Please recommend me a great or your favourite book!

(80 Posts)
msrisotto Sun 21-Apr-13 19:35:41

I'm looking forward to having time to actually read on holiday soon!
I don't fancy too much gore or too much twee romance. Classics or modern are good.
My favourite to date is "I know this much is true" by Wally Lamb. I liked Atonement and I have 1984 next on my list (and the much trashier but lovely Jemima J by Jane Green). Wrong section for nonfiction but I like stuff like 127 hours and Touching the void too. Any ideas?

Gone with the wind


Peyton Place

Marjorie morningstar

tripfiction Sun 21-Apr-13 20:08:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

msrisotto Sun 21-Apr-13 20:14:49

Thanks but I'm not bothered about where it is set. I just want to know what books people have particularly enjoyed!

tripfiction Sun 21-Apr-13 20:31:34

Then maybe try:

Kate Kerrigan books. They have a good storyline.
After the Fall by Charity Norman
Anita Shreve is generally a good read
The Lonely Desert by Sarah Challis

Hope you find something you like!

msrisotto Sun 21-Apr-13 20:33:01


LoganMummy Sun 21-Apr-13 20:33:23

I love Jodi Picoult novels.

Recently read Mum's List by St John Greene and loved it (but cried buckets!)

FuntimeFuschia Sun 21-Apr-13 22:15:17

The Stand, Stephen King. My all time favourite, I reread it every couple of years and still love it. Avoid at all costs, however, if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms wink

highlandcoo Sun 21-Apr-13 23:10:53

As you enjoyed Touching the Void, try Skating to Antarctica by Jenny Diski.

For fiction, Iain Banks is really good. The Crow Road (brilliant first line!)
and Espedair St are my favourites.

LittleMissLucy Mon 22-Apr-13 04:46:31

The Dubliners by James Joyce. Short stories, moving, compelling and easy to dip in and out of.

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Apr-13 14:30:41

This Thing Of Darkness
Cloud Atlas

The Poisonwood Bible- Barbara Kingsolver, I read this about 3 years ago and its just stayed with me..I loved it. I also read' I know this much is true' several years ago and I do remember it being a great I think you'd enjoy Poisonwood

Mintyy Tue 23-Apr-13 22:51:25

Some of my most favourite ever books are

Harry Thompson's biography of Peter Cook

The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle

Restoration by Rose Tremain

Puffball by Fay Weldon

King Soloman's Carpet by Barbara Vine

Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd

Samu2 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:29:20

Second SK's The Stand and 11.22.63 my best books ever.

I just finished Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller which was excellent.

Look up Kate Atkinson she is amazing.

Have you tried any of the other Lamb books? I really enjoyed 'She's come undone'.

King's 'IT' is brilliant.

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Attwood

CurlsRUs Wed 24-Apr-13 10:56:18

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood - amazing!

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 24-Apr-13 20:15:30

Timothy Mo's The Redundancy of Courage. Stays with you forever ...

ZaraW Fri 26-Apr-13 18:49:52

I love Anna Karenina have read it many times. I had high hopes for War and Peace but hated it.

ZaraW Fri 26-Apr-13 18:51:34

The Quiet American by Graham Greene is also a favourite.

Sirzy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:52:05

I could read To Kill a Mockingbird over and over again.

RicStar Fri 26-Apr-13 19:07:24

Books by Pat Barker / Jonathan Coe or Sarah Walters. All modern classics. Margaret Atwood too as people say. Mind you for holiday reading i always end up packing a lee child / katie fforde as well as a proper book. Enjoy your hols.

Smartiepants79 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:19:31

Phillipa Gregory if you like historical novels, I loved The Other Boleyn Girl. Have just enjoyed Wolf Hall.
We need to talk about Kevin- quite shocking but brilliant.
Have you read His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman? Very good.
Also the game of thrones books are amazing if you like epics!

