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What are your "must read" books?

(117 Posts)
kunoichi Wed 30-Jan-13 11:41:06

Having read through the BBC and Guardian top 100 books lists, I must admit that I find some of them boring or difficult to read. Many seem to be books people feel should be read, rather than those we may want to read because they are so enjoyable.

This year I'm taking part in the 50 books challenge and I'd love to know which books Mumsnetters would most heartily recommend across all genres, both contemporary and historical.

Some of my own all-time favourites are:

Shadow of the Wind
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Time Travellers Wife
The Lovely Bones
A Little Princess

I'll probably read The Snow Child next, but would welcome any suggestions for what I should put on my Kindle to read this year!

elena83 Mon 18-Feb-13 21:32:48

the five people you meet in heaven -Mitch albom

Memoirs of a geisha

For something funny try David sedaris - Naked
It's one of the few books that literally had me laughing out loud

Ladame Thu 21-Feb-13 12:50:31

I’ve really enjoyed reading about your favourite books and have now got loads of Ideas for my kindle grin
My ‘must reads’ are :-
A Clergyman’s Daughter (Orwell) – Bleak and brilliant – hooked from first page.
The Post-Birthday World (Lionel Shriver) – I thought ‘Kevin’ was good, but this is fantastic. It’s one of those books when it is two in the morning and you’ve got to get up for work in five hours and you Just. Can’t. Put. It. Down.
A Little Learning (Caro Fraser) – If you’ve been married a long time – this will push your buttons! I’ve re-read this until it’s a bit crumbly.
The Caper Court Series (Caro Fraser again) – Series of books about norty lawyers and sex, betrayal and great court cases.
All Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta books – Forensics, horrific serial killers, FBI profiling, the lot ... start with Postmortem and you’ll want to read the rest - simples!
All Marian Keyes – Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant writer, for example Rachel’s Holiday Single girl in New York having too much (dangerous) fun – funny, compassionate and dark ‘they tried to make me go to rehab ...’ Anybody Out There made me cry, really really cry, heartbreaking ...
Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley Mysteries - for all Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine/Minette Walters fans, these are fantastic twisty-turny mysteries, forget the boring tv series, the books are so much better and there are lots of them (sigh – heaven!!!).
All other Orwells (nuff said).

Hope you like some of these, and happy reading!!

bookluva Tue 26-Feb-13 19:15:08

I'm working my way through William Dalrymple at the moment - the best travel writing I've ever read. 'City of Djiins: a year in Delhi' is a good one to start with.

FakePlasticLobsters Tue 26-Feb-13 21:50:06

My must read books.

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

The Stand, Insomnia and Rose Madder by Stephen King.

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry* by Leanne Shapton.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.

Happenstance by Carol Sheilds.

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.

Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple.

Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust edited by Lyn Smith

And there are probably more when I think of them.

nevermindthecrocodiles Wed 27-Feb-13 09:06:01

Appointment With Venus
Gone With the Wind
The Book Theif
The Diary of Anne Fran
A Farewell to Arms
Brighton Rock
Mrs Dalloway
A Woman in Berlin
.....I could go on forever! Love a good list grin

jubileemum Thu 28-Feb-13 22:54:38

Anything by Victoria Hislop and Joanna Trollop

magimedi Sat 02-Mar-13 16:40:54

Lots of books mentioned above that I also love & won't repeat but I'd Like to add:

The Jewel in The Crown quartet by Paul Scott

The Map of Love Ahdaf Soueif

The Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy.

The latter is probably the book I've re-read most times, it's always been my 'comfort' book when life is hard as it really takes me away.

AnonymousBird Sun 03-Mar-13 11:22:23

Marking my place to come back later!

