Your favourite cosy, autumn-wintery, curl up by the fire books?

(117 Posts)
LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 16:45:42

I put this in Adult Fiction but I'd be happy with recommendations for memoirs or children's books or whatever, as well. Just has to be the sort of book you love to sit down with on a cold autumn day and read from cover to cover. Bonus points if you come up with suggestions for good Christmas reading for later on.

Doesn't have to be set in/evocative of autumn and winter, just books you feel you'd want to read at this time of year.

Thank you. smile

Forever Amber

It's just fantastic - a romp through Charles 2nds court told through the eyes of a simple country girl who becomes an 'actress'.

You will read the last 100 pages very slowly as you won't want it to end

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 16:54:04

Thank you! I've seen that recommended on here before and failed to buy it. I've got some amazon vouchers so I am planning to buy a ridiculous number of books. smile

The Box of Delights is nice for Christmas.

noisytoys Sun 15-Sep-13 16:59:24

Harry Potter (all of them)

Shadow of the Moon by MM Kaye - Epic historical novel with romance elements set in India at the time of the 1857 Mutiny, told with obvious love for India by the author, who was brought up there in the last days of the Raj.

MegBusset Sun 15-Sep-13 17:01:06

Northern Lights trilogy
Chronicles of Narnia (obv)

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 17:01:17

Thank you. Book of Delights is on my list.

noisy - agreed, but I already have them. My problem is the last few years I've got really lazy and have been re-reading my favourites to death.

wild - that sounds good, thank you!

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 15-Sep-13 17:44:33

For getting lost in another world type books, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (first book published as Cross Stitch in the UK, should be read in order). Twentieth century woman time travels to eighteenth century Scotland.

Memoirs: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls; This is Not About Me by Janice Galloway; What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness by Candia McWilliam

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, or any book by Anne Tyler

Diary of a provincial lady, by EM Delafield

Short novels by Katherine mansfield

short stories, pardon!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 18:10:56

This all sounds great, thank you. smile

AnnetteCurtin Sun 15-Sep-13 19:29:32

The Cazalet Chronicles
Any "cosy mystery" type books such as Agatha Christie, Leslie Cookman, Simon Brett, the Daisy Dalrymple series etc.
Narnia chronicles
Harry Potter series
How about revisiting loved childhood books? I treated myself to The Swish of the Curtain and some of the sequels earlier this year.
I love this time of year. Just right for snuggling up in a big woolly pully, huge mug of coffee and a fab cosy book smile

Justshabbynochic Sun 15-Sep-13 19:30:51

Little Women!!!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 19:37:25

Oh yes, exactly annette. It's a good time of year.

I've read the Cazalet chronicles and a couple of the others - definitely up for looking at children's books, thanks for the recommendation.

just - oh, yes. Always good. smile

AnnetteCurtin Sun 15-Sep-13 19:52:34

You're welcome. Coincidentally just read another thread about revisited books and Rebecca came up a lot, how could I have forgotten that!

Also Rosamund Pilcher is good for a bit of cosy.

I'll stop burbling after this grin but have you read the Hebridean books? I can't think of the author at the moment (Justine or Jessica??) but one is called A Rope In Case. They are semi autobiographical and written in the sixties about the time the author packed up and moved to a Scottish island and the characters she met. They're just lovely.

AnnetteCurtin Sun 15-Sep-13 19:55:44

Lilian Beckwith - that didn't begin with a J at all did it? <tuts>

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 20:17:45

Burble away! And that sounds great, I'll put them down.

Pascha Sun 15-Sep-13 20:20:42

Mine are all childrens books:

Black Beauty
The Secret Garden

All very easy reading. How sad am I?

Dollybird86 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:24:30

Every October I read On beauty by Zadie Smith.
It feels so autumnal I love it!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 20:39:26

Never read Kim. I must. Thank you! (And it's not sad, children's books are great).

dolly - I do love On Beauty. smile But I've read it enough for a bit, I need some new ones.

I've just read The Dark Is Ris

Sorry... The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper: wonderful children's fantasy with folklore and Atthurian myth woven in...

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 21:21:48

I love The Dark is Rising.

