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What book(s) is everyone reading at the minute?



  • For instance he talks pretentiously about "truth" when he means realism. I'll carry on with it, though.
    You can talk about a happening in a realistic way with realism and make it completely convincing, without ever reaching the truth of the situation.

  • You can talk about a happening in a realistic way with realism and make it completely convincing, without ever reaching the truth of the situation.
    Yes! Marriage vows come to mind.

  • Doing more beta reads for people - including a couple of big names! Woo - behind the scenes access to some damn good books!
  • edited March 2017
    ...I'm re-reading PG Wodehouse... and have now started Summer Lightning...
    I keep coming back to Wodehouse too; most enjoyable. Not currently reading any Plum. I have just finished Spectacles, Sue Perkins's autobiography. Her writing stile was apparent from the get-go. Now reading One Summer by Bill Bryson. I love his style and the books are always interesting and informative. Must read some fiction. Summer Lightning is calling to me...
  • I have started 'Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey' by Madeleine Bunting (non-fiction). I recently read 'Good Me Bad Me' by Ali Land and really enjoyed that. Also 'Once in a House on Fire' by Andrea Ashworth - this was recommended in a life writing workshop I attended and was a decent read. I have just opened 'The Writer's Reader' (see the advert at the side of the page) and have been dipping in and out of that.
  • Just finished Mrs Bear's book, Mrs Calcott's Army, and started on TN's Glass Dreams, which I am alternating with a self-help book I spotted in a charity shop - 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'. The title appealed, am reserving judgement on the content!
  • In a little of 24 hours time I will be delving into "The Game of Ghosts", the brand new Charlie Parker adventure by John Connolly. He is on of my favourite authors and I am very much looking forward to seeing him tomorrow on his brief book tour.
  • Just Finished: The Muse by Jesse Burton
    Reading: Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham
    Shadow of night by Deborah Harkness (reread)
  • Started The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (2016). Was a two quid special in Tesco. Shaping up 'just okay'.
  • I'm reading The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright.
    She's a wonderful writer - a bit like an Irish Anne Tyler in subject matter, but I think her writing has the edge on Tyler.
    I've never read any of Anne's work, Claudia, but I've heard her read twice at literary festivals and really enjoyed her style, so I must do so. She read a novel extract when Paul Muldoon brought his 'Muldoon's Picnic' to Northern Ireland from New York for the first time last November and it was hilarious. (In fact, might have been from your book - the protagonist (Constance?) was doing her Christmas food shop?)
    I found this thread again because I've just finished the book Anne Enright signed for me at the Cork Literary Festival.
    The extract you refer to about Constance doing her Christmas food shop, Seaview, is from that book: The Green Road.
    Her writing is so staggeringly good I find myself reading very slowly in order to savour each line. Often I re-read paragraphs in complete awe and wish and wonder if I could ever come even marginally close to writing this well.
    Anyway, at the festival I told her she had no idea what a thrill it was to meet her and that her books had inspired and helped me become a better writer. I tried not to dribble all over her or fall down on my knees before her when I said this... and the woman - bless her - was very gracious at my embarrassingly sycophantic behaviour.
  • I'm sure she was very pleased, Claudia, especially when you said her writing inspired you to become a better writer, what worthier accolade can a fellow writer receive. Bravo, you.
  • Yes, she seemed genuinely pleased when I told her she'd helped to improve my writing.
  • renku reckoner - John Carley.
  • I'm rereading Stephen King's "IT" at the moment ahead of the new film coming out next week.

    I originally read this in the years immediately after its release and, in hindsight on second reading, I can now say that this was the King book that made me a fan of his work. The way he builds layer upon layer of background and character development into such an enjoyable narrative is masterly.

    I would recommend it to all.
  • Clearing bookshelves, I came across a Caroline Graham Inspector Barnaby novel - the Ghost in the Machine - from 2004. It's so slow! Fashions change in books as in all things. I may give up.
  • Rosemary Gemmell's Highland Lass. I meant to take it to Scotland with me, as I visited many of the locations used, but somehow forgot.
  • Just finished The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. Meh.
  • I've read 3 books so far this week- all on my Kindle.

    Just finished An Irresistible Alliance by Stephanie Laurens- an historical romance. Second book in a set of 3.

    Yesterday it was Debbie Young's 'Trick or Murder', and a couple of days before that her 'Best Murder in Show' - cosy crime in village.
  • I've read 3 books so far this week- all on my Kindle.
    Something on a tv programme a day or two ago saying that paperbacks have made a resurgence whilst e-book sales have declined. Oh, that's right I remember - it was on Dragon's Den.
    Anyway, I thought it was interesting because although my Kindle is useful when I'm travelling, I don't really enjoy using it compared to good old paperbacks.

  • Just finished The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. Meh.
    Agreed. Didn't finish it.

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows.

    Sweet, lovely and old-fashioned.
  • edited September 2017
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Author: Hamid, M.
    Title: 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'
  • That was published posthumously, Mary Ann Shaffer's book, wasn't it, TN? Recall reading it some years back. Yes, indeed, very gentle tale.

