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What is the most beautiful book you have ever read?

(233 Posts)
umbrellabird Tue 21-Oct-14 06:01:13

I've had a tough year and just want to surround myself in good things...

imip Tue 21-Oct-14 06:20:50

www.goodreads.com/book/show/1406870.The_Service_of_Clouds

I don't read all that often, was not brought up in the kind of house that an outraged reading for pleasure, I now have 4 young dc and don't have time. I read this book about 15 years ago, at first I tried and put it away, then I came back to it a couple of years later. It is absolutely beautiful. Not really all that happy though. But beautiful...

StairsInTheNight Tue 21-Oct-14 06:21:23

The summer book, Tove Jannsson. Or always coming home by Ursula le Guin.

Takver Tue 21-Oct-14 09:06:35

Specifically beautiful, I think it would have to be The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende.

My other choice, though very, very different, would be Mansfield Park, as a work of absolute perfection in writing and characterisation.

I would also agree with Always Coming Home as a good book for a hard time when you need inspiration and encouragement.

Kakaka Tue 21-Oct-14 09:16:21

Hunting midnight by Richard Zimler. Just beautiful.

For me it is Flowers For Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico. It is about a 1950's London "Charlady" who sets her mind on something and goes all out to get it. It was a truly beautiful book! smile

MissPB Tue 21-Oct-14 09:21:18

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is beautiful. The imagery she uses and her choice of words is incredible. It is a beautiful but sad story so not sure if it will be a good time to read it.

GrouchyKiwi Tue 21-Oct-14 09:25:26

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald. About the German poet Novalis.

I also find AS Byatt's Possession a beautiful read, as well as The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and The Humans by Matt Haig.

When I'm feeling low, or things have been going badly, though, I almost always turn to Georgette Heyer to cheer me up.

umbrellabird Tue 21-Oct-14 09:34:16

Oh thank you so much everyone I am writing them all down, I quite like and am comforted by 'sad but beautiful' so those novels are fine by me. We are slowly coming into our Summer so I am looking forward to trying all these titles under the sun umbrella on the beach!��

Carterama Tue 21-Oct-14 09:37:21

5 people you meet in heaven, lovely book, can't recall the name of the author though

Muddlewitch Tue 21-Oct-14 10:03:25

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is by Mitch Albom and I totally agree it's lovely.

smokeandfluff Tue 21-Oct-14 10:11:18

Mansfield park is an amazing book

Lark rise to candleford is beautiful, but a little sad at the end

I know they are children's books but I love the anne of avonlea books and little house on the prairie books if I'm feeling a bit low

Fayrazzled Tue 21-Oct-14 10:36:42

I think the Irish writer, Niall Williams writes beautifully. I'd recommend Four Letters of Love or. As it is in Heaven.

Fayrazzled Tue 21-Oct-14 10:38:46

Or Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Gorgeous.

ImperialBlether Tue 21-Oct-14 10:39:11

Lottie, Mrs Harris had the Dior dress, didn't she? I loved those books.

DaPrincessBride Tue 21-Oct-14 10:42:55

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is the most beautifully written book I have read - the story itself is fascinating but quite a tough read, but the writing is just stunning.

DarceyBustle Tue 21-Oct-14 10:45:38

I would choose against Possession for the much superior (and shorter) Amongst Women by John McGahern. Both were shortlisted for the booker in the same year (1990?) and the wrong book won.

Also thought of The God of Small Things.

IsabellaofFrance Tue 21-Oct-14 10:48:46

Blood of Flowers, although I cant remember who its by.

Its about a young girl growing up in 17th Century Iran. Its sad at times, but very, very beautifully descriptive.

ArcheryAnnie Tue 21-Oct-14 10:49:33

"Remains Of The Day" by Kazuo ishiguro is one of the most beautifully-written books I have ever read. (though it is quite short.)
www.goodreads.com/book/show/28921.The_Remains_of_the_Day

"My dear I wanted to tell you" by Louisa Young is gorgeous.
www.goodreads.com/book/show/10170996-my-dear-i-wanted-to-tell-you

I've just read "We are all completely beside ourselves" by Karen Joy Fowler and loved it.

Also seconding Ursula le Guin, although I'd go for Left Hand Of Darkness.

Imperial Yes. I love all of them but FFMH is my favourite!!
They made a film of it al few years ago called "Mrs 'arris goes to Paris, with Angela Lansbury. They are currently remaking it with Twiggy.................

FreckledLeopard Tue 21-Oct-14 10:52:12

For beautiful writing and a poignant story I think "Tender is the Night" is one of the most wonderful books I've read.

MrsCosmopilite Tue 21-Oct-14 10:52:20

Another vote for Possession here, but also, Precious Bane by Mary Webb. Her writing is absorbing and poetic, and transforms a simple love story to a thing of beauty.

Deux Tue 21-Oct-14 10:55:14

For a beautiful, magical read I often return to Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (?)

Also love Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.

Patienceisapparentlyavirtue Tue 21-Oct-14 12:41:38

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Achingly beautifully written smile

TheFamilyJammies Tue 21-Oct-14 12:46:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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