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Tell me your great but easy reads, please

(9 Posts)
ElusiveMoose Wed 07-Sep-11 09:12:54

I was thinking the other day how so many of the truly great books - the ones that really touch you and stay with you for years - are also quite 'heavy'; either because they're very long (e.g. A Suitable Boy) or dense and historical (e.g. Middlemarch), or just quite complex and require you to have your wits about you (e.g. The English Patient). Much as I love books like that, I'm finding that, with two children under 5, I simply don't have the energy to get my teeth into a heavyweight book at the moment. But I want to keep reading great books, and not just end up reading trash (or rereading Harry Potter blush)

So, I want to know what you would nominate as the really great books that are also relatively effortless to read (not necessarily light-hearted, just easy). To get the ball rolling, a random selection of mine would include One Day (finished it last night, and suspect it will stay with me for a long time), Metroland by Julian Barnes (haven't read it for years, but remember loving it), Brideshead Revisited, Atonement (much of McEwan, actually), and The Rotters Club by Jonathan Coe (which would be up there in my all time favourite top ten books, light or otherwise). I'd probably include The Time Traveller's Wife as well, but I'd better not, as I know loads of MNers hate it grin.

So, what would your light but great books be? I'm feeling bereft after finishing One Day, and need some inspiration for my next read.

cheekyginger Wed 07-Sep-11 09:56:57

I read all 10, yes 10!!!! of the truelblood series of books. I really enjoyed them as they are completely fantasy fiction. I liked stepping away from normal life when reading them. They were very easy to read. Wouldnt necessarily class them as "great" but because there are so light hearted there are so many of them it will keep you going for a while.

What about the twilight books??? They are easy reading too.

In case you are wondering, I am actually an adult and i dont have a vampire fettish!!! Just like these types of books!

MrsKitty Wed 07-Sep-11 10:04:24

I'm currently reading 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett, and love it - I will be so disappointed when it ends. It it such an easy book to get in to. I also enjoyed 'The Story of Beautiful Girl' by Rachel Simon recently. 'One Day' is on my shelf, waiting to be read, although I've seen some very mixed reactions to it on here so am a bit apprehensive!

munstersmum Wed 07-Sep-11 11:09:11

Try these authors ?
H E Bates
John Steinbeck
Nevil Shute
Daphne Du Maurier
Richard Llewellyn

MysteriousHamster Wed 07-Sep-11 11:16:23

Room by Emma Donoghue is a serious subject but told from the POV of a small child and very easy to read. Doesn't feel as heavy going as the subject is.

The True blood books are a fun light read.

Andrea Camilleri writes funny, effortless (no cheap thrills, either) Italian crime fic. Love him.

missbennett Wed 07-Sep-11 16:59:58

Have you tried Anita Shreve? I've enjoyed her books - easy to read, well-written and a good story. Also, I've just finished 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett. It's very long (1000+ pages!) but very readable and the characters well-drawn - though it's a historical one so might not be to your taste?

sunflowerandcress Wed 07-Sep-11 20:32:52

Well the Twilight books are genuinely a great read and very addictive.

Someone on mumsnet recommended me to read
The Passage (by Justin Cronin) and also
Into the Darkest Corner (by Elizabeth Haynes) after I asked for books to read on a longhaul. Both turned out to be real page turners.

Also I like the Bookseller of Kabul (which is a factionlisation) and fascinating insight into life in Afghanistan as the Taliban fall.

infin Wed 07-Sep-11 20:54:29

Any Human Heart, William Boyd, in fact most of his books are good.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, set in channel islands (funnily enough!!) during WW2.
Mary Lawson's books...can't remember their titles I'm afraid.
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. Sounds as if it might be heavy but isn't at all. A wonderful book.
Cloth Girl, Marilyn Heward Mills.
Cat's Eye, an earlyish fantastic Margaret Atwood.

ElusiveMoose Thu 08-Sep-11 10:05:27

Thanks very much for all these. Haven't read most of them, so will stick them on my list. Particularly fancy The Room - think I will start with that.

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