Can you recommend a book to read?

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » September 30th, 2018, 4:51 pm

We bought this book from The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight recently and it’s one of the best cook books I’ve bought in years (and like many of you I have a lot of them!)
https://www.garlicfeast.com/# This website only seems to show Australian stockists but it’s obviously selling in the U.K. but may take some hunting down!

It’s a big fat hard back book with stunning photography and some really great recipes...including lots which are actually new and interesting rather than the same old things. It’s not cheap - I think we paid £45 - but if anyone is in need of a book to put on their Christmas list then I really recommend this one.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » September 30th, 2018, 5:30 pm

Sounds good omco

Book Club has just read The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell. I had it mentally filed as one of the 70s and 80s Raj obsession that included Mollie Kaye’s The Far Pavilions and Paul Scott’s The Jewel in The Crown. Those are very different books, and Farrell is different again, taking advantage of a century of hindsight and cultural exchange. One or two of the group found some of the siege scenes a bit gory but I didn’t.
I did listen to the audio book rather than reading text, and the otherwise good narrator annoyed me by consistently pronouncing the word cantonment as can-TOON-ment. The word must be on nearly every page of the book :(

Still working my way through Chris Brookmyre, Black Widow was good. I’ve got the book he wrote with his wife using the pen name Ambrose Parry
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Herbidacious » September 30th, 2018, 6:26 pm

My mother is still reading the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society almost a month on. I left Don't Tell Alfred with her, which I had taken with me to read, having enjoyed The Pursuit of Love so much on my holiday.

I was trying to read Birdsong, as I went to an author talk for Sebastian Faulks' new book, Paris Echo, the other week. I have stalled on it. I need something to read that I would really enjoy I think... on the one hand... on the other, I should use my brain a bit more (or what's left of it.) The last book I really enjoyed (with some reservations) was Claire North's Touch.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Zosherooney » October 1st, 2018, 6:02 am

I started White Teeth on holiday but like you Herb, have stalled and it is now back on the bookshelf.....

Mr. Z. is ploughing through Pickwick Papers....
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Herbidacious » October 1st, 2018, 7:03 am

I started reading Love in A Cold Climate last night.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby scullion » October 1st, 2018, 9:22 am

try terry pratchet's 'dodger'.
i find a lot of sebastian faulks's writing a bit vapid - like you're looking at the characters through a net curtain (i have the same feeling with thomas hardy and ian mcewan - like they've drawn the women in then rubbed them out again and only the ghost of them is left on the paper).
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby cyprusmoira » October 1st, 2018, 9:30 am

Thank you for reminding me of Nancy Mitford, I have just bought a Kindle and need to load some light hearted books

Edited to add that I have just checked the price of N Mitford's books on Kindle. I am not paying that :rolleyes:
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » October 1st, 2018, 10:23 am

@scullion I totally agree with you, Faulks too much prose and not enough emotional engagement, McEwan too much intellectual distancing. I find McEwan the more readable of the three.

@moira one of the problems with Kindle and other eReaders is that older books aren’t necessarily cheaper because, apart from greed, they were actually type set using metal type, so not easily converted to digital, and the end result isn’t always wonderful. However, you don’t need to buy from the Amazon Kindle Store, try Free Book of the Day
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Herbidacious » October 1st, 2018, 2:52 pm

Is Dodger one of Pratchett's children's books, Scullion?
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby scullion » October 1st, 2018, 4:20 pm

Yes, but i’d say it works for adults, too.
The characters are in technicolour!
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » October 4th, 2018, 8:46 am

I dont mind Faulks but I do have to be in the right frame of mind/mood for his writing.

Has anyone read Vox, the new Handmaid's Tale (apparently)? It's set in the US where under new government rules, all women and female children are limited to 100 words a day. They wear a bracelet which gives them an electric shock if they exceed their daily limit.

I enjoyed it but feel it's not quite in the same league as the Handmaid's Tale.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » November 1st, 2018, 8:56 am

I've just finished A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute. I'd not read anything writted by him before. I hated some of the casual racism in it but I did enjoy the story itself.

Next up i've got the second Elena Ferrante book. I read the first one a year or two ago and have been meaning to pick up with the rest of the series ever since.

Very late to the party but i've also got The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt to read soon too.

