I couldn't put down. That and The Year of the Flood are the only two books I've read cover to cover twice in a row.

Boy's Life by Robert R McCammon also a wonderful, wonderful book. Magic and suspense and mystery, heartbreak and wonderful things all in one book. I love it.

ILovePonyo Mon 27-May-13 22:31:00

Anything by Richard Yates, one of books was made into a film - Revolutionary Road - but all of his books really stayed with me afterwards including the short stories.

This thread is great, I have just made a list of books to look for on kindle another day!

AuntieBrenda Mon 27-May-13 22:42:39

I've read 'summer of my German soldier!' grin

theluckiest Tue 28-May-13 00:03:12

I know this feeling!!! I tend to be a fast reader and have to consciously tell myself to slow down when nearing the end of a killer book as I know I'll be gutted when its over.....

Recently I loved Me Before You...surpassed my expectations completely. Ok, was a bit chick lit but I invested in those characters and was bereft by the end.

Old faves, The Stand definitely. And Birdsong. Just didn't know where to put myself for a while after that one.

Thanks though....just downloaded Restoration and The Poisonwood Bible. cheers!!

BooksandaCuppa Tue 28-May-13 12:12:43

I love this thread!

From childhood: the Sadlers Wells series - I must have read them twenty times or more each. And Katherine by Anya Seton (read 10 times?) And yy to Summer of My German Soldier and The L-Shaped Room.

Adult novels: yy to Atonement, Poisonwood Bible, anything by Atwood, anything by Yates but especially Revolutionary Road and Easter Parade, We Need to Talk About Kevin, I Capture the Castle,.

Some not mentioned yet (or only other books by the same author):

The Colour (Tremain), Paradise and Song of Solomon (Morrison), The Outcast (Sadie Jones), Corrections (Franzen), Oscar and Lucinda (Carey), all of Alice Munro's short stories, all of Margaret Laurence's Manawaka series, The Crimson Petal and the White (Faber), Underworld by Don DeLillo, My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin, Katherine by Anya Seton.

Ooh, I could go on forever - but those are the ones I've read at least three times and are old friends but make me sad I won't ever read them again for the first time.

I love everything I've read by Rose Tremain but haven't read her historical novels - I'm not usually a huge fan (except for Katherine!) - but I will definitely give Restoration a go after this thread.


Samu2 Tue 28-May-13 13:05:25

Some of these may have already been mentioned:

State of Wonder- Anne Patchett
The Stand- Stephen King (best book ever)
This Much is True- Wally Lamb
Rebecca- Daphne dau Maurier
A Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving
A Monster calls- Patrick Ness
The Fault in our Stars- John Green
11/22/63- Stephen King

FairyJen Tue 28-May-13 13:10:20

For me it has to be the brone horseman by paullina Simmons and the other two in the trilogy, tatiana and Alexander and the summer garden.

Utterly utterly beautiful, heartbreaking and gripping!

BooksandaCuppa Tue 28-May-13 14:00:56

Oh, I loved Tully but didn't think it necessarily stood up to a reread. I might give those a go at some point.

Fuckwittery Fri 31-May-13 07:46:53

I didn't know there was a sequel to Frost in May either until I read this thread a couple of days ago! I have loved this book since I first read it at 10.
Just finished the Lost Traveller and impatiently waiting for the next 2 to arrive. Very happy to have discovered this!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now