That and Children of Green Knowe are my absolute favourite christmas books. I don't know anything in adult lit that's as magical (but hope there is).

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 15-Sep-13 21:23:57

It's still hot where I live so I have to settle for rain and a pot of tea for a cozy read. Right now I am re-reading Excellent Women by Barbara Pym.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 15-Sep-13 21:28:12

Nothing like the sound of rain while you're reading. smile

Thank you for the recommendation.

AnnetteCurtin Sun 15-Sep-13 22:18:31

That's not sad Pascha, I love The Secret Garden. Ooh, ooh, The Railway Children and A Little Princess.

Will try and think of more adult type books when I cba to rouse myself smile

Deathwatchbeetle Mon 16-Sep-13 14:17:13

Love Lilian Beckwith books-didnot realise that the Island was a made up name and asked the Scottish tourist board where it was! Spot the Sassanach!

Beeyump Mon 16-Sep-13 15:45:50

Oo, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith! I am due a reread. There's a bit in it about Cassandra really imagining herself into the books she reads, making a big effort, and that's what I do when I read it - I am almost in the kitchen sink. smile

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 15:49:41

Have a look at my Bookworm Pinboard here as I pin all my book recommendations on it. There's a travel writing and culinary journalism board too.

BigPawsBrown Mon 16-Sep-13 15:50:33

Dolly I do exactly that too!!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 16-Sep-13 15:52:39

Thank you - I don't own I Capture the Castle (big oversight). It's lovely.

mignonette - thank you so much, that looks great.

Btw please don't anyone apologize about children's books, I love them.

Beeyump Mon 16-Sep-13 15:56:19

Also, although it's clearly not autumnal, The Greengage Summer is great for a cosy wallow. Or a Monica Dickens book, they're so readable!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 16-Sep-13 16:00:10

Oooh! I've just looked that up. I love Rumer Godden so how is it I've never read that?!

Thank you, that's brilliant.

I have a ridiculously long Amazon list now. It's lovely. I'm putting anything that costs more than a penny on my wish list, but loads of these are really cheap. smile

The Woman In White or The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.

Sherlock Holmes short stories.


And anything to do with the Arctic/Antarctic. smile

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 16-Sep-13 18:39:26

Thank you. smile

I never 'got' Frankestine but will try the others.

swannylovesu Mon 16-Sep-13 18:50:53

another vote for the outlander series....jamie fraiser swoonblush

mumslife Mon 16-Sep-13 19:45:46

I will second the cazalets fab and there is book five coming out

MooncupGoddess Mon 16-Sep-13 22:20:34

Any Sarah Waters.

Rosamund Lehmann is great if you fancy a bit of an emotional wallow - Dusty Answer is my favourite. Elizabeth Bowen too.

Charles Palliser's The Quincunx - an enormous, absorbing pastiche Victorian novel that looks at the dark side of the world Dickens and Trollope describe.

Philip Pullman's earlier books (well, His Dark Materials too, but I'm sure you know them) - The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well.

Josephine Tey - Brat Farrar, Miss Pym Disposes.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 17-Sep-13 08:14:09

I'd never heard of the Outlander series before this thread, and it sounds great. I have been waiting for Cazalets 5! I love that series.

moon - those sound good (though, erm, I cannot imagine anything worse that Dickens+Trollope. Sorry. One day I will be mature and overcome my dislike of them). I did love Ruby in the Smoke, though, and then failed to find the others. Thank you for reminding me!

I realized I never put down what I normally read and it's kinda relevant. If I hadn't read them too many times, I'd be curling up with:

Anya Seton - Katherine
Rosemary Sutcliffe - Knight's Fee
A. S. Byatt - Possession
The older Diana Wynne Jones books
Michelle Magorian - Love Song, Cuckoo in the Nest etc.
Rumer Godden - In This House of Brede
Eco - Name of the Rose
Barbara Trapiedo - anything

Those are my go-to comfort reads and Knight's Fee has lovely descriptive bits for autumn. It's just I've read them so many times.

I'm getting up a good list of new ones, thanks. smile

Beeyump Tue 17-Sep-13 10:09:03

I just bought 'Brother of the More Famous Jack'. smile

JonesH Tue 17-Sep-13 10:17:07

I read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier! Love watching the old classic film too!

