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Please help me .start reading again I am desperate

(30 Posts)
chegirl Tue 08-Sep-09 19:18:18

I know its a bit needy cheeky but I could do with a hand.

I used to read a lot,since I was tiny. I loved books. I also studied so read academic stuff no problem.

Then my beautiful girl got very sick. I coped by not thinking to deeply or concentrating on much other than her and the kids. Then we lost her and I just seemed unable to concentrate anymore at all.

I tried to start my degree again and simply could not cope with the required reading sad

I miss it so much. I am sick of the tv and spend far to much time on the mumsnet the internet.

My favourite writer is Barbara Comyns but I have read all hers. I HATE misery lit with a passion. I enjoyed Coming Home and The Cammomile Lawn. I liked The Lovely Bones. My guilty pleasure is Monica Dickens.

I love the classics but find them too hard to get through so listen to them on audio. Hardy is my fav.

I suppose I like to read about people, specially ecentrics.

I need something very well written but not too complex as my concentration is still not 100%. I like biogs but not slebs stuff. I am afraid I am not ready for anything too gut/heart wrenching.

Is there any hope for me? Can anyone please help. If I get some good suggestions I will go right to Amazon and order them. I want to regain a pleasure that I have lost due to that fecking illness that took my girl

Bit dramatic but its true (or how I feel at least).


HumphreyCobbler Tue 08-Sep-09 19:31:24

Tempest Tost by Robertson Davis. Funny and wise, not heavy, very compassionate. Full of beautifully drawn eccentrics.

I know that reading IS very healing. hope you can get some escape from it all

HumphreyCobbler Tue 08-Sep-09 19:32:16

I love Monica Dickens too.

chegirl Tue 08-Sep-09 19:34:55

Thanks Humph that is def on my list now smile

nickytwotimes Tue 08-Sep-09 19:35:11

Humphrey is right, reading is a great therapy once you are able to get the head space for it again.

I am a big Jonathan Coe fan and if you love eccentrics then 'What A Carve Up' might tickle your fancy. 'The Rotters Club' and 'A Closed Circle' are fab too.

I hope you are able to enjoy reading again. smile

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 08-Sep-09 19:35:15

Chegirl, I don't know what to say. So sorry. sad

I know that if you like the classics, like Jane Austen, but want something light, any books by Jude Morgan are just strangely enjoyable. It is like Pride and Prejudice but in a non heavy way.
I think the best one was called Indescretion and had a light blue cover. Was a chance finding in a library and now a bit addicted.

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 19:43:16

I am so, so sorry.

How about some Georgette Heyer (am only just getting into her after lots of recs on here)? She is like Austen crossed with Jilly Cooper, so easy reads but lots of accurate historical detail and quite feisty women.

catinthehat2 Tue 08-Sep-09 19:45:48

Elmore Leonard all the way in this situation. Writing style is highly approachable - the Dickens of Detroit. So many movies are based on these books.Read so many in the middle of the night while breasrfeeding.

very well written CHECK
but not too complex CHECK
nothing too gut/heart wrenching CHECK

catinthehat2 Tue 08-Sep-09 19:46:22

and eccentrics CHECK CHECK CHECK

piscesmoon Tue 08-Sep-09 19:47:44

I love Georgette Heyer for a comfort read. I seem to have 'grown out' of a lot of books over the years and yet the strange thing is I loved Regency romances as a teenager and I still like them today. I don't read them often, but I must have read them all several times and yet still like them!

barbarianoftheuniverse Tue 08-Sep-09 19:50:46

Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. Funny and posh and sort of endearing in an eccentric kind of way.

Mary Wesley wrote quite a few others, although I always liked the C Lawn best. You might look at them.

Early Jilly Cooper makes me smile. And there is one called The Common Years that you can dip in and out of, a sort of diary she wrote when her children were little. Lots of characters, very well written.