    Reading a biography about Carole King. Just loved her music in the 60s/70s and wanted to know more about her. Good read..
  • Yes it was, Lydia. Her niece finished it for her.
  • Yes, I recall that. Jolly fun book...
  • I'm reading 'Silkworm' (Robert Galbraith / aka JKR), desperately trying to finish it before Sunday so I can watch both parts of the two part TV series.
  • The Fry Chronicles - Stephen Fry. Readable and revealing
  • Never read any of Stephen Fry's books. Did read one written by Sandi Toksvig, who is sort of the female equivalent to Fry. Felt, considering her gift for oratory that the book would be a little more deeper than it was, but I guess they are not, first and foremost, literary writers. They are comedians who have managed to utilise their skills into prose..
  • edited September 2017
    ... I guess they are not, first and foremost, literary writers. They are comedians who have managed to utilise their skills into prose..
    Umm... Sandi Toksvig studied law and anthropology at Cambridge and Stephen Fry studied English literature at Cambridge, so they're hardly simply 'comedians who have managed to utilise their skills into prose.'

    I'm dipping into an old Eric Newby travel book: Round Ireland in Low Gear. He's a delight to read - one of my travel writing heroes.
  • You're right about Fry and Toksvig, but as has been pointed out to me, you have to have a certain flair for writing, and just having certain qualifications and backgrounds, does not necessarily equip you into being a professional writer.

    Not saying these two aren't. Just feel that, perhaps, they aren't as effective as writers as, say, Kate Mosse is. And who is to know if they have had some assistance in this, if it isn't their primary career? That's fine. But the nature of show business, especially at that level, is to go for success. So, you're right. Admiration to them both in achieving this..
  • I went to a talk by Sandi Toksvig a couple of years ago. She had written a children's book and did a reading from it. It was well-written, it seemed, though I haven't heard much hype about it since (hence have forgotten the title).

    I also have Stephen Fry's 'An Ode Less Travelled' (or something like that!). It's not fiction, no, but it's very readable and eloquently expressed.

    I think that both of them are brilliant speakers, and are equally talented as writers, but preferences for writing style are of course subjective.

    Nearly finished Winter Birds by Jim Grimsley which is a quietly disturbing tale of family disharmony due to the alcoholism of the father.
  • Both of these comedians are indeed, very articulate and eloquent. I really appreciate their humour, which is quite sophisticated and they are, certainly, conversant, and know how to use words. There's absolutely no doubting that. It's probably more of a preference for writing styles, as you point out, TN.
  • edited September 2017
    Taking a humorous approach to the world doesn't mean you're dim, Lydia
  • Not quite what I said. I said my preferences and expectations of writers are, evidently, different to others.

    I think, anyone can judge that both of these comedians are highly intellectual. It's their books that I found lacking in any depth, which might have been calculated, as the more commercial your writing is, the more sales.

    So I'll say again, these two have exceptional talent, but for me, they fall short a little on the imagination when it comes to writing prose...
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows.

    Sweet, lovely and old-fashioned.
    I loved this book.

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows.

    Sweet, lovely and old-fashioned.
    Loved it too, we read it years ago at book group, the next one after was lmnop or Ella Minnow Pea which was also excellent.

    The book that got the highest score though was my choice, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, by Brady Udall.

  • (Reading oranges are not the only fruit)
  • That's a good book, Liz. Jeanette Winterson is a fabulous writer. Just checked out her audiobook, 'Why be happy when you can be normal..'.

    Downloaded it. Love her voice. She's narrating. Being from a working class background, she's a sort of role model for me. In her ambition. Brilliant writer, with complex, interweaving epic tales. Don't always understand her inferences, but still, a bloody good read which stretches the imagination..
  • edited September 2017
    Read a dire book while on holiday. Only one plot thread - will this couple get back together or not? - and I only persevered out of desperation. Nothing else to read. Driftwood Cottage, it was called, Irish Canadian author, totally drippy and predictable.
  • Finished "IT" by Stephen King on Sunday morning - fabulous storytelling (and one of my inspirations regarding the character/background detail he adds to, sometimes, minor characters. The sense of small town America wafts from the pages.)

    And the movie is great too. Go see it. And take a red balloon as my daughter's boyfriend did. You'll get a few startled looks.

    Last night I started "The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene" by E.V. Harte (Daisy Waugh) after she contacted me and asked me to read it.

    Quite different in tones, these two reads!
  • Eschew balloons as their production ravages rainforest and their afterlife kills wildlife by choking.

    Loved IT... i haven't read any S king for yonks. Hand may stop met though as I recall it's pretty hand heavy work...
  • Hand may stop met though as I recall it's pretty hand heavy work...

  • Loved IT... i haven't read any S king for yonks.
    He has written some excellent stuff in past few years.

    The Mr Mercedes trilogy is a rather good thriller. Not his usual horror (ish) stuff.

    Also, Joyland and the follow up to The Shining are good reads too.
  • Publisher:Boydell
    Author: Bailey, M.
    Title: Medieval Suffolk
    Economic and Social History 1200-1500
  • 'Art in Renaissance Venice' by the open university.

    About how much this art was determined by the City's geographical location and ethically diverse population.
  • Ah! Titian's Madonna of the Assumption ( Frari, Venice), is influenced by geographical location because she's floating above a crowd of disciples! They might be the, 'ethically', diverse population? They were, fairly, ethical apart from Judas weren't they?
  • Just checking the details of this painting online. Don't quite understand all the elements involved, but its gripping stuff!

    That's why I downloaded this book. It's revealing stuff and I can't wait to seize upon the information here. Thanks for your input! I'll bear that in mind while I'm reading this.
  • Home by Harlan Coben.
  • 'A Universe from Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss. Some serious mind expansion going on here.
  • The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins. If you live in the south of England then it's probably not the most reassuring book. However, as a tale of horror it is superb.
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