RedHelenB Fri 26-Apr-13 19:44:26

One Day in the Life of Alexander Solzhenitzin

RedHelenB Fri 26-Apr-13 19:45:03

The Great Gatsby

acrabadabra Fri 26-Apr-13 20:04:37

Agree with a few already mentioned - the Poisonwood Bible, the Handmaids tale, to Kill a Mockingbird are all very, very good.

Also worth a read is Helen Dunmore esp the Seige and Your Blue Eyed Boy.

Favourite book is Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guttenberg.

cq Fri 26-Apr-13 20:09:53

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is my all-time favourite.

Also loved The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.

The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes (less heavy going but needs a box of tissues to hand)

My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You - can't remember the author, but another great wartime novel if you liked Atonement.

Love anything by Minette Walters - she writes really gritty psychological thrillers.

Agree with The Crow Road - a great read.

hazeyjane Fri 26-Apr-13 20:14:14

Any Douglas Coupland
The Bone People by Keri Hulme

Worksitoutwithapencil Fri 26-Apr-13 21:10:43

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
these are three of my favourites

OneHolyCow Sat 27-Apr-13 12:22:07

The invention of solitude by Paul Auster. A story about how he finds out things that were hidden in his family after his father died. Beautiful.

Other things by George Orwell like Down and out in Paris and London or the one where he writes about his time in Spain during the civil war.. I love those. Hommage to Catalonia.

I've just read Harvest by Jim Crace and found that very good.

Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy.

Touching the Voidy: Into the wild, Jon Krakauer bio of hapless boy in Alaska. He's also got a mountainering book, forget the title though.
Werner Herzog's Annapurna ascent is historically not very accurate but a gripping read!

DuchessofMalfi Sat 27-Apr-13 13:39:52

Another couple of Daphne Du Maurier's novels - Jamaica Inn, and My Cousin Rachel. Both great reads.

LadyFlumpalot Sat 27-Apr-13 13:45:34

Alias Grace by Margaret Attwood. Brilliant!

Other than obvious classics such as Austen and Waugh and a couple of others already mentioned, the books I most like to recommend are:

This Thing Of Darkness by Harry Thompson
A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
The Worst Journey In The World by Aspley Cherry Garrard
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Stand by Stephen King and also King's Dark Tower series

You might also really like Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane.

raisah Sun 28-Apr-13 21:56:45

I have just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which is dark, twisted & brilliant. Nit ptedictable at all, I was kept guessing until the end.

I also read The Innocents by Francesca Segal which I enjoyed because there were a lot of similarities with my own upbringing I could recognise in the book.

I would recommend both books for a holiday read.

Thewhingingdefective Sun 28-Apr-13 22:20:53

She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
I Heard The Owl Call My Name - Margaret Craven
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
The Pearl - John Steinbeck
The Summer Book - Tove Jansson

BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 28-Apr-13 22:24:51

I heard the owl call my name by Margaret Craven is brilliant. My favourite book of the last 20 years.

Floralnomad Sun 28-Apr-13 22:27:09

My favourite book ever is A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh .

maxpower Sun 28-Apr-13 22:28:45

A thousand splendid suns

mrspaddy Sun 28-Apr-13 22:30:35

My favourite books are true stories or true to life stories.

A Light in the Window
Forget you had a daughter
An Evil Cradling
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Help

Branleuse Sun 28-Apr-13 22:31:03

Kafka on the shore - haruki murakami

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - amazing and stayed with me for a long time. Well, still staying with me...

Or Ghostwritten by the same author.

I am just rereading PD James - love her way with words.

The Poisinwood Bible
The Blind Assassin
The Secret History
Year of Wonder
House of Spirits
Behind the Scenes at the Museum

All great reads

Rhienne Sun 28-Apr-13 22:42:18

If you like Jane Green, you might like the one I'm reading. Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop of Dreams, by Jenny Colgan. Never going to win any prizes for fabulous writing, but a nice, feel good, chiclit.

smugmumofboys Sun 28-Apr-13 22:47:30

For a holiday I'd go for the Millennium Trilogy by Stig Larsson. I thoroughly enjoyed them and devoured them one after the other.

