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Help - which of these bought but unread/un-got-into books should I make the effort with?

(29 Posts)
BalloonSlayer Thu 09-Dec-10 13:02:35

I have been enjoying lots of books lately but am now a bit stuck. Don't want to buy anything new so I thought I ought to read some of the books I have bought but not got into (or even opened) over the past few years:

Can anyone recommend any of these:

I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World - Francis Wheen
A Tale of Two Cities - Dickens
Dear Fatty - Dawn French
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
The First Casualty - Ben Elton
Eleanor of Aquitane - Alison Weir

I am happy to try to do the same for anyone else if I have read anything on their "meh" pile.

Poledra Thu 09-Dec-10 13:08:32

I really enjoyed Eleanor of Aquitane - I like Alison Weir's writing, and I am very interested in mediaeval history, so it was a shoo-in for me grin

Of the others on your pile, I have only read a Tale of two Cities, and I have to admit I am not a great admirer of Dickens - find him really hard to get into.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 09-Dec-10 13:09:10

I've read and enjoyed Dear Fatty and the first casualty. I read angels and demons, can't say I enjoyed it.
Put them in a circle on the table and spin a pencil to decide?

BitOfFun Thu 09-Dec-10 13:11:41

Mumbo Jumbo is excellent.

AngryPixie Thu 09-Dec-10 13:27:43

I capture the castle is whimsical, I think it's best read at 17.

Thoroughly enjoyed Eleanor of Aquitane as a piece of faction.

Dear Fatty is very readable.

I can't recommend any of them as a great read though.

conkertree Thu 09-Dec-10 13:33:29

That's funny Angry Pixie - I was just looking at the list thing - I enjoyed I capture the castle, but I was about 17 at the time.

conkertree Thu 09-Dec-10 13:33:48

Thinking, not thing

BalloonSlayer Thu 09-Dec-10 14:15:42

Oh I shan't feel bad about not getting into I Capture the Castle then grin. I never get further than her sitting on the draining board with her feet in the sink before I get irritated. There was a fashion for reading it in the last few years - was there a film out? - and I think several people recommended it.

Perhaps I should try Eleanor. I have just read Alison Weir's one about Anne Boleyn. I heart Alison Weir. What is her historical fiction like? I think if I could be any writer I would be her. (although maybe JK's bank balance would be handy)

Poledra Thu 09-Dec-10 15:58:56

Oh, if you fancy a bit of historical fiction, try Sharon Penman - most enjoyable! Haven't tried Alison Weir's yet.

BelligerentGhoul Thu 09-Dec-10 20:41:18

I Capture The Castle is good and I love the opening lines.

Not heard of the Weir one and can't be doing with Dickens.

The Dawn French, Dan Brown and Ben Elton I'd just give to the charity shop to be frank - they sound hideous imho. Then again, I'm a total book snob - so feel free to ignore me.

JingleBelleDameSansMerci Thu 09-Dec-10 20:55:11

My outstandings are:

Farundell (started but not got that far);
The Children's Book
Wolf Hall
The Third Man
The Master and Margarita

I did start The Maze but dumped it. Couldn't bear it. Are any of these actually worth bothering with?

I quite liked I Capture the Castle once I'd got into it. Angels and Demons is just like The Da Vinci Code... Haven't read the rest, I'm afraid.

piprabbit Thu 09-Dec-10 21:03:04

Mumbo Jumbo is excellent, but will make you cynical.

Eleanor is also very good.

Dear Fatty is OK - it's a bio rather than a novel and is better written than a lot of celeb biographies.

Angels and Demons is awful - don't waste your time you will hate yourself and Dan Brown for the hours you will never regain.

Just pick one and jump in. If you can't get into a book on the second attempt - dump it.

DasherandSmugly Thu 09-Dec-10 21:05:44

A Tale of Two Cities is fabulous.

I Capture the Castle is quite good too.

TheFoosa Fri 10-Dec-10 10:00:26

Dodie & Dickens, dump the rest

nobodysbaby Sat 11-Dec-10 21:06:36

The Francis Wheen one is great, I read it twice.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-Dec-10 11:12:13

Dear Fatty was OK.
I found reading Wolf Hall a complete penance but I know a lot of people loved it.

Punkatheart Sun 12-Dec-10 14:44:19

I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith

Wonderful book but if whimsy isn't your thing, you may not buy into it.

A Tale of Two Cities - Dickens

A fabulous and unusual writer - lovely imagery, masterful names and a plot to die for....but maybe not the one to start with if you haven't read Dickens...

Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

Life is too short to read badly written and lazy prose.

Eleanor of Aquitane - Alison Weir

Fascinating woman. No boring book could be written about such a life...

SpringHeeledJack Sun 12-Dec-10 14:51:41

I Capture the Castle is fab if you read it first as a teen. I did, and it's still my favourite

...bit like Catcher in the Rye, iykwim. Not really for Grown Ups

walkinginaWUKTERwonderland Sun 12-Dec-10 14:55:09

Mumbo Jumbo is excellent, not very current now though.
I don't think you can beat a bit of Dickens coming up to Christmas.
I found Eleanor of aquitane a bit hard to get into also, but then I came redraw into the subject knowing nothing before hand.

Matsikula Sun 12-Dec-10 14:55:36

Only one of these which I have read is a Tale of Two Cities. I reckon it's the least Dickensy Dickens, if that's any encouragement.

That is to say it's got a plot that rattles on at a fair old rate, and less of the meanderings. I enjoyed it at a time when I didn't really appreciate Dickens.

MrsColumbo Sun 12-Dec-10 14:57:11

I liked I Capture the Castle, quite evocative. Have recently finished Dear Fatty, which was readable but not laugh out loud funny - did have some great moments, though, funny and sad. Was curious why she took against Sue Lawley...
Here's my question: I started Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, and it's ok... anyone else recommend finishing it?

ragged Sun 12-Dec-10 14:59:06

I loved Tale of Two Cities. Haven't even heard of the others. blush

ragged Sun 12-Dec-10 14:59:28

Oh, but anything by Ben Elton is bound to be bad, he always overdoes the gag.

BiscuitNibbler Sun 12-Dec-10 21:04:39

Oh no, don't dismiss the Ben Elton one. The First Casualty is unlike all of his others, it is not a funny book, it is a deeply moving story set in WW1.

SunOverStars Sat 18-Dec-10 14:13:25

I like Angels and Demons grin

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