I take it you've read, Goodnight Mr Tom?'
Since you seem to like children's books too, have you read (some of my absolute favourite comfort reads):
Daddy Long Legs
Charlotte Sometimes
Tom's Midnight Garden
Ballet Shoes

penguinpaperback Wed 18-Sep-13 20:56:52

I've had a year of re-reading children's books. Daddy Long Legs is in my TBR pile but it's one I never read when growing up. Along with this one A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively. I've read all her adult books. (anyone who reads P.L. there's a new book out this Autumn.)
And how about Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell?

SecretSpi Wed 18-Sep-13 21:24:05

I love The Wind in the Willows at Christmas - the chapter where Mole rediscovers his old home and the carolling field mice turn up.

LaQueenForADay Wed 18-Sep-13 23:18:57

LRD every Christmas I re-read The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper, too.

Obviously it's set at Christmas and is just incredibly atmospheric.

I also like to lose myself in anything by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (I know you like your history). Crown In Candlelight is utterly absorbing, and I challenge you not to fall totally in love with Owen Tydder. Her writing is just beautifully lyrical and incredibly compelling.

Once read, her books haunt you forever.

LaQueenForADay Wed 18-Sep-13 23:23:53

Ooooh, yes and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Huge book that just grabs you by the hand and hurls you back into early Christian Britain.

Then there's Wolf Hall, obviously. Just finished my third reading of it.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 15:36:21

Thanks, this is great. smile

bee, hope you like it, it's one of my favourite books.

remus - read all but Daddy Long-Legs, so I will try that. Thank you!

Not read the Gaskell - I will, thanks.

LaQ - I have RHJ on my wishlist (since one of the long history threads). The Mists of Avalon sounds my cup of tea, too.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 15:44:31

You must read RHJ, I insist <dictatorial>

Mists of Avalon is wonderful, because the traditional Arthurian legend is told through the eyes of the women, and I credit the book with the start of my interest for history and paganism and myths. It's huge though, just over 1000 pages.

I read my copy until it literally fell to pieces in my hands. It's now repaired with gaffer tape down the spine, but with several pages missing but I will never throw it away. It's been a very good friend to me. I Know you'll understand that smile

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 15:47:59

I will, I will.

I like Arthurian legends through women's eyes - it sounds great. And huge books. Both very good things.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 15:59:56

I envy you, reading it for the first time...

Beer did the cover of your copy have a woman riding a white horse, holding a sword, tip down?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BOF Thu 19-Sep-13 16:29:05

I second Sarah Waters. You must read Fingersmith.

Beeyump Thu 19-Sep-13 16:30:37

Fingersmith is absolutely wonderful. It's the kind of book that makes me forget to breath, and I end up gasping at the end of the page to the consternation of anyone nearby.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 16:38:34

Now that's a recommendation. grin

I think I have a copy knocking around somewhere, so I will dig it out.

Thurlow Thu 19-Sep-13 16:40:31

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - almost impossible to explain, a sort of Austen meets Harry Potter but for grown ups, it's the book that fires and armchairs were invented for.

BOF Thu 19-Sep-13 16:41:03

I loved Tipping The Velvet too.

AlisonClare Thu 19-Sep-13 16:41:18

Another vote for Fingersmith!

Also - Cashelmara, Penmarric and The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch.

Beeyump Thu 19-Sep-13 16:43:10

And The Little Stranger! Flip me, it's so good. Probably my favourite from Sarah Waters.

BOF Thu 19-Sep-13 16:43:18

I think that's on my kindle somewhere, Thurlow. I will look it out when I've finished my Denise Mina.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 16:43:22

I've read Jonathan Strange. I liked it, but wished it'd been a bit shorter as I got bored in the middle. I loved the idea of it, though.

I have just ordered something by Susan Howatch (I spent the other evening combing through all the threads in this section! grin). But will keep in mind those title as I don't think it was any of them.

BOF - is the TV version any good? Or should I hold out for the book?

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 17:05:51

Oh, I love Cashelmara and Penmarric, too. You'll especially like Penmarric LRD because of the clever comparisons drawn between the fictional characters and the actual lives of Plantagenets.

