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Can anyone suggest some books for my niece, please?

(33 Posts)
MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 27-Aug-13 13:15:30

She's just 18, a rather quiet and studious girl (she's lovely!) and she wants to find some new authors.

She's read a lot of Victorian literature, Dickens, Hardy, Brontes, etc, but wants to read something a bit more modern. No scifi, no horror, no fantasy.

She has enjoyed The Curious Incident, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Mr Pip, and a few others. I think she'd like to find a new author rather than individual books if that makes sense, although not necessarily a series.

Any suggestions would be fantastic, thank you. I'm planning to take her book shopping next week.

melodyangel Wed 02-Oct-13 12:03:40

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Beloved by Toni Morrison

I know you said no sci fi but can I suggest Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

And don't forget to use the local library.

And yes I agree with busybee You are a fab aunt your niece is extremely lucky.

busybee1978 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:27:25

I think she sounds very lucky to have an aunt like you.

CleverChicken Fri 06-Sep-13 10:35:39

There's so much amazing Young Adult lit available, and at 18 she doesn't even need an excuse to read the stuff! There's a real trend toward dystopian fiction in YA at the mo, and lots of great stuff available which could only narrowly be defined as fantasy, so perhaps she'd still enjoy it.

I highly recommend:

Nought and Crosses by Malorie Blackman as a starting point.

Slated by Terri Terry

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Divergent by Veronica Roth

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 05-Sep-13 21:14:43

Reporting back after our shopping trip!

We bought Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Kite Runner and Animal Farm. I've lent her my own copies of The L-Shaped Room and The Collector.

That's enough for now, there's a birthday before Christmas, so lots more on the list will be bought! We looked at a few others (some weren't in stock) and have a list of more to get later on. Thank you all so much for your suggestions.

ilovecolinfirth Thu 29-Aug-13 08:09:48

I recommend Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca is by far my favourite), Tracey Chevalier and Khaled Hosseini. Brilliant authors.

thewhitequeen Wed 28-Aug-13 19:41:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maybe some Isabel Allende?

The nose one is Giles Milton, I think. Must admit that I think his non-fiction is a zillion times better than the novel.

Yes to The Bell Jar.
And yes to The Handmaid's Tale.

Has anybody said Orwell yet?

quirrelquarrel Wed 28-Aug-13 15:14:23

Agree re: Jane Gardam! A Long Way from Verona especially.

Get her some virago books.....and Colette.

Roald Dahl's adult stories

Chaim Potok- Asher Lev, The Chosen, In the Beginning, Davita's Harp

Lynne Reid Banks- One More River, An End to Running, The L Shaped Room

Steig Larsson maybe?

Donna Tartt

Simone de Beauvoir- The Mandarins, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, She Came to Stay

Patrick Leigh Fermor

John Fowles- The Collector

A Little History of the World and The Story of Art by EH Gombrich

Mrs Arris goes to Paris and the Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank

The Road Less Travelled

The Moon and Sixpence

Nick Hornby

Cynthia Voigt

Sylvia Plath- Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, The Bell Jar

Jean Rhys- Quartet, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie, and of course Wide Sargasso Sea

Mitford books- Hons and Rebels, Love in a Cold Climate, The Pursuit of Love, biographies and memoirs etc

Christiane F's book written by journalists

Huckleberry Finn- such a fantastic book. Just float away for an afternoon.

Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell

The House of Sleep

Isabel Miller- Patience and Sarah and she's written others too

Jane Bowles- Two Serious Ladies

Margaret Attwood- Cat's Eye

White Oleander perhaps

Lost Illusions- Balzac

A.S.Byatt- The Children's Book, Ragnarok, Still Life, The Virgin in the Garden (all the Frederica books)

A Home at the End of the World

Henri Murger- Scenes from the Latin Quarter

A Very Short Introduction- just pick the ones she vaguely likes the look of....

Far from the Tree- Andrew Solomon

Girl, Interrupted

The Company They Kept: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships (New York Review press)

Cities of the Interior- Anais Nin

The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women, edited by Hermione Lee

Sophie's Choice

The Reappearance of Sam Webber

Frost in May- Antonia White

The Red Flag: A History of Communism by David Priestland

The Fountain Overflows- Rebecca West (anything by her)

Maupassant, short stories (find a collection with Boule de Suif in)

Wild Heart: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris- Suzanne Rodriguez

I don't really read that much fiction anymore, so I've just been looking at my bookshelves and picking random titles that might appeal to anyone to put down! Don't know what kind of history your niece is interested in so haven't really put many history books down but I could recommend some if she has a general interest....and likewise if she wants some good biographies of random people grin

do come back and update us on your book haul! happy browsing!

SorrelForbes Wed 28-Aug-13 15:02:30

Margaret Attwood?

LulaPalooza Wed 28-Aug-13 15:00:34

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green is a nice book if she enjoyed The Curious Incident.

Edward Trencom's Nose by Giles Fenton is an odd but good book.

Most of Stephen Fry's books are good.

Pat Barker though, I have to disagree on. She's a decent enough writer, but so obsessed with sex and it becomes so, so tedious imho. smile

Good list, Kurri.

Dd1 went through a massive Waugh phase aged about 15. She also enjoyed Daphne DM.

KurriKurri Wed 28-Aug-13 14:46:39

Has she tried some of the mid 20th century type of authors? - Evelyn Waugh, Kinsgley Amis, John Steinbeck (go for East of Eden first) Daphne Du Maurier, Nancy Mitford, maybe try someone like Willa Cather (My Antonia is a great book), Antonia White - (Frost in May)

Or a bit more recent Mary Wesley, Pat Barker, Donna Tartt,
A Suitable Boy
The Book Thief
Boy in Striped Pyjamas
The Help

Bippidee Wed 28-Aug-13 12:23:20

You could also try Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr Y and popCo.

How about the Stieg Larsson books, or Jo Nesbo?

City of Thieves by David Benioff is a good read, as is Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann.

I know you said no fantasy, but you could try her on the Traveller books by John Twelve Hawks, not strictly fantasy, but an interesting idea.

Daemon and Freedom TM are also good reads, by Daniel Suarez.

If she's up for funny, then Ben Elton may be good too.

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:16:40

I love Margaret Attwood, particularly The Blind Assassin and The Robber Bride. Oryx & Crake and The Handmaid's Tale are a bit sci fi though.

Ooh yes, that's it. It was good.

eddiemairswife Wed 28-Aug-13 12:14:37

remus Was it The Rotter's Club?

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 28-Aug-13 12:02:27

More fantastic suggestions, thank you everyone. I'll do some googling and see what she might like.

I'm looking forward to bookshopping with her.

sykes Wed 28-Aug-13 11:17:24

I adored Isaac Bashevis Singer at her age.

Kate Atkinson - Behind The Scenes at the Museum. She might like others of hers too, but I don't.

What's the Jonathon Coe one about the Birmingham bombing? That's good.

My 18 year old really enjoyed American Psycho recently, but it's not for everyone. She's also obsessed with The Great Gatsby and loves Nabakov too. Lolita is brilliant but dd really liked The Eye.

Liz Jensen

Geoffrey Eugenedes (sp?)

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Tue 27-Aug-13 19:22:56

Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth is a nice long read. Agree with Chime about Hosseini.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 27-Aug-13 19:05:25

Fantastic! Thank you all so much, loads to look at there. I'll make a list and then we can have a good browse at the bookshop. Her mum isn't really a reader so I've 'adopted' this bit of my niece.

More suggestions would also be welcome smile

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