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I want to read something really intelligent and beautifully written

(253 Posts)
SalveRibena Sun 06-Oct-13 18:03:05

I have been reading crap on my Kindle for too long and now want to go back to reading Proper Books. Past favourites include Atonement, Bring Up The Bodies, The Poisonwood Bible, The Sea and The Line of Beauty.

Any advice?

DuchessofMalfi Sun 06-Oct-13 18:59:08

How about some more McEwan? I liked Enduring Love, was very good.

Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami, Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

bakingaddict Sun 06-Oct-13 19:18:40

The God of small things by Arunthi Roy

The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa

Secret History by Donna Tartt

coffeeinbed Sun 06-Oct-13 19:21:13

Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood

maillotjaune Sun 06-Oct-13 19:23:29

John Williams - Stoner is the one people have been raving about but I liked Augustus even more.

Harvest by Jim Crace

Habbibu Sun 06-Oct-13 19:24:33

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

MrsCakesPremonition Sun 06-Oct-13 19:25:59

I was also going to suggest Margaret Attwood.
Also anything by Alice Munro or Alison Lurie.

HilaryM Sun 06-Oct-13 19:27:42

Have you read any Kent Haruf? So beautifully written.

I also loved and would recommend 'the garden of evening mists' by Tan Twan Eng.

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Sun 06-Oct-13 19:29:33

Barbara Kingsolver definitely

I liked the Lacuna too though it took some getting into - worth persevering

Also the Bean Trees & the Pigs in Heaven

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Sun 06-Oct-13 19:30:13

(Not the Pigs - just Pigs!)

tumbletumble Sun 06-Oct-13 19:30:42

Have you read Captain Corelli's Mandolin? For some reason your list made me think of that.

difficultpickle Sun 06-Oct-13 19:31:31

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.

Amandine29 Sun 06-Oct-13 19:38:42

Have you read I Capture the Castle or The Great Gatsby? These were my first thoughts and they are certainly beautifully written. I would also recommend Ernest Hemingway, I particularly like A Farewell to Arms.

SalveRibena Sun 06-Oct-13 19:51:26

Ooh, lots of suggestions. Thank you.

Duchess, I have read most of McEwan, but I think Atonement/On Chesil Beach were my favourites.

bakingaddict, I have read The Secret History, it's brilliant!

Amandine I have read I Capture the Castle, loved that too.

I will make a list of the others... keep them coming!

NotQuiteCockney Sun 06-Oct-13 19:53:42

Paula Fox? Anne Tyler?

ggirl Sun 06-Oct-13 19:58:13

the woman in white -wilkie collins
a fine balance -rohinton mistry
the shipping news -annie proulx

ParsingFright Sun 06-Oct-13 20:01:02

Beloved by Toni Morrison
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 06-Oct-13 20:01:25

Lolita - Nabakov
Paula - Isabel Allende

Sunnysummer Sun 06-Oct-13 20:03:24

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson is one of the most beautifully written books I've read. I read it before having children and her description of a dying man watching his sleeping son came back to me last night as so accurate and beautiful that I had to reread.

That said, it is not fast paced and has a lot about American religious history. Definitely not my usual (plot-driven) cup of tea, and may not be yours... But I think it's amazing!

MarianForrester Sun 06-Oct-13 20:05:11

A Lost Lady by Willa Cather.

It fits exactly with your description. Beautiful writing, good story.

ParsingFright Sun 06-Oct-13 20:05:28

A Tale of Two Cities and Bleak House?

Dickens is quite variable, but these have their moments of beautiful writing.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.

SunshineSuperNova Sun 06-Oct-13 20:05:55

Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Amazing.

Bexicles Sun 06-Oct-13 20:08:33

I have just finished rereading The handmaid's tale. I love Magaret Atwood, every book I have read of hers has been beautifully written.

ParsingFright Sun 06-Oct-13 20:12:09

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, if you like Austen.

Some Daphne du Maurier or Rumor Godden?

christinarossetti Sun 06-Oct-13 20:14:59

Umberto Eco

Sarah Walters

Sebastian Faulks

were my first thoughts

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