Can also highly recommend The Rich Are Different, by her.

I haven't mentioned anything by Sharon Penman, as I assume you've read all of hers?

HowGoodIsThat Thu 19-Sep-13 17:21:57

I was coming on to recommend In This House of Brede!

YOur later list sounds much like my top list (although I would have Georgette Heyer up there for my favourite curl-up-books - but she's a list all by herself.)

I recently discovered Stella Riley - thanks to Kindle - start with The Parfait Knight.

And MM Bennetts is fabulous - only two books so far but I could re-read for ever. Set during Napoleonic wars and just beautifully detailed. Lovely.

Urgh - I didn't like Fingersmith at all. Dp loved it though. The Litte Stranger was okay only; her others I've found unreadable, so have entirely given up on her now.

Have you read The Virgin Suicides? A quick and easy read, so perfect for snuggling with one evening (you could probably read it in its entirety).

Also, how about some Jeeves and Wooster, or some Evelyn Waugh?

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 17:30:56

I've not read Sharon Penman. I've ordered some.

I have to admit, with the Plantagenets stuff, I'm a bit jaded by The White Queen atm.

Thanks for the recs howgood. I've just ordered my first ever Georgette Heyer. smile

remus - no, not read Virgin Suicides (I think the title put me off). But I will, and likewise Waugh.

This thread is really helpful - I'm so sick of going into Waterstones and finding nothing but chicklit or 3 for 2 on stuff I've already read. I love chicklit but you can get a bit tired of it.

Do you like Jane Austen? If so, I think you'll enjoy Georgette H. But don't read too many consecutively, or they get a bit wearing and samey.

Frettchen Thu 19-Sep-13 17:36:28

My favourite autumn/winter nights by the fire books tend to be my guilty pleasure books... But I refuse to be ashamed by them! They're easy to read and although the plots might be a little too obvious to the experienced reader, it's just too easy to read them through... Oh, and I err toward the fantasy genre, so these might not be exactly what you're after, but might help someone else... <Disclaimer Over>

- Crown Duel and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith - usually released as a two-volumes-in-one-book deal, this is a wonderfully written fantasy romp. The first part is very much a tale of a rebellious heroine fighting against a tyrant king/dictator/ruler and traversing the land to do so. The second part, as the name suggests, deals more with court intrigue and the politics of being around the Lords and Ladies of the realm. There are some wonderfully indepth rules on the language of the fan, as well as a dastardly villain or two.

- The Green Rider series by Kristin Britain - probably my favourite fantasy series. There are 4 books so far, although they're being released slower than George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series! (almost) Again it's your typical fantasy set up; young girl falls into HUGE adventure. Except it takes twists and turns all over the place, and each book raises the stakes to a higher state of peril than the one before. I've just re-read book 1; The Green Rider, and shall soon be re-starting First Rider's Call

- Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - the first two of a 4-part series retelling fairytales in a fantasy/sci-fi futuristic world. Love, love, love these books.

- Any of Eva Ibbotson's more grown up books; 'The Secret Countess', 'Magic Flutes', 'The Morning Gift', 'A Song For Summer', 'A Company Of Swans' - these are lovely, inoffensive, romance books. From about 20 pages in you will be under no illusion what's going to happen; the handsome hero is eventually going to sweep the sweet young heroine off her feet and they'll live happily ever after. I enjoy reading them anyway to get caught along in the journey. I especially like to read one of these between two more challenging books; they're like junk food when you want a quick calorie fix but don't want a bit dinner.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 17:38:37

I do like Jane Austen. I'm quite happy with something that might get samey - I've got a high tolerance for it. I'll just mix with other things.

frett - oh, I like fantasy too. Not as much as some other things, maybe, but I do like it. I'd not heard of Marissa Meyer or Kristin Britain, and it's lovely reading stuff with female protagonists.


LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 17:38:38

"I've not read Sharon Penman."


Get thee reading The Sunne In Splendour by this very weekend, or else Missy <glares over top of spectacles>

Ignore The White Queen. I don't know WTF Philippa Greogory is playing at but this Plantagenet sequence is vair, vair weak. I have just read The White Princess, and felt very meh about the whole book. It's repetetive, the characters are 2 dimensional, it's laborious. Weak. Weak. Weak.

