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I want a damn good book for autumn (please)

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travellinghopefully12 Tue 16-Aug-16 12:04:31


I want a damn good book to get really, really involved in. Something to carry round and keep me company for weeks on end.

Long Books I love are

The Cazalets
The Crimson Petal and The White
Brick Lane
Anna Karenina

Recently I've picked up a few things, but it's like I'm skimming the surface instead of getting properly into them. I have Villa America, which looks promising, but not long enough to be along term companion

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Tue 16-Aug-16 12:24:41

I've just finished reading flight behaviour by barbara kingsolver. It isn't very long though. But if you combined it with her two other books, the poisonwood bible and lacuna, the three would keep you going for a while.
Otherwise there is a trilogy by neal Stephenson which starts with Quicksilver which would keep you going for quite a while

Clawdy Tue 16-Aug-16 16:52:55

Wolf Hall followed by Bring Up The Bodies, but I bet you've read them.Or the two Kate Atkinsons, Life After Life, and A God in Ruins, brilliant pair.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 16-Aug-16 17:26:32

Wild Swans. Best "long book" I've ever read.

JemimaMuddledUp Tue 16-Aug-16 19:53:07

Petrograd by William Owen Roberts. Make sure you get it in English rather than Welsh though (presuming you don't read Welsh!)

AgentProvocateur Tue 16-Aug-16 20:04:13

You've got all my favourites there, OP.

Based on your list, try:
A little life - very sad and harrowing
A Fine Balance - also very sad!
Poisonwood Bible - not so sad
The Corrections.

travellinghopefully12 Wed 17-Aug-16 09:35:17

Thank you Agent -great to meet someone with the same taste, I will order all of those from the Library, apart from a Little Life - I don't think I can deal with harrowing at the moment; sad, yes, but harrowing no.

Clawdy ah I've read and loved those. They were my companions last winter gone. Is there a release date yet for the final one? I have Googled it without success. Would love it if anyone on here knew?

Flight Behaviour and Poisonwood also sound good - I keep seeing Barbara Kingsolver books and thinking they look intriguing. Thanks 101

OnlyLivingBoy I think my parents have Wild Swans, and I am seeing them at the end of this month so I'll grab it from their bookcase then.

Another favourite of mine is Tremain's The Road Home, but it's not long - although anything similar to that is also good.

thank you all

Blerg Wed 17-Aug-16 09:42:36

Anything by Wally Lamb is long and generally diverting. I liked I Know the Much is True and She's Come Undone.

Blerg Wed 17-Aug-16 09:44:23

Also This Thing Of Darkness by Harry Thompson. That and the Lamb books were recommended to me when I asked for good long reads to get me through a difficult time.

SimplyNigella Wed 17-Aug-16 09:45:36

The Poisonwood Bible is my favourite book of all time so another vote for it from me.

newlabelwriter Wed 17-Aug-16 09:51:28

Recently read (and loved) The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, I thought it was amazing. Also loved Just Kids by Patti Smith, very different but I loved it. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen was my holiday read that I couldn't stop banging on about last year - it's great. Agree re a Little Life, I am about two thirds through and finding it a bit relentless misery at the moment, although having said that it's brilliantly written and will definitely will finish it (and then read something a bit more jolly!) Have Fates and Furies and The Girls lined up for my holiday. Can't wait to read them (I love books.)

travellinghopefully12 Wed 17-Aug-16 11:02:25

I love Kazuo Ishiguro newlabel

Has anyone read Vila America? I have it out of the library and am struggling to get into it but was old by a colleague it is excellent.

MerricatsHouse Wed 17-Aug-16 12:26:32

I love long books (and the Cazalets). Some of my favourites are:

Lonesome Dove
Gone With the Wind (hadn't seen the film so didn't know the story)
The Once and Future King
Vanity Fair
David Copperfield

I have Bleak House waiting for autumn to start, going to curl up with it underneath a blanket with some hot chocolate smile

This Thing of Darkness is a perfect, long read.

Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White or/and No Name

A series - I always recommend Stephen King's Dark Tower but I'd save it until the weather gets a bit colder and the evenings darker! Ditto Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther books.

