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My concentration is screwed and I haven't read a full book for a couple of years. Any recommendations for light but not trashy holiday reading please?

(19 Posts)
SmurfPants Sun 26-Mar-17 11:37:04

Having babies and studying has really messed with my reading for pleasure, but I'd like to get back into it when I go on holiday. I keep starting books and dumping them because I'm just not bothered or they're not good enough blush I read The Goldfinch when it came out and then struggled to follow it with anything because I had enjoyed it so much, everything else paled in comparison.

Any recommendations please to get me reading again?

Books I've loved -
The Nineteenth Wife
Song of Achilles
This Thing of Darkness
Jon Ronson
Nothing To Envy
David Sedaris (devoured them all!)
I Am Pilgrim

I'm feeling a bit fragile at the moment and can't handle murdery/violent (eg Dragon Tattoo) or heavy/depressing (eg Half a Yellow Sun).

I prefer a massive epic to get involved with rather than short stories.

I've just downloaded Rob Delaney's book, maybe there are other autobiographies I could get into? (Was disappointed with Steve Coogan's, Tina Fey's and Amy Poehler)

Any suggestions very gratefully received!

missyB1 Sun 26-Mar-17 11:43:17

Im probably not much help as I'm sort of in the same boat! My concentration at the moment is pretty dire, but i'm desperate to get back into reading. I've just downloaded Ruby Wax "Frazzled" I went to see her live recently and she was talking about the book, it was very interesting.

SmurfPants Sun 26-Mar-17 11:47:10

Oh Frazzled is a great book! I actually listened to it on my commute because of my concentration being so shot. I hope you like it smile

I do meditate, but I'm a bit hit and miss with it. Actually, I should make a commitment to that as a starting point to getting my concentration back.

fatowl Sun 26-Mar-17 13:35:13

I'm in a similar position after a bereavement.

I loved Nothing to Envy as well

I have just finished Lion by Saroo Brierley
Only 200-ish pages and quite easy to read. Very good

SmurfPants Sun 26-Mar-17 13:36:53

That looks good, thank you!

KeithLeMonde Mon 27-Mar-17 11:00:17

I like similar stuff to you and I recently loved Americanah - very readable and interesting but not heavy or upsetting.

For a long comfort read, The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman. Loved this book, I read it cover to cover in about 3 days when I was ill in bed and it was just the right level of totally absorbing without being challenging.

SmurfPants Mon 27-Mar-17 11:27:04

Ooh great, more recommendations, thank you!

And if anyone's interested, I am LOVING Rob Delaney's book and have nearly finished it after buying it yesterday. That will be the first book I've actually finished for ages. smile

fatowl Mon 27-Mar-17 14:35:04

I enjoyed Americanah as well, so did my DD21.

I enjoyed CHild 44 as well, but it was a bit grim in places.

THe last book I really remember not being able to put down was 11-22-63 by Stephen King- but it is a bit of a doorstop.

(all this before my current reading block!)

SmurfPants Mon 27-Mar-17 14:36:14

I love a door stop, thank you!

KikiDeliversCakes Mon 27-Mar-17 14:45:42

This might fit your bill: Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See - nice short, easy sections grin. Mildly gripping storyline, really easy read, quite interesting.

juneau Mon 27-Mar-17 14:57:56

I loved Americanah too.

Another book I enjoyed recently, which might appeal to you, is 'The Wolf Border' by Sarah Hall. Nice, easy read, but interesting and different.

SmurfPants Mon 27-Mar-17 17:54:05

Great, I've ordered kindle samples of all of these so far!

Jux Fri 07-Apr-17 15:33:43

Pratchett. Light and easy, very funny. Then you realise that he's saying a great deal more than you first thought.

MackerelOfFact Fri 07-Apr-17 15:53:49

I recently devoured and enjoyed The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. It's based on a true story. The first book I've finished in ages.

WildCherryBlossom Sat 08-Apr-17 07:02:20

If you enjoyed The Goldfinch have you tried her other books? I keep meaning to read The Secret History again - read it when it first came out and loved it. I found The Little Friend dragged a bit though. How about anything by Sarah Waters?

AnneEtAramis Sat 08-Apr-17 12:41:58

Whenever I get stuck in a reading rut I read Santa Montefiore. Not high brow or even my usual sort of thing but also not very fluffy and chick lit. They remind me a bit of Catherine Cookson (another guilty pleasure). I read The Butterfly Box last year and although is was about love it wasn't conventional boy meets girl and this year when I got stuck I read Songs of Love and War which I think is a trilogy whilst I am in essay writing mode and can't read anything too heavy.

Also just read a book called How to Measure a Cow for book club. Whizzed through and really enjoyed it.

Plantpot83 Sat 08-Apr-17 12:47:54

I really enjoyed
Life after Life
Half a yellow sun

SmurfPants Sat 08-Apr-17 21:21:25

oh great, more suggestions, thanks!

We just had a few days away and I managed to read Into the Darkest Corner. A fairly light read and an interesting structure. The main themes of DV and OCD are subjects I'm familiar with because of my work, so I was waiting to be annoyed by unbelievable details, but I think it was well researched on the whole. And I really was dying to know the outcome by the end. Despite its dark subjects, it wasn't too grim.

I've just started Wolf Border and Americanah will be after that.

I'm getting samples of the other suggestions too. I LOVED Secret History, but HATED the Little Friend - so unsatisfying!

Life after Life keeps being recommended to me. I think I tried it once and got bored but maybe I should try again!

beguilingeyes Thu 08-Jun-17 12:38:05

Sharon Penman is a good shout for lengthy tomes. Here Be Dragons is my favourite book ever.

I loved The Time Travellers Wife for something a bit lighter. Or Captain Corelli's Mandolin is amazing.

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