I've also got Nigel Slater The Christmas Chronicles in my pile! I bought it late last year and so didn't get to read it properly in the build up (he starts from Nov 1st) so i'm looking forward to dipping in and out of the writing and recipes properly this time.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Herbidacious » November 1st, 2018, 9:36 pm

I have started reading The Orchard on Fire by Shena Mackay. I bought a copy for my mother at the same time. She finished it in two days and intends to read more by her, so that was a result!

I also have a signed copy of Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another’s Misfortune on my beside tablet to dip into. Written by the same author as the marvellous The Book of Human Emotions - Tiffany Watt Smith.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby KC2 » November 2nd, 2018, 11:33 am

Just finished Margaret Atwood Cat's Eye for our book group - would thoroughly recommend.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » November 2nd, 2018, 6:06 pm

OneMoreCheekyOne wrote:I dont mind Faulks but I do have to be in the right frame of mind/mood for his writing.

Has anyone read Vox, the new Handmaid's Tale (apparently)? It's set in the US where under new government rules, all women and female children are limited to 100 words a day. They wear a bracelet which gives them an electric shock if they exceed their daily limit.

I enjoyed it but feel it's not quite in the same league as the Handmaid's Tale.


I read Vox, thought it was an OK read but didn't think it lived up to the hype. Tried to read A Discovery of Witches but found it quite dull
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby aero280 » November 2nd, 2018, 8:40 pm

For some time I've been reading the books by Susanna Gregory. She has two series.

Matthew Bartholomew, a medic at Cambridge University in the 1350's who investigates murders.

Thomas Chaloner, set in Restoration London, during the Dutch wars. A former parliamentarian spy who now lives a precarious life as a spy for the new government.

The books are weighty tomes, but the action moves along quite well. A couple would do for a fortnight's holiday.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby scullion » November 3rd, 2018, 10:35 am

i will look out for those the next time i frequent the charity shops, thanks aero.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » November 8th, 2018, 11:06 am

Book Club just read The Mighty Franks by Michael Franks, an enjoyable memoir of a somewhat crazy Los Angeles family set mainly in the seventies

I am halfway through our next book, Transcriotion by Kate Atkinson; in this case read beautifully by Fenella Woolgar. So far loving it, lots of gentle humour although about quite serious times, our heroine is orphaned at 17 then works for MI5 during the war and then the BBC, and then her past catches up with her.... Never having liked being read to this is the first time I’ve really got immersed in an audio book like I used to in a book.

OMCO, I haven’t read any Neville Shute in years, I think the odd combination of gentle machismo and outright soppiness appealed to a teenager. “Trustee from the Toolroom” is the real weepy if I remember rightly
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Sloe-Gin » November 9th, 2018, 10:26 am

Not caught up with this for a while, but I really enjoyed Kate Grenville's 'Secret River', then I picked up a copy of 'The Lieutenant' in a charity shop. It's spell binding.

My caravan neighbour lent me the Clifton chronicles, by Jeffeffery Harchur! I rate him as a reasonable story teller, but a terrible writer, if that makes sense. I gave up after book 4, but they are just the thing for a rainy day in a caravan!
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby scullion » November 9th, 2018, 11:25 am

i agree, i was once given a book of his short stories (i wouldn't pay for a j.a book - especially one that contained a stolen story). the yarns were good but the writing was that of a fourth former at best.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » November 21st, 2018, 11:07 am

I've quite enjoyed The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. It's set amid the Trojan war and tells the story of an enslaved woman and her relationships with her captors (Achillies, Agamemnon etc) and the other women. I found it very readable and I raced through it.

When her city falls to the Greeks, led to victory by the god-like warrior Achilles, Briseis's old life is shattered. Abducted and shipped to the Greek camp on the battleground at Troy, she goes from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to Achilles as a prize of honour. She's not alone. On the same day, and on many others in the course of a long, bitter war, innumerable women have been wrested from their homes and flung to the fighters.

As told in The Iliad, the Trojan War was a quarrel between men - over Helen, stolen from her home and spirited to Troy, a voiceless female icon of male desire. But what of the women in this story, silenced by their fates? What words did they speak when alone with each other, in the laundry, at the loom, when laying out the dead?