For something completely different, I love Wilkie Collins' Woman in White.

MorvahRising Mon 29-Apr-13 23:02:01

Behind the Scenes at the Museum is brilliant.

The Autobiography of Henry Vlll by Margaret George is one I read over and over again.

Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome always cracks me up too.

wiltingfast Mon 29-Apr-13 23:21:49

Would second the Daphne du Maurier books

Also The Secret History by Donna Tartt

And The Stand

Also Day of the Jackel is an excellent read.

I personally love Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten but they are not everyone's cup of tea.

SorrelForbes Mon 29-Apr-13 23:43:42

We Speak No Treason
Requiem For A Wren
On Green Dolphin Street
That Summer

VivMac Tue 30-Apr-13 00:05:33

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my most recent favourite read to be shared, it is a little whimsical but once you've been there in your head you will always be wondering when the circus might come to your town...

ClartyCarol Tue 30-Apr-13 00:21:24

So pleased to see other people mention The Crow Road, a fabulous book. Also The Rotters' Club and The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe, or What A Carve Up. Have bought Gone Girl but I'm saving it for a weekend away coming soon.

I would also thoroughly recommend One Day by David Nicholls - not going to win the Booker but such a good read. I cried buckets. Same with Birdsong.

You should also try the Jackson Brodie books by Kate Atkinson, or indeed any of her novels.

ClartyCarol Tue 30-Apr-13 00:24:38

Also Going Gently by David Nobbs; have read and re-read this many times. It's really very good.

HoveringKestrel Tue 30-Apr-13 00:32:15

LOVE this thred. I've waited for ages to discuss books.

The best book I have read recently is 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time', about a guy, who narrates, who is autistic, and the way he thinks about things.

But the build up is good.....then the ending is rushed.

I would also say 'A Long Way Down' by Nick Hornby, its SOOO good, about four strangers who want to commit suicide on the same night and find sollace in each other. A lot more entertaining and deep than it sounds.

ladymariner Tue 30-Apr-13 00:34:47

The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher......absolutely love this book

JeanPaget Tue 30-Apr-13 01:05:05

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. It's set in the 50s and although it has a very 'chick lit' cover, it's absolutely fantastic.

Also A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute - it's my favourite book of all time (hence my MN name!)

spex11 Tue 30-Apr-13 10:06:26

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Apr-13 10:06:51

<waves> at JeanPaget ATLA is one of my favourites too. I've been a NS fan since my teens (now in my 40s). None of my friends have heard of him.

ChloeR32 Tue 30-Apr-13 10:48:22

Snow Child - set in Alaska, very pretty writing.
To Kill a Mockingbird - favourite classic.
Bring up the bodies - just brilliant - have to get used to writing style though.

I finished Tallulahs Got A Shopping Trolley last night. It has one of the best endings I have read and I cried for about 30 minutes one of those books that I wanted to tell the world. Not at what you think it will be and I now have to read it again.

Getting ready to read Why Love Matters - not fiction but looks insightful.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Tue 30-Apr-13 11:14:01

Loving all the Margaret Atwood recommendations. As you can tell if you've read her books, I agree. Particularly The Year of the Flood and the Handmaid's Tale.

Also agree on Rebecca. Wuthering Heights if you haven't read it.

Of the stuff I have read in the last year or so. Bel Canto, or really most by Ann Patchett, although they are all quite different. I enjoyed Night Waking by Sarah Moss and am currently reading, and enjoying, Tell the Wolves I'm home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

JeanPaget Tue 30-Apr-13 11:20:17

Sorrel grin, I know! I think he's really under appreciated. Another one of his which I really like is The Far Country.

