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Non chick-lit summer holiday reading recommendations please!

(17 Posts)
IToldYouIWasFreaky Fri 13-May-16 21:02:53

I need to stock my Kindle up for summer holiday reading but I'm running out of inspirations and could do with some new recommendations.

I'd like things that are fairly easy to read but not too fluffy...absolutely no chick lit! I like historical fiction - CJ Sansom, Philippa Gregory, Tracey Chevalier etc. I'd love a good historical saga. Or possibly a good science fiction/fantasy series?

OP’s posts: |
TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 13-May-16 21:10:00

Well, it depends on how you like your historical sagas...There's the Bernard Cornwell Last Kingdom novels set in the time of Alfred the Great. Or his Sharpe novels would keep you going for a long holiday! DH has read a lot of Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden, both of whom write novels set in a range of historical periods.

MermaidofZennor Fri 13-May-16 21:11:21

If you like C J Sansom, have you read S J Parris? Fantasy isn't something I like normally but I do like Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series.

Byrdie Fri 13-May-16 21:57:42

I've just got into a series that i think might be kindle only - st marys series by jodi taylor. Love it. I guess it's sort of historical and sort of sci fi too! Two things I love. Shantaram js good too if you've not read that. Not wuite historical (70s i think) but it's great.

CoteDAzur Sat 14-May-16 09:06:48

Good sci-fi series:

Red Rising

bookbook Sat 14-May-16 09:12:48

If you like Philippa Gregorey ,
Sharon Penman is wonderful - some follow on from each other but try The Sunne in Splendour
Elizabeth Chadwick - The Greatest Knight and sequel The Scarlet Lion I love - about William Marshal
Ann Easter Smith
I dont read sci -fi but one of my friends swears by Katherine Kerr

AprilShowers16 Sat 14-May-16 09:20:42

Have you read any Ken Follet novels? I live Pillars of the Earth and am currently reading his Century Trilogy. Theyre long books which I really like because you can get into them and know you have bedtime reading sorted for weeks!

tripfiction Sat 14-May-16 13:40:25

One of the best books I have read in recent time is Maggie O'Farrell's This Must be the Place; it's out next week.

I really enjoyed In Her Wake, by Amanda Jennings set in Cornwall.

The Swimming Pool is an interesting story, set in the heat of a London Summer...

Hope you find a really eclectic and stimulating mix of reads for the Summer!

minsmum Sat 14-May-16 15:00:45

HHhH by Laurent Binet. Best book I have read this year.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Sat 14-May-16 16:55:10

Thanks all!

Byrdie I LOVE Jodi Taylor. I'm currently on no 7 of the St Mary's series and I've read all her other books too. Just fabulous!

Mermaid I have downloaded the first SJ Parris one, it looks perfect thanks!

book I loved Sunne in Splendour so will check out some more of hers, thank you.

April Those look like some great sagas! Really something to get stuck into.

I've added lots to my wishlist and will keep checking prices in the run up to the holiday...

OP’s posts: |
highlandcoo Sat 14-May-16 18:10:53

You could also look at Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, set in the plague village of Eyam in Derbyshire.

And The Mystery of Glass by Sue Gee.

And The Observations of Jane Harris is really good.

Byrdie Sat 14-May-16 18:22:29

She has done another series which is ok. Not as good as st marys though but there are at least two books. I think it was called nothing girls? Have you tried that? I've just finished the latest st marys one... Wish she would write faster!!

cdtaylornats Sat 14-May-16 22:15:58

Mathews Tale - Quintin Jardine
The Fire Rose - Mercedes Lackey

1610: A Sundial in a Grave - Mary Gentle
The year is 1610. Continental Europe is briefly at peace after years of war, but Henri IV of France is planning to invade the German principalities. But Valentin Rochefort, duelist and spy for France's powerful financial minister, could not care less. Until he is drawn into the glittering palaces, bawdy back streets, and stunning theatrics of Renaissance France and Shakespearean London in a deadly plot both to kill King James I and to save him. For this swordsman without a conscience is about to find himself caught between loyalty, love, and blackmail, between kings, queens, politicians, and Rosicrucians — and the woman he has, unknowingly, crossed land and sea to meet.

WillowinGloves Mon 16-May-16 19:08:07

For historical fiction, you could try anything by Diana Norman, especially The Vizard Mask, which I love. A Puritan woman comes from America to England just in time for the plague, the Fire of London and the new age of women on stage... and a great hero - hope that's not too chick lit.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Mon 16-May-16 21:34:41

I've read EVERYTHING that Jodi Taylor has written and always pre-order the St Mary's ones. She's great!

highland I really enjoyed The Year of Wonders so I'll check out the other recommendations, thank you!

Lots of great stuff here, thanks all!

OP’s posts: |
IToldYouIWasFreaky Mon 16-May-16 21:40:06

Willow I just realised that Diana Norman is Ariana Franklin (not sure which is the pen name!) I love Ariana Franklin's "Mistress of the Art of Death" books so will check out her other ones.

OP’s posts: |
bookbook Mon 16-May-16 21:48:56

I loved Mistress of the Art of Death series too - Ariana Franklin was a penname for Diana Norman (, but she has sadly died now.)
Sharon Penman has done 4 historical crime novels in a series -the first is The Queens Man
And other historical crime ( I love it smile )
Mel Starr
Susanna Gregorey
Alys Clare

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