Branleuse Sun 03-Mar-13 11:29:43

Gone with the wind

the red tent


the chrysalids

jonathan livingston seagull

popflos Sun 03-Mar-13 14:28:43

good to see the book thief on this thread, fab book

i would add Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts as one of my greatest ever reads

normal mummsy reads this year i have enjoyed the night circus, and the Girl you Left behind by jojo moyes, and a handful of Nelson Demille

loved the millenium series, cant get in to the cryptonicum series, and have to fess up to reading all the Lee Child Reacher books! (except the latest one i am saving for next holiday, or duvet day maybe.. )

BadMissM Mon 04-Mar-13 21:04:56


The Color Purple, Alice Walker
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
Oranges are not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson
Wise Children/Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
Emotionally Weird, Kate Atkinson
Skating to Antarctica, Jenny Diski

Most things by Margaret Atwood, most things by Barbara Vine

Haribojoe Fri 08-Mar-13 17:20:01

So many but the two that spring to mind for me are The Red Tent by Anita Diamanté and The Birth House by Amy McKay

mixedgreensalad Tue 12-Mar-13 22:19:53

Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone De Beauvoir; The bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; The Road, Cormac McCarthy; the Handmaid's tale, Margaret Atwood; Surfacing, Margaret Atwood

Sunnymeg Wed 13-Mar-13 11:15:58

Middlemarch, I'm surprised no one has mentioned it before.
The Bronze Horseman although you have to be in a mood for misery, Paulinna Simoms
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella, when you feel like something light.
The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola, The BBC series of The Paradise was based very loosely on this book.

hatchibombatour Mon 18-Mar-13 17:18:56

Marking my place!

Loads that people have already said, and I would add anything by Michelle Roberts, Peter Carey (esp Illywacker and Oscar & Lucinda, though was disappointed I couldn't get into his latest one at all), Before I Go to Sleep, The Help ... Can't think of any more right now but watching with interest.

tinytreefrog Thu 21-Mar-13 19:26:23

Im not sure I have normal female taste in books, but some of my favorites are;

the song of ice and fire series by George RR Martin, can't wait for the next installment!!!

Bernard Cornwalls warlord chronicals

1984 by George Orwell

Bernard Cornwalls warrior chronicals

Robin Hobbs assasin trillogy

and currently enjoying Robin Hobbs liveship traders trillogy.

Haitch30 Thu 21-Mar-13 22:39:09

I absolutely loved The Thirteenth Tale smile

Ioanna27 Thu 22-Aug-13 16:05:27

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

CoteDAzur Thu 22-Aug-13 18:16:14

What exactly do we mean by "Must Read"?

Just not sure after I saw someone nominate Sherlock Holmes stories as "must reads".

Cremolafoam Thu 22-Aug-13 19:18:12

Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
A History Of Love- Nicole Krauss
The Famished Road- Ben Okri
Capital- John Lanchester
Suite Francaise - Irene Nemerovsky
The Black Path- Åsa Larsson
The Leopard - Jo Nesbø
Stasiland- Anna Funder
The Red and The Black- Stendhal
The English Patient- Michael Ondaatje
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
Sarah's key- Tatiana De Rosnay
Essays in Love- Alain De Botton
So much for That- Lionel Shriver
And yes The Book Thiefgrin

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 24-Aug-13 19:12:26

Now I'm intrigued as to why Ioanna revived such an old thread and what she must have said the get

Books I have enjoyed recently include Song For Achilles, the Help and Tiger Hills but wouldn't say that any of them are must reads smile

Foosyerdoos Sat 24-Aug-13 19:28:57

Quite a few of my 'must reads' have already been mentioned -
The Stand
Lord of the Rings
The War of Don Emmuels Nether Parts ( and the other too in the trilogy)
Cold Comfort Farm

I would like to add -
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
Terms of Endearment ( or anything by Larry McMurtry)
Excession - Iain M Banks
Eon - Greg Bear
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Red, Green and Blue Mars ( trilogy) - Kim Stanley Robinson

Foosyerdoos Sat 24-Aug-13 19:30:35

Two not too

apprenticemamma Sun 25-Aug-13 22:46:22


ColdfeetPinksocks Sun 25-Aug-13 22:51:05

Well since its being bumped...

Of mice and men
The Grapes of wrath (both John Steinbeck)

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