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it's been a disappointing reading year for me, I'm after some recommendations please!

(17 Posts)
TheKitchenWitch Sun 23-Nov-14 14:36:47

Books that I have enjoyed a lot over the last 12 months or so:

The Importance of being Kennedy
and
Dog Days, Glenn Miller Nights by Laurie Graham
War Crimes for the Home by Liz Jensen
The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
The House We Grew Up In
and
Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell
Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

Most of those were MN recommendations!

Books that I have disliked:

Stoner
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Perfect (by Rachel Joyce)
Sweet Tooth
We Need New Names
Reconstructing Amelia
A Tale for the Time Being

I'd so like to end the year with a couple of good books! Any ideas or recommendations gratefully received. I'm reading on the kindle, so if they happen to be on offer, even better smile
Thank you!

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sun 23-Nov-14 14:48:50

My two favourites this year have been The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Very different but both immensely enjoyable and thought provoking and moving. I hated Stoner too, btw, found the main character very frustrating and really didn't get what the fuss was about. I was also disappointed in Life After Life, despite liking other Kate Atkinson books.)

CrimboHornedSnowflake Sun 23-Nov-14 14:52:11

The Rivers of London series, people are put off by the magic aspect but they are excellent books and very well written.

If you liked, 'War Crimes' you will almost certainly love, 'The Ninth Life of Louis Drax' by Liz Jensen - it's my favourite of hers.

DuchessofMalfi Sun 23-Nov-14 15:56:23

Agree with Crimbo - Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch are fab.

Was it just Sweet Tooth you didn't like, or have you tried other novels by Ian McEwan and not liked them? If you'd be willing to try another, I really enjoyed The Children Act. Thought it excellent.

Others I've enjoyed this year - so many, but here's a short(ish) list -

Strange Meeting - Susan Hill
Nora Webster - Colm Toibin
Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller
The Report - Jessica Francis Kane
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series (crime novels)
Alys, Always - Harriet Lane
Her - Harriet Lane
The Spinning Heart - Donal Ryan
The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert
Gillespie & I - Jane Harris
The Lie - Helen Dunmore
Restoration - Rose Tremain
Merivel - Rose Tremain
The Sea - John Banville
The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
May We Be Forgiven - A M Homes
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
The Orchard on Fire - Shena Mackay

Hope there's something on this list that might inspire? smile

TheKitchenWitch Sun 23-Nov-14 16:41:12

Oooh, thank you! I am off to look up all the ones I haven't read on Amazon. I've had such excellent suggestions on here. I find that since I don't go into bookshops any more (am not in the UK, so mainly did my book shopping when back in London one or twice a year) I don't have the opportunity to browse new books in the same way.

IsabellaofFrance Sun 23-Nov-14 19:53:21

Graceland by Christopher Abani.

I couldn't put it down. It isnt for the faint hearted but its worth it.

Laska42 Wed 26-Nov-14 19:51:42

Merivel.. I hated him first time round (Restoration) but I thought I'd give him another go again in the latest RT book about him, but put it down about third though..

Shame it was looking good at the start ,

but (SPOILER )....

when we got to the bringing the bear back and the daughters illness .. I realised I simply didnt care about him or what happenned to him one tiny bit..

DuchessofMalfi Wed 26-Nov-14 20:23:33

I listened to both Restoration and Merivel as audio books, both with great narrators who were clearly enjoying reading the stories. I found them really entertaining, and his exploits were utterly filthy at times grin

But I can see that reading them I might have been less keen on them. Perhaps they are marmite books? I do love a good historical novel though.

MyIronLung Fri 28-Nov-14 20:48:14

I've had a few that I've really enjoyed recently.

Her - Harriet Lane
NOS4A2 - Joe Hill
Doctor sleep - Stephen King
And am currently halfway through Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn and am really enjoying it (so far)

twostepsister Sat 29-Nov-14 13:27:52

Currently reading The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt which is brilliant but rather long!!

Can recommend a few more.

We are called to rise - Laura McBride (a beautiful book set in Las Vegas tells the lives of an immigrant boy, a soldier returned from Iraq and a middle-aged woman whose life is falling apart. A compelling story with its intertwining threads which moved me to tears)

Us - David Nicholls - scientist Douglas is shaken out of his comfortable academic life by the revelation that his wife is thinking of leaving him and ending their two-decade long marriage. He can't understand it. Connie wants them to still go ahead with their planned Grand Tour of the artwork of Europe with their pre-college son Albie. And Douglas hopes he'll be able to save their marriage on their trip.

The shock of the fall - Nathan Filer - an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness.

Elizabeth is missing - Emma Healey (brilliant debut about a lady with dementia, its TV rights have already been sold.)

Wake - Anna Hope - Unfolding over five days leading up to 11 November, 1920, a powerful debut telling of three women who have lost loved-ones, set against the journey of the Unknown Soldier from Northern France to the Cenotaph.

TheKitchenWitch Sat 29-Nov-14 18:05:57

Oooh, lots more ideas, thank you!
I've bought quite a few and have more on my wishlist, keeping an eye on them in case the price drops.

I've read The Goldfinch and actually had to give up as I hated it so much. I loved, loved, LOVED The Secret History (one of my top ten books ever, I think), and enjoyed her second one (title of which has totally escaped me for the moment), but there was just nothing at all that I got on with in The Goldfinch.

Really liked Gone Girl (and also Dark Places and Sharp Objects).

"Us" is a good idea - I liked David Nicholls' other books, had forgotten that he had this one out.

ShanghaiDiva Sun 30-Nov-14 03:09:28

This year I really enjoyed:
Americanah
The Shock of the Fall
Us
Life after Life
Her
Elizabeth is missing
Where'd you go Bernadette
Unexpected lessons in love
Marriage Material
We were liars

FlyingByTheSeatof Sun 30-Nov-14 03:24:06

Shock of the fall
May we be forgiven
What Alice forgot
The summer book
The secret keeper

MorelliOrRanger Sun 30-Nov-14 09:23:43

My favourite books I've read in the last year or so are
Shadow of the wind by Carlos zafon
The cuckoos calling by Robert Galbraith aka jk Rowling. Completely different to the hp series.

Ive had a rubbish year of books too.

awaynboilyurheid Wed 03-Dec-14 16:39:28

love Shadow of the wind too just finished child 44 really good some others have just been blah and I stopped reading them, but can recommend child 44 and its his first novel so very good for a first.

TheKitchenWitch Thu 04-Dec-14 12:47:59

Reading Burial Rites now, really enjoying it so far, thanks for the recommendation!

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