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Need some new recommendations (fiction or non-fiction)

(25 Posts)
Sadik Wed 25-May-16 14:32:19

Inspired by the 50 books thread, I've been reading lots more this year. The flip side of this is I've started to run out of books I fancy - looking back at my list, most of the ones I've really liked were near the start of the year. So - some new recommendations needed smile

Fiction - I mostly read sci-fi / fantasy, often enjoy YA, don't really do 'literary' fiction. Some I've liked this year: SF - Ready Player One, The City and The City by China Mieville, Europe in Autumn. Non-SF - Grief is the Thing With Feathers, How to be Both by Ali Smith. Didn't like The Martian, The Invisible Library.

Non-fiction - read a lot of social sciences/politics, generally not so inspired by straight pop-science. Liked The Life Project / Social Class in the 21st Century / The New Spymasters / Nothing is True and Everything is Possible / Lean In. Didn't get on with Do No Harm or Names for the Sea.

Any suggestions welcome!

cdtaylornats Wed 25-May-16 17:44:03

Try Claire North, her first two books are

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - a new take on reincarnation/time travel

Touch - the protagonist can switch bodies by touch and is not the only one.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 25-May-16 17:46:48

Have you read Wool?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 25-May-16 17:47:35

It's by Hugh Howey.

iklboo Wed 25-May-16 17:48:12

Brian Harmon - the Rushed series. DH & I are really enjoying them.

Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 25-May-16 18:00:57

Non-fiction: have you read The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson? I read very little non-fiction but found that one interesting. I also thought In Cold Blood by Truman Capote was fascinating and very well-written. I recommend Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and Touching the Void by Jon Simpson, and a friend bought me Wild (Cheryl Strayed - film with Reese Witherspoon) for my birthday but I haven't started that yet.

Fiction - have just read The Revenant by Michael Punke and couldn't put it down!

The YA writer I always recommend is Patrick Ness - start with the Chaos Walking trilogy. Really well-written.

Sadik Wed 25-May-16 21:16:46

I've read Harry August - I did like it, but didn't find it enormously memorable - I should try some of her others though, it was definitely entertaining..

Jim Butcher - read the first Dresden Files novel, but it didn't really pull me in. Wool - gave up after the first couple of chapters. I do read quite a bit of YA (via dd as she has an endless supply), but not really grabbed by Patrick Ness, though I thought The Rest of Us Just Live Here was a great idea.

I'll check the others out - thanks, all smile

Fanny and Stella - fantastic non-fiction book! I absolutely loved it.

Operation Mincemeat v v good - British Secret Service stuff in WW2.

FlemCandango Thu 26-May-16 18:49:29

I have just finished Animal by Sara Pascoe. It is a semi auto biographical and anthropological history of women and sex. It is very funny and surprisingly informative.

Sadik Thu 26-May-16 19:31:52

Fanny and Stella is a good idea - I remember reading the reviews when it came out & meaning to read it - and even available from the library now smile I'm slightly averse to WW2 books (so very many of them) but I know everyone on the 50 books thread seems to like Op. Mincemeat, so I really should give it a go.
Just reading Beyond the Beautiful Forevers at the moment, but yet again I'm not that keen - I wonder if I'm just not in the reading zone atm.

minsmum Thu 26-May-16 19:34:39

HHhH by Laurent Binet best book I have read this year

Wrote a long post and lost it. Here it is in shorthand!

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

The Worst Journey in the World - Scott's doomed Antarctic expedition

Into the Silence - about Mallory and Everest

In the Heart of the Sea - about the sinking of the whaleship Essex, which inspired Moby Dick

And of course yes to HHhH - stunningly good.

Sadik Thu 26-May-16 19:45:11

HHhH is another WW2 one I ought to read, isn't it . . .

SerenityReynolds Thu 26-May-16 19:59:20

Sorry, peacemaking for some suggestions!

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 26-May-16 20:27:03

If you read one WWII book read HHhH. It is outstanding, and very different to, well, anything else. Psychology, history, philosophy, the problems of biography, all in the form of a gripping novel.

I started Operation Mincemeat, but wasn't feeling it so leaving it for a while.

Sadik Thu 26-May-16 21:44:00

HHhH added to the list - it's also in the library, so that's a bonus.

Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

ArriettyMatilda Sat 28-May-16 00:09:26

I like a bit of sci-fi and used to read quite a bit of YA but not recently. Books I've particularly enjoyed this year include Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, the Girl with all gifts by m.r. Carey and time and time again by Ben Elton

ThisCakeFilledIsle Sat 28-May-16 00:28:53

You mention YA so I'll offer up Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders.

amicissimma Thu 02-Jun-16 16:50:31

I've unexpectedly enjoyed some books that other people recommended and I was very reluctant to try:

The Box was recommended by a MNer, or her DH, ages ago and I found it fascinating. How the development of the shipping container lead us to the way the world trades today.

The Age of Wonder. Lives of various scientists, some lesser-known, from a philosophical/art point of view.

Grandmama of Europe. The monarchs of many European countries who were descendants of Queen Victoria.

Boomerang. A light-hearted look at the financial crisis from the POV of national stereotypes.

The Path Between the Seas. The story of the building of the Panama Canal and the associated political, financial, medical, ethical, geological (you name it ...) issues that arose. Unfortunately it's not available on Kindle and is a very large paperback, but, if it catches your imagination, it's a gripping read.

If you feel you must read about war, Lyn MacDonald writes very well about WWI, and A Nurse's War is an interesting perspective on WWII, specially when the medical/nursing teams enter the concentration camps.

I find anything by Ben Macintyre a good read. I think perhaps I liked A Spy Among Friends about Kim Philby, the best.

Sadik Thu 02-Jun-16 22:05:08

That's a great list, amicissima - The Box sounds like exactly the sort of thing I'd enjoy (I really enjoyed Deep Sea and Foreign Going about the international shipping trade), as does Boomerang.

mrsmortis Fri 03-Jun-16 13:01:38

If you like YA I'd suggest Garth Nix's Sabriel books. I'm finding it hard to describe them at all. But I love them. I think maybe they are what Rosemary Sutcliffe would have written if she wrote fantasy.

On the nonfiction side, if you like social history have you read Bill Bryson's book 'At Home'. It looks at how people's home life has changed over the centuries by looking at how each room in a house has changed. Or if you are interested in linguistics and language I'd really recommend anything by David Crystal. I particularly like The Story of English in 100 words.

cressetmama Mon 13-Jun-16 17:06:34

I have just finished Infidel, by Ayaan Mirsi Ali. It's an autobiography of a Somali woman's journey, and is both uplifting and horrific.

Also loved The Shepherd's Tale by James Rebanks.

Emyloohoo Mon 13-Jun-16 17:46:49

Only Human series! smile It's sci-fi, young adult fiction, but reads really quickly.

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