Do you like history? Sometimes it is nice to escape backwards. There is a very light and cheerful story based on Anna of Cleves called Amenable Women that I read recently and enjoyed.

Reading is such a gift of freedom. I hope it comes back to you.

SleepingLion Tue 08-Sep-09 19:52:21

Oh, I agree that Georgette Heyer is just what you need. They are my reading equivalent of a comfort blanket. Start off with something like The Grand Sophy or Frederica - it is a gorgeous gorgeous world to lose yourself in. Just enough drama, romance without being Mills and Boon-y and you know that you're guaranteed a happy ending.

Janet Evanovich writes very very light novels set in New Jersey about an inept bounty hunter called Stephanie Plum - they are laugh-out-loud funny. Bonus: the two gorgeous men in her life grin One For the Money is the first one and if you like them, she's just brought out number 15 so they'll keep you busy for a while!

Will have a think of some more. I really hope you get your reading mojo back...

piscesmoon Tue 08-Sep-09 19:59:52

The Grand Sophy is the one to start with-my favourite.

piscesmoon Tue 08-Sep-09 20:01:39

Just agreeing with SleepingLion- Frederica is good too.I like Devil's Cub.

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 08-Sep-09 20:01:49

If you like Georgette Heyer then def try Jude Morgan - just the same regency froth. The heroines are a fiesty lot!

SleepingLion Tue 08-Sep-09 20:02:20

Mine too, piscesmoon!

MrsPigeon Tue 08-Sep-09 20:14:03

Chegirl, I am so sorry about your little girl.

I reckon you would like Elizabeth Jane Howard - try The Beautiful Visit or the Cazalet tetralogy (the first one is called The Light Years). I got into EJH recently and sounds like just what you are looking for - engaging stories and rich characters with a good sprinkling of eccentrics but not demanding.

or how about Barbara Pym - Jane and Prudence is the easiest to get hold of. Her books are wonderful.

would also second anything by Nancy Mitford. If you like Mary Wesley then maybe some Joanna Trollopes like The Choir?

Hope you find something good xx

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 20:17:26

Ooh have just thought of something else that i think would be perfect for you, Che: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.

chegirl Tue 08-Sep-09 20:17:45

Thank you all so much. I am making a note of all of these smile They sound brilliant and I am really pleased you have taken the time to help me.

littlerach Tue 08-Sep-09 20:20:45

What about Anne Tyler?
Plus she has written loads.

I'd second teh Mitfords, they are brilliant.

nickytwotimes Tue 08-Sep-09 20:21:30

Oh, yes, yes, yes to the wonderful Anne Tyler.

claudialyman Tue 08-Sep-09 21:15:52

When I cant concentrate to read I start re-reading old faves, even classics from childhood. You dont get discouraged at not following the story if youre re-reading but will get more out of any decent book on a re-read.

If you like character-driven but well-written books give joanna trollope a go > will definately feature in charity shops and surprisingly well-written for a light read.

And for bio thats not misery-lit Joan Didions "The Year of Magical thinking" and Sheila Hancocks second book "Just Me", both on living with loss.

And def Anne Tyler

stickylittlefingers Tue 08-Sep-09 21:28:10

Try Rosy Thornton? - light but intelligent.

When mine were very little I read Harry Potters and all the Narnia books, and all the E Nesbits (lovely dp got me a beautiful edition of each of the latter!) Blissful!

I also really like Arnold Bennett - rather neglected, but really good and extremely readable. I read the Grand Babylon Hotel through the night between feeds!

I do hope you get your reading back - it is so important to sanity... without running and reading I'd be even more of a nutcase

BrigitBigKnickers Tue 08-Sep-09 21:32:48

"Notes from an exhibition" Patrick Gale- easy to read but beautifully written.

chegirl Tue 08-Sep-09 21:43:57

Thank you all so much. I am off to amazon and will be looking out in charity shops too. Feel quite excited smile

Thanks again.

(I love the Mitfords too, though horrified at them at the same time).

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