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Everything posted by JudyM

  1. I really enjoy novels by Chinese writers or novels set in China. I strongly recommend the following and would be grateful for other ideas. Red Mandarin Dress by Qiu Xiaolong The Binding Chair by Kathryn Harrison The Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Wang Anyi The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston Also a wonderful collection of short stories:- The Good Women of China by Xinran
  2. What has been the stand-out book you have read so far?
  3. I have just added Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout to my must read list. It's about a small community in Maine and has a really curious structure. It's not so much a novel but a series of short stories with some characters appearing in some of the stories. it is about nothing much really, but about everything. Love, betrayal, tricky parent and children relationships, loss and the realisation of impending mortality. Can anyone recommend any of her other novels?
  4. Hello Janet, I think any of Kate Atkinson's novels are so witty and well written that it would be fine to read 'Started early, took the dog' as a stand alone novel, but I would encourage you to read all of her novels.
  5. For Bookmonkey, I have also just thought of two novels by Mary Lawson which have similar themes to Maeve Binchy,- love, sacrifice and coming to terms with guilt. Both are beautifully written. Crow Lake The other side of the bridge.
  6. I agree with much of what has been said. I think introducing modern ideas would make me question the veracity of other aspects of a historical novel, such as is the research accurate?
  7. i really like Maggie O'Farrell. Can anyone recommend another author like her? Really good characters and a strong emotional content?
  8. It was a bright cold day inApril, and the clocks were striking thirteen. 1984 by George Orwell
  9. Thank you both for these ideas. Which would be a good first novel to try for Paul Auster? And for George Gissing?
  10. I nearly gave up on it several times but I am very glad I didn't. Admittedly Holden Caulfield starts off being really irritating but he grows on you in a weird kind of way. I nearly left Psycho before the ending. Glad I didn't.
  11. I forgot to ask. Any more just discovered lists out there?
  12. I want to deepen my range of reading, so now when I find an author who really resonates with me, I am going to try and track down all they have written. So far I have discovered and I am really enjoying Helen Dunmore. I thought The Betrayal gave a a real insight into life in 1950's Leningrad, and the claustrophobia and terror of living under State Security. The Greatcoat is a much lighter read but still a page turner. Currently reading The Lie which is the saddest and most poignant novel I have read about the after effects of WW1 on an essentially decent man.
  13. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (also a really good critique of the novel called The House of Mirth -a novel of admonition by Linda-Wagner Martin). Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
  14. What other novels by Nabokov would you all recommend? I admit I gave up on Lolita. I found it very mannered and had little sympathy with the characters. Always a big turn off for me.
  15. You must stick with Wuthering Heights. The atmosphere becomes more Gothic as the novel progresses, and in the context of its time it was a really revolutionary read.
  16. Just finished 'Any Place I hang my hat' by Susan Isaacs which has the clever idea of weaving together two linked stories of people searching for their birth parents. Manages to be really touching but funny as well.
  17. Well done for taking on such a daunting task. Which countries do you still need to cover?
  18. Hello Onion Budgie, I have read both of these and found them absolutely chilling. The build up of tension in 'In Cold Blood' is almost unbearable, especially as you know that the family have no chance of escape. I will definitely re-read. Thank you.
  19. Hello Frankie I am interested in all three. I find the fact that they are based on factual events makes the exposition even more gripping. I will order Crippen, but might not read it last thing at night... Thank you.
  20. Hello Addicted This sounds really interesting. I had heard of the Vale of Health in Hampstead, as being the only area of London which managed to keep out the plague. The novel about the Peak District sounds good. Was it one of the villages which actually had the plague but shut itself off from the rest of the world so as not to infect anywhere else? Many thanks for the suggestion.
  21. Mansfield Park. Although the heroine is a little too goody-two shoes for my taste, there are darker aspects to this novel which make you question exactly how the fortunes were made by the owners of all those stately houses. Pride and Prejudice The funniest and most cynical. Northanger Abbey Just shows where a young girl's unbridled imagination and penchant for Gothic novels can lead...
  22. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but actually I liked her astringent style.
  23. Just finished and really enjoyed Midnight in Peking by Paul French. It's a murder mystery set in the expatriate community in Beijing in 1937. Can anyone recommend other novels based on true stories?
  24. I exist! I am conceived to the chimes of midnight on the clock on the mantelpiece in the room across the hall. Behind the scenes at the museum by Kate Atkinson
  25. For Ukraine, would A short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka count? it is really funny and like all the best comedic books, very true to life too.
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