Need escapism :(

(22 Posts)
varvara Wed 29-Jun-16 13:45:17

OK, this sounds silly, but the current political situation is really getting me down and making me anxious and stressed. I usually seem to read quite heavy stuff, but right now I feel like I really need a nice escapist read - you know, the kind you lose yourself in. Preferably written/set in a different era, to take my mind off current events.

Can anyone recommend anything?

Writers/books that usually fit the bill for me are Kate Atkinson, CJ Sansom, Elizabeth Jane Howard, but unfortunately I have read all of their books sad

If anyone can help me in my escapist quest I will be forever grateful. Thank you!

tobee Wed 29-Jun-16 17:46:59

First of all, it's not silly but understandable and sensible! When I could begin to function last Friday the first thing I thought was I need to get lost in a book. Have you read The Diary of a Provincial Lady (and Diary of a Provincial Daughter) series? Or Mrs Tim of the Regiment series? The New House by Lettice Cooper? The Paying Guests was also very involving. I've just finished Little Boy Lost and am intending to read some Dorothy Whipple and A S Byatt next. Most of which were recommended to me on here.

MermaidofZennor Wed 29-Jun-16 17:58:36

If you like C J Sansom, then you might like S J Parris's Giordano Bruno series. Have you read The Pursuit of Love and Love in A Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford? They might appeal if you've enjoyed Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalets series. What about Brideshead Revisited? Or maybe some Agatha Christie?

tripfiction Wed 29-Jun-16 18:52:35

Can totally empathise. Isn't this all a chaotic and depressing muddle.

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, novel by Joanna Cannon has gone down really well, it is set in the Midlands 1960s

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings takes you off to Cornwall, a psychological thriller which I found gripping

And my fave of late has been Eden Gardens by Louise Brown, which is recently published, set in dying days of the Raj....

whatamidoinghereanyway Wed 29-Jun-16 19:43:55

I'm currently reading The Little house by Philippa Gregory and finding it hard to put down! Just another chapter ...smile

varvara Thu 30-Jun-16 10:56:19

Wow, thanks everyone! I've read quite a few of these, but if I hadn't they'd be just the sort of books I'd choose right now!

tobee I LOVE the Provincial Lady books - love the humour and the fact that they portray a vanished world. I haven't read any of your other suggestions though - have always meant to try AS Byatt. Thank you, I will investigate these!

Yes, mermaid I'm a big Nancy Mitford fan. Never thought of Brideshead Revisited - good idea! I read all the Agatha Christie books as a teenager, but that was a loooong time ago, so I'm sure I won't remember whodunnit after all that time; I might re-read one and see! Growing up in a working-class community in Scotland, these books were like another world for me and I still love to read about the aristocracy and middle-classes of that era.

trip thank you, hadn't heard of any of these - "THe Trouble With Goats and SHeep" sounds like the sort of thing I'd enjoy and "In Her Wake" sounds like it might be a bit Rebecca-like? Will definitely check these out.

whatami - ooh I read that a few years ago - it was seriously creepy and made me very thankful for my lovely MIL!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions - lots of good ideas. smile There must be enough there to keep me going until we live in a stable democracy again... surely?! wink

TaraCarter Thu 30-Jun-16 13:51:00

I've been reading a lot of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels recently for pure escapism. The Grand Sophy is particularly and wonderfully frivolous.

varvara Thu 30-Jun-16 17:39:46

Ooh, I never thought of Georgette Heyer - her books are definitely escapist and jolly good fun! They probably have some in our local library. Thank you, Tara!

ElspethFlashman Thu 30-Jun-16 17:44:04

Definitely also recommend Heyer. Much more feisty heroines than you'd think.

And if you're looking for some good old fashioned enjoyable smut, I'm currently devouring Chances by Jackie Collins (based on a recommendation here as it was v cheap on Kindle last week) and it's great fun!

ElspethFlashman Thu 30-Jun-16 17:45:40

Oh and The Forsythe Saga is very involving and not depressing at all.

Oh and I just thought of another one! The Polark series!

varvara Thu 30-Jun-16 20:50:49

Thanks Elspeth! I've just remembered that I actually have the first volume The Forsyte Saga - if I recall correctly, I read the first chapter or so and didn't manage to get into it. Is it worth persevering with then? It would be great if I could get into it as it's nice and long!

ElspethFlashman Fri 01-Jul-16 00:21:45

well I was a bit sceptical at first but by the end of the first book was massively into it. You just get sucked in.

spookyelectric Fri 01-Jul-16 13:42:38

Susan Howatch - Penmarric, Cashelmara, Wheel of Fortune big family sagas - easy to read.

NotCitrus Fri 01-Jul-16 14:01:31

Dorothy Sayers, if you liked Christie and historical stuff. Beautiful characterisation.

Or Lilian Beckwith's "The Hills is Lonely" series - woman goes to live in a remote crofting community in the Western Isles, entertaining episodes ensue. Bit like James Herriot minus animals.

IAteSomeofthePies Sat 02-Jul-16 22:24:17

I second Dorothy Sayers, if you like Agatha Christie. Love those. I might need to re-read them right now, in fact.

Which brings to mind Jill Paton Walsh, who finished some unwritten Sayers books. She writes more serious fiction sometimes (she won the Booker Prize) but also the Imogen Quy series of mystery novels about a librarian at a Cambridge college.

And Sarah Caudwell! She only write four books before she died, but they are great fun.

IAteSomeofthePies Sat 02-Jul-16 22:24:52

Wrote, that is...

tobee Mon 04-Jul-16 00:58:54

Oooh I just remembered! Good Behaviour by Molly Keane

varvara Mon 04-Jul-16 23:51:08

Thank you so much everyone for some great suggestions! I never got into Dorothy Sayers when I was young as nothing could compete with Agatha Christie back then! Time to give her another try, perhaps? Some other great suggestions too which I'm really looking forward to investigating. Thank you everybody!

tobee I have read "Good Behaviour", but have never met anybody else who has. Did you enjoy it? I can't make up my mind about Molly Keene - I struggle with her a bit, I think, as find her characters all so unlikeable.

VestalVirgin Mon 11-Jul-16 20:46:47

"A Brother's Price" by Wen Spencer. Takes place in a fantasy world that reminds me a bit of the Wild West but is ruled by a monarchy. Cheesy romance plot included.

"Ancillary Justice" by Ann Leckie. The universe is ruled by some kind of space Romans who have an inexplicable fondness of tea despite not having much in common with Brits, and wear gloves all the time. Also, their language has no grammatical gender, and female pronouns are used for everyone.

Also, the protagonist is a spaceship A.I. who is out to murder the ruler of the world, but not too close to the current political situation. I think.

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Jul-16 21:01:44

Red Rising is brilliant. It's 99p on the Kindle atm, too.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 14-Jul-16 17:52:18

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. Reading it now and finding it hard to put down.

bookbook Thu 14-Jul-16 18:24:17

My favourites sound like yours so
Rory Clements - another Sansom type - first is 'Martyr'
Arianna Franklin - medieval crime first is 'Mistress of The Art of Death'
Donna Leon - Venetian crime with food smile first is 'Death at La Fenice'
Jaqueline Winspear - Maisie Dobbs series 1920's crime, beautiful writing - first one is actually called 'Maisie Dobbs'
Diana Gabaldon - The Outlander series - First one is called Cross Stitch full of history/sex and comedy
Jan Karon - Gentle American family stories - the Mitford series first is 'At Home in Mitford'

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