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Apr-13 11:21:54

Oh yes, The Far Country, Rainbow and The Rose, No Highway. In The Wet is a bit odd.

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Apr-13 11:25:26

JeanPaget Have you visited this site?

JeanPaget Tue 30-Apr-13 11:31:39

shock No! It looks fab! I foresee an unproductive afternoon blush

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Apr-13 12:52:34

Sorry, what was that? You're reading another NS review? grin

JeanPaget Tue 30-Apr-13 13:38:11

Sorry I meant that I hadn't seen the site you've linked to, but it looks fab and I've had a v. enjoyable lunch break having a glance through it grin

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Apr-13 13:46:28

Oops, no I was trying to be funny as in "Sorry? What? You disturbed me as I was engrossed in that site"

<re-thinks possible future comedy career>

JeanPaget Tue 30-Apr-13 13:50:52


YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Tue 30-Apr-13 19:41:05

Norwegian Wood. Like stepping into someone's fantasy world. One of the most engrossing books I've ever read.

Rated R for sex and death.

tinypolkadot Mon 06-May-13 01:05:17

time travellers wife - always moves me

we need to talk about Kevin - nature vs nurture

the red tent - woman's inner strength

a crack in forever - an amazing love story, battling against illness

the book thief - poetic, beautiful and moving, a child's account in Germany www2 narrated by death himself

shantaram - an adventure I never wanted to end, loosely based on real life, a rather thick book but great on kindle smile

if you like true life survival stories then try Alive - the story of a plane crash and survival in the Andes, shocking but a great read!

fragglemama Mon 06-May-13 01:53:55

The Gone series by Michael Grant is brill. They are aimed at older teens but I couldn't put them down, I read all 6 books in just over a week. The beginning of the book sees everyone over the age of 15 disappear and follows the children left behind.

The newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant is good too, set in a post zombie apocalyptic world where blogging is the primary news outlet. It's not gorey even though it has zombies in it.

ohnonotanotherone Mon 06-May-13 22:42:37

Flight behaviour and Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - both brilliant

If you liked Atonement, you'd probably like The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I love it, and am re-reading right now.

Couldn't get into The Poisonwood Bible.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Mon 06-May-13 23:55:41

Another roadside attraction - by Tom Robbins

Fiddlestickler Mon 06-May-13 23:57:36

No time to read thread so don't know if these have been suggested, but Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon) and The Book Thief (Markus somebody) are both fantastic.

aoife24 Mon 13-May-13 16:29:37

Re Shantaram, there's very funny (and to my mind, entirely spot on) one star review on Amazon via this link:

But everyone to their own.

MrsRickyMartin Tue 14-May-13 20:40:41

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
The red and the Black by Stendhal.
Pere Goriot by Balzac.

LadyDamerel Tue 14-May-13 20:44:42

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 20:48:16

Oryx and crake is fantastic.

All the pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy also fab.

curlyclaz13 Tue 14-May-13 20:48:20

To kill a mockingbird
The curious incident of the dog in the night time
A quiet belief in angels by r j Ellory. the only book I have finished and immediately wanted to read again.

NicholasTeakozy Wed 15-May-13 19:53:26

I loved Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson. It's rib burstingly funny.

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson is a cracking read, very creepy at times, but very interesting.

Fiction wise anything by Douglas Adams, especially Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency and Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul. Both utterly hilarious but with believable (ish) plots and oodles of WTF moments.

If you like crime mixed with the supernatural I recommend the Charlie Parker novels of John Connolly.

eatyourveg Thu 16-May-13 19:55:05

On The Black Hill - Bruce Chatwin

Crikeyblimey Thu 16-May-13 20:00:36

A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth is excellent. Unreliable narrator - very dark and very funny but also"literary" if you know what I mean.

My best favourite book is House of Spirits by Isabell Allande. Roaring family saga set in Chile.

White Swans is also very good.

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