However, Ms Penman is the dog's bollux. Plantagenet history in all it's blood soaked passion, glittering with intrigues and redolent of ancient granduer.

Enjoy smile

Trazzletoes Thu 19-Sep-13 17:39:49

Moondial is a bit like Tom's Midnight Garden. I've just realised I haven't read it since I was a child. Off to find out if its available on Kindle...

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 17:40:45

If you like a bit of fantasy LRD then the Terry Goodkind books are truly excellent, starting with The Wizard's First Rule.

I read the first 4, and was utterly absorbed. Don't know about the rest (think there's about 8 in the series now?).

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 17:44:11

I have heard it recommended a lot. I must!

Moondial would be nice.

I'm not wild about Terry Goodkind, the writing style just doesn't quite do it for me, somehow?

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 17:45:01

Oh, and if it's good fantasty you want - 'The Mirror Of Her Dreams' and 'A Horseman Riding By' by Stephen Donaldson are fantastic books. They're up there in my top 20.

Coincidently DH and I were both reading these books when we very first met, and when I saw them on his shelves in his room I knew he was the one for me.

Aside from all our marriage vows, we privately promised that we would always help each other to hear horns ...Anyone who has read the books will understand wink

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 17:46:26

I just don't think I can bring myself to talk with you again, until you have read TSIS...I really don't wink

Trazzletoes Thu 19-Sep-13 17:48:18

Sorry just realised Moondial is out of print sad

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 17:49:14


I'll rectify that.

trazzle - I'll keep an eye out for an old copy. I hunt out of print children's books in charity shops. smile

I agree with Sarah Waters.

My favorite, although it's a harder read is Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and The White and then The Apple, a collection of short stories about the same characters.

There's some great passages near the beginning describing the cold weather that are perfectly written and make you so glad to be wrapped up in the warm.

MrsBennetsEldest Thu 19-Sep-13 18:01:37

The Diary of a Country Parson, James Woodforde 1758-1802

.....a brilliant picture of traditional English rural society......

This is my perfect fireside reading as the nights draw in, cat on lap , a glass of Sloe Gin and the sounds of the hearth to keep me company. I have read it many times and just adore James Woodforde.

Please read this book and join the many James Woodforde fans ( there are James Woodforde societies too).

BOF Thu 19-Sep-13 20:44:02

The TV version of Tipping The Velvet? Yes, it's EXCELLENT. I defy you not to fall in love with Keeley Hawes.

BOF Thu 19-Sep-13 20:45:34

I've got it on DVD- it was on last week on one of the cable channels actually. I'll post you my copy, and you can bring it back at the next meet-up. Likewise Fingersmith, but you must promise to read them both first.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 20:59:33

Oh, I already have a thing for Keeley Hawes after Ashes to Ashes. And thanks - but I have got a copy, I just haven't got around to watching it. Will do now. smile

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:03:24

Just thought of another series LRD. You really should try the Alexander trilogy by Mary Renault. Again they're in my top 20 books of all time (and I've read a lot )

Just beautiful, beautiful books. Incredibly evocative and almost verging on poetic at times.

Or for something a bit lighter, and often brings a wry smile to your face, how about Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian trilogy starting with The Winter King? I really love those books, and have re-read them several times.

I defy you not to fall in love with Derfel wink

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:14:45

Just have read Wolf Hall, right? Right? [drums fingers...looks stern]

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:18:52

Yes, and Bring up the Bodies. I really enjoyed them. I can't get on with Beyond Black, though. I've read the Cornwell, and it is good - I think I've read pretty much everything he's written except the new Grail story one, because DH and I are very slowly getting through the audio tapes on car journeys, and I don't want to dash ahead.

I should look into Mary Renault, thanks.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:21:37

Oh thank God for that [heaves sigh of relief]

I haven't actually read BUTDB yet, as I've only just finished Wolf Hall for the second time. Wanted to re read it, because the first time I constantly got distracted by the constant third person narrative 'Er, hang on now who is speaking?'

Enjoyed it much more second time around smile

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:22:26

Bring Up is a lot easier to read on that score, I think.