Dave Eggers - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

PepeLePew Fri 19-Aug-16 07:17:00

The Dark Tower books, definitely! Or 11.22.63 and The Stand. Both long, both "lose yourself" books.

What about A Suitable Boy? Absorbing and really really long. And I really enjoyed War And Peace once I got going.

More recent books I also loved - In The Light Of What We Know is fantastic and makes you feel clever just reading it.

InsaneDame Fri 19-Aug-16 08:40:26

Ken Follet - both The Pillars of the Earth and The Century trilogy. Huge tomes of books and I loved them. Very different settings.

MegBusset Fri 19-Aug-16 08:45:00

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Infinite Jest

lovelycuppateas Fri 19-Aug-16 10:18:00

I loved the books you mention, and would second Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy, that starts with Quicksilver. It's great, completely involving. The other series of books I loved is Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series I know it sounds like terrible romantic fiction, but actually is some of the best stuff I have ever read - not an easy read, but with the scope and complexity of nineteenth century novels. And they will keep you going for ages!

CuntWagon Fri 19-Aug-16 10:27:07

I am a long book lover too but they are usually on the harrowing side. Recently I've enjoyed
City on Fire, Preparation for the Next Life, A Little Life and We are not Ourselves. None are cheerful though but there is some redemption at the conclusions. Or a classic like Count of Monte Christo, Don Quixote?

IonaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 19-Aug-16 10:28:53

Just popping in to recommend the Gormenghast trilogy for dark, weirdly cosy, autumnal atmosphere (and to shamelessly placemark for more ideas! Love a thread like this.) Ooh - also, am planning to read 'The Midnight Folk' this autumn. It's the book that 'The Box of Delights' was the sequel to. I am in an ongoing quest to find the ideal 'Autumn through to Christmas' book. Has to be read under a blanket with a tin of Quality Street ideally.

Approaching Christmas and Quality Street = The Moonstone. No contest!

highlandcoo Fri 19-Aug-16 11:27:29

Hi OP. I love a long book to get involved in too, and all the ones you mention I have really enjoyed.

Some great suggestions above. YY to Kate Atkinson's Life after Life plus A God in Ruins, A Suitable Boy, and A Fine Balance which is one of my all-time favourites. If you enjoy A Fine Balance, also try A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman.

If you like Rose Tremain, I recommend Restoration and the sequel Merivel. Completely different from The Road Home - she is such a varied writer - but very very good.

Also Sarah Waters. Thinking about The Crimson Petal, I think you'd like Fingersmith in particular. The Paying Guests is also really good.

One of my favourites, less well known and which I'm always recommending, is The Observations by Jane Harris. Really entertaining, with a dry and funny narrative voice.

I'm just about to reread Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, set on a slave ship in the mid 18th century.It won the Booker in 1992 and I read it shortly afterwards so I don't recall it in detail but remember being totally absorbed by it, so looking forward to that.

Another Booker winner but more recent is The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher. Set in Sheffield during the Thatcher years, and follows the lives of two families against the backdrop of the miners' strike and general political unrest.

As you mention Brick Lane, also try Small Island by Andrea Levy. Even better IMO.

And you can't beat the Victorian and Edwardian period for big satisfying family sagas with a bit of social context to add depth. Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett, and South Riding by Winifred Holtby are all great reads.

And of course there's always War and Peace - that would keep you company for most of the winter grin

Ohlalala Fri 19-Aug-16 14:17:09

Long and foreign... how about Belle du seigneur by Albert Cohen?

travellinghopefully12 Fri 19-Aug-16 14:29:35

Lupins I love The woman in White, so may try The Moon Stone. TWiW did give me really bad nightmares though - the character who was the guy who put the whole plot in motion (not the husband, his friend) really frightened me for some reason, especially when all the stuff about the masons came up.

All suggestions look amazing, currently Googling them and have spent my afternoon making my side of the bedroom lovely and cosy and ready for books.

Sacred Hunger sounds amazing too!


cosmicglittergirl Fri 19-Aug-16 14:37:44

Gilespie and I by Jane Harris
The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

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