In this magnificent novel of the Trojan War, Pat Barker summons the voices of Briseis and her fellow women to tell this mythic story anew, foregrounding their experiences against the backdrop of savage battle between men. One of the great contemporary writers on war and its collateral damage, Pat Barker here reimagines the most famous of all wars in literature, charting one woman's journey through the chaos of the Greek encampment, as she struggles to free herself and to become the author of her own story.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » November 21st, 2018, 11:46 am

Well everyone at Book Club loved Transcription by Kate Atkinson

We usually find that if we all like a book there’s not much to say, but we had a really good discussion about this one. Juliet is one of those characters who stick with you

5 stars from me
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Rainbow » November 21st, 2018, 10:35 pm

Thanks Sue, I've added that to my list of books to read. Never read a book by Kate Atkinson - which others of hers would you recommend, if you've read any others, that is?
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » November 21st, 2018, 10:47 pm

I’m sure I read other Atkinson books but can’t remember

I picked Transcription as she was on TV talking about it and I thought it sounded good
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » November 22nd, 2018, 10:36 am

Rainbow wrote:Thanks Sue, I've added that to my list of books to read. Never read a book by Kate Atkinson - which others of hers would you recommend, if you've read any others, that is?


'Life after life' and the follow up 'A god in ruins' are both good reads. I've also read a couple of the Jackson Brodie books of hers which I enjoyed.
Sue, I ordered Transcription from the library a little while ago and am waiting (im)patiently for my turn. It's a village library and I think I was 39th in line to check it out, out of their 4 copies!

I'm currently racing through the second Elena Ferrante book. I've noticed they've turned the books into a tv series so i'll try to catch up on that soon.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby KC2 » November 22nd, 2018, 11:41 am

OneMoreCheekyOne wrote:
Rainbow wrote:Thanks Sue, I've added that to my list of books to read. Never read a book by Kate Atkinson - which others of hers would you recommend, if you've read any others, that is?


'Life after life' and the follow up 'A god in ruins' are both good reads. I've also read a couple of the Jackson Brodie books of hers which I enjoyed.
Sue, I ordered Transcription from the library a little while ago and am waiting (im)patiently for my turn. It's a village library and I think I was 39th in line to check it out, out of their 4 copies!

I'm currently racing through the second Elena Ferrante book. I've noticed they've turned the books into a tv series so i'll try to catch up on that soon.


Yes, we read Life after Life in our book group and we all enjoyed it.

The Elena Ferrante quartet is terrific. Unfortunately the TV series they've made, and that started this week, is only on Sky (and something called Now TV I think) so we'll have to wait until it's more generally available before being able to watch it.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » November 22nd, 2018, 1:14 pm

Was it just me gave up on Elena Ferrante?
My book club read My Beautiful Friend, and by the end of chapter six I was convinced she was not only going to tell me the full name, including middle name, of every child in the primary school class but to recount every petty scrap they had and every Band Aid applied as a result - the overload of unnecessary detail bored me to tears. So I skipped to near the end, by which time the narrator had grown into a smug, self satisfied, young person that I wanted to throw something at.

So I gave up.

Admittedly the rest of Book Club liked it better, but nobody was sufficiently enthusiastic as to explain the cult status :D

I’d forgotten Jackson Brodie, I think I’ve read all four books
They were also made into the TV series Case Histories, which I think I’d have enjoyed more if I hadn’t recently read the books
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Bubbles » November 22nd, 2018, 4:24 pm

Ooh I had also forgotten about the Jackson Brodie novels; can't remember how many I've read though. First KA book I read was Behind The Scenes At The Museum'. I found it very emotional but really loved it! I may try and catch up with some later ones.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » November 28th, 2018, 10:26 am

KC2 wrote:The Elena Ferrante quartet is terrific. Unfortunately the TV series they've made, and that started this week, is only on Sky (and something called Now TV I think) so we'll have to wait until it's more generally available before being able to watch it.


I watched the first instalment the other night and I think it's a fantastic adaption of the book. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Hopefully it will be more widely available at some point!