Hated Beyond Black. Wolf Hall, I completed but was growling most of the way through it due to dubious writing quality. Not read Bodies.

ModeratelyObvious Thu 19-Sep-13 21:28:44

No-one said The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase yet?

And have you finished The Nine Tailors? That's pretty wintery!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:34:37

I've finished it, yes! Was it you who recommended it? If so, thank you. Beautifully spooky. I've read quite a lot of hers now.

I must dig out my copy of Wolves. That is good winter stuff.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:37:04

I won't be able to read Beyond Black...I studied TC for A Level History, so I know how the story ends sad

However, as I have fallen in love with Thom Crom I am determined to delude myself that he somehow escapes England and lives out his life touring the Continent perfecting his cooking skills and adopting a small stray dog called Bess <stubborn>

TC = Bodies not Beyond Black.

You made me laugh though. Every time I read a new book about Captain Scott, I hope that this time he'll make it home! smile

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:42:48

Yep, I am also deliberately suspending disbelief. No idea what happens to him. Honest.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:44:48

Oh sorry, I though Beyond Black was the third TC novel blush

Infact is there a third TC novel? I just assumed there would be? Because if there isn't tell me know, because I won't start reading Bodies...therefore maintaining my happy illusion.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:47:13

LRD he was an incredibly clever and cunning chap there is every chance that he carefully cloached and trained a doppelganger, and allowed the doppelganger to be arrested and taken to the Tower...while he caught ship to Italy, and set up his own restaurant, and lived happily ever after.

Yes, there's every chance. There is. There is [stamps foot]

titan Thu 19-Sep-13 21:51:00

Sounds like we have similar tastes. I must try some of your recommendations. Based on what you have said I would recommend:
Forever Amber - like Katherine but better
Cross stitch
mists of Avalon
The Thirteenth Tale
The Discovery of Witches

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:53:05

Of course. It is practically fact.

titan - Forever Amber is already on its way from Amazon! grin
Will look to the others ... only reservation I have is Discovery of Witches. Someone on here - IIRC sieglinde (who I haven't seen for yonks) was a bit sneery about it and said it she'd got the bits wrong, does that make sense? I don't know what it's about really so hoping I've got the wright book.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:53:16

right book.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 21:55:28

Green Darkness by Anya Seton is excellent smile

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Thu 19-Sep-13 21:58:12

I have read most of what she's written.

Sorry. But it makes up for the lack of Sunne in Splendour. Ish.

LaQueenForADay Thu 19-Sep-13 22:03:21

Only ish LRD.

Be prepared for'll fall in love with Richard, I promise.

Then after that, you must read Here Be Dragons, and oh God, Llewellyn is just...well, you have to read it. You have to.

Jux Thu 19-Sep-13 22:21:34

The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies. Though I'd be hard put to it to get it read cover to cover in one day.

titan Fri 20-Sep-13 08:27:31

I liked The Discovery of Witches and the sequel. They are definitely cosy page turners. Not amazingly well written as far as I remember and a fair bit of repetititive use of adjectives, but not annoying enough to make me stop reading!

Another good historical one is Legacy by Susan Kay. It's based around Elzabeth I. It was written years ago and I had to track it down second hand but it appears it has been re-released.

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed by all Anya Seton's other ones. None lived up to Katherine for me. Green Darkness is the best of the others.

LaQueenForADay Fri 20-Sep-13 08:49:51

Oh, just thought of yet another.

'I, Elizabeth' by Rosalind Miles. A fabulous book, a real jewellery box of delights. Written as Elizabeth 1's autobiography, fantastic prose, and you really feel as though you're right there with her.

Was very disappointed with Margaret George's 'Henry VIII' though. In fact I haven't bothered to finish it.

rosabud Sat 21-Sep-13 10:46:23

As an afternoon is not oodles of time, what about poetry? Darkening Autumn afternoons always pull me back to T.S.Eliot's Wasteland, then usually on to the rest of his poems. Or Keats' The Eve of St Agnes with its wonderful contrast of the richness of the lovers' room and the cold outside.

Looking ahead, I re-read A Christmas Carol every Christmas, just don't feel n the mood until I've read that! I know you expressed a distaste for Dickens upthread so, if you can't read the whole novel, just read the description of the party at Scrooge's nephew's house where they are all playing Blind Man's Buff - it's so beautifully described, so good-humoured, so jolly, so funny, that you can't help feeling like one of the guests yourself!

If you want un-put-downable/young people's/fantasy-sci-fi type stuff, I recently read Patrick McNee's Chaos Walking trilogy which was all of those things and, also, a lot of Robert Swindell's books can be read in an afternoon; my favourite is Daz 4 Zoe.

Scarlettsstars Mon 23-Sep-13 18:26:51

Its all about witchcraft in my house at the moment. Precious Bane by Mary Webb is a brilliant evocation of 19th century rural life and the description of the seasons is lush. I'd also add Susan Fletchers Witch Light which has great depictions of cold Scottish moors and windswept mountains. Perfect for feeling cosy grin

LaQueenForADay Mon 23-Sep-13 20:15:56

Elizabeth Chadwick writes a very good historical novel that you can lose yourself in. Not quite so intricate as Penman or RHJ, but still very absorbing with some memorable characters.

They're all set in the 11th and 12th centuries and can be a bit samey-samey with typically a young couple starting at daggers drawn, but forced together through mischance, then gradually warming to each get the gist.

But, very well written and definitely many notches higher than your typical bodice ripper.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 23-Sep-13 21:53:14

rosa - oh, yes, I love to read poetry. And I agree about the Wasteland, or Four Quartets. I'm sorry about my anti-Dickens stance ... it just leaves me cold. Including Christmas Carol TBH. I don't hate CC, but I don't love it either. I will look for the others, however.

scarlet - thank you! I will look. I didn't know Susan Fletcher's book and I loved Eve Green and liked Oystercatchers by her, so it would be a good bet for me.

LeQ - thanks! I don't mind samey-samey for a bit, really - I can just read until I get bored.

LaQueenForADay Mon 23-Sep-13 23:38:37

LRD I have everything Elizabeth Chadwick has written (she literally lives down the road from me smile )

My faves are The Winter Mantle, The Falcons of Montalbard, The Love Knot, & Shadows & Strongholds.

Please don't be put off by the cheesy titles - she's really very, very good.

Lyonesse Tue 24-Sep-13 08:51:23

I love these kinds of books! I'm currently living in Russia so using the cold weather as an excuse so spend hours curled up under a blanket with my kindle.
My favourite is The Mists of Avalon, I was utterly hooked from the first page, everything about it drew me in (Arthurian, female characters who do more than just simper, slightly woo). Every time I read it I get the urge to paint myself in woad and move to a commune.
Adore Neil Gaiman, especially his short stories and American Gods. I'm currently rereading The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks, and each winter I end up reading The Secret Garden for the millionth time. Bliss smile

LaQueenForADay Tue 24-Sep-13 13:21:44

Lyonesse I first read Mists of Avalon when I was 12, and I desperately wanted to train to be a priestess of the Goddess smile

Lyonesse Tue 24-Sep-13 19:59:49

LaQueen - I would happily drop everything and become one now, if Viviane turned up and asked me to do so blush

LaQueenForADay Wed 25-Sep-13 15:26:39

I'd be right there with you Lyonesse - it's my idea of Heaven smile

kateandme Mon 07-Oct-13 23:54:16

rosamund pilcher are the best for feeling cosy.with twist,family drama,saga.emotional.hilarious.witty/.i love them

Thewhingingdefective Tue 08-Oct-13 00:31:44

How about some Tove Jansson - her Moomin books, especially Comet in Moominland, Moominpappa At Sea and Moomin Valley Midwinter. Or The Summer Book and The Winter a Book. Stunning, beautiful and a little bit sad, lonely and desolate feeling.

Daphne Du Maurier - Rebecca, The House on the Strand (man takes drugs and time travels/has a trip to 14th century Cornwall), Jamaica Inn etc

The Daylight Gate - Jeanette Winterson. English witch trials in 1600s

sophiaheulwen Fri 15-Nov-13 17:33:36

I loved those books, too. Wish I could remember the names. In the early 1980s, I saw a house for sale that was the setting of the book..Mum and I read them them in the 1960s Was it 'Seal Morning"?

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