I'm currently reading the Corset by Laura Purcell...it's set in the Victorian era and it centres around a young seamstress who is on trial for murder and who claims that the murders she commits are as a result of the emotions she feels through her needle and thread as she's creating clothes. I'm about half way through and enjoying it so far.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Bubbles » November 28th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Kate Atkinson was the Castaway on Desert Island Dics on Sunday. I enjoyed it, and may listen again on Friday as OH was yattering through most of it!
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Rainbow » November 28th, 2018, 11:48 pm

OneMoreCheekyOne wrote:
Rainbow wrote:Thanks Sue, I've added that to my list of books to read. Never read a book by Kate Atkinson - which others of hers would you recommend, if you've read any others, that is?


'Life after life' and the follow up 'A god in ruins' are both good reads. I've also read a couple of the Jackson Brodie books of hers which I enjoyed.
Sue, I ordered Transcription from the library a little while ago and am waiting (im)patiently for my turn. It's a village library and I think I was 39th in line to check it out, out of their 4 copies!

I'm currently racing through the second Elena Ferrante book. I've noticed they've turned the books into a tv series so i'll try to catch up on that soon.

Thanks for those Kate Atkinson recommendations - I'll try and get hold of one from the library for when I've finished the lengthy book I'm reading at present.
'The Good People' by Hannah Kent. I really enjoyed her first book, 'Burial Rites' but have only just started the second one.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby Busybee » November 29th, 2018, 8:04 am

I’ve just finished The Good People by Hannah Kent, unbearably sad in places, but a good read.

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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » November 29th, 2018, 10:57 am

I'll check out The Good People as I enjoyed Burial Rights :tu:
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby TeresaFoodie » December 2nd, 2018, 11:37 pm

I am just about a quarter through 'Lily And The Octopus' by Steven Rowley. That's good going for me in two nights.

https://www.stevenrowley.com/lily-and-the-octopus/

It is severely pulling at so many of my heart strings where relationships with animals are concerned. A really fast paced tale with quirkiness in every sentence. So far so good. I'll post again on the subject when I have been able to flipping well put it down. :kneel:
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby smithap » December 3rd, 2018, 6:41 am

Herbidacious wrote:My mother is still reading the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society almost a month on. I left Don't Tell Alfred with her, which I had taken with me to read, having enjoyed The Pursuit of Love so much on my holiday.

I was trying to read Birdsong, as I went to an author talk for Sebastian Faulks' new book, Paris Echo, the other week. I have stalled on it. I need something to read that I would really enjoy I think... on the one hand... on the other, I should use my brain a bit more (or what's left of it.) The last book I really enjoyed (with some reservations) was Claire North's Touch.


I believe they are making the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society into a movie to be shown on Netflix. If it's not that one, it's also something related to Guernsey but I am pretty sure it's that one since they say it's also based on a book. I haven't read the book yet but the trailer looks so promising!
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby smithap » December 3rd, 2018, 6:42 am

I am currently reading this book called When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe about a fictional story set in the World War 2 in the Pacific. It's a good story so far and I love the different perspectives. It has magic realism in the story and reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's books.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby suffolk » December 3rd, 2018, 9:48 am

That sounds interesting Smithap ... I’ll keep an eye open for it ... I’m a Marquez fan :D Thanks.
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Re: Can you recommend a book to read?

Postby StokeySue » December 3rd, 2018, 10:06 am

smithap wrote:I believe they are making the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society into a movie to be shown on Netflix. If it's not that one, it's also something related to Guernsey but I am pretty sure it's that one since they say it's also based on a book. I haven't read the book yet but the trailer looks so promising!


Hello Smithap :wave:

The film has already had a cinema release over the summer and the DVD is now out in time for Christmas
https://movie.visitguernsey.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAxZPgBRCmARIsAOrTHSY8PVVYD4qZNpLi2dLJ6xSEcIU3MX_mY60v4OyJ0yY0qH8J0mzKoGgaAuRpEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

I’m currently reading The Way of All Flesh by “Ambrose Parry” who is the pen name of thriller writer Chris Brookmyre writing with his wife, an anaesthetist. It’s about a young doctor using his medical knowledge to solve a series of murders in Victorian Edinburgh. So far, very good. I was drawn to it as it’s a clever pen name, as well as being Brookmyre; the real Ambroise Paré is considered to be the father of modern surgery and forensic medicine. He lived in the 1500s (I had to check the dates but the name was instantly familiar)
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