Author Topic: so... read any good books lately?  (Read 1451 times)

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cicero

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so... read any good books lately?
« on: June 07, 2014, 08:04:45 AM »
I need some good book recommendations. I like:
Books that have good character development.
Historical novels as long as they don't get too involved.
Mysteries only if they are fast paced and not gory.

Not interested in romantic novels though if there is romance in it that's fine.
Not interested in weird, gory or fantasy ( tried to read pratchett at least three times and cannot get into it).

I like maeve binchey, Barbara kingsolver, Amy tan. Grisham is my guilty pleasure airplane book.

I've just reread for the umpteenth time all of binchy's books and I'm ready for a new challenge. Any suggestions?


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123sandy

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123sandy

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 08:20:05 AM »
Also, I'm a big fan of M C Beaton's "Agatha Raisin" and "death of a..." Series.

Snooks

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 08:36:32 AM »
Gentleman and Players by Joanne Harris who wrote Chocolat. Any of her books after Chocolat are worth reading but that's the best by far (Blue Eyed Boy is a bit meh but not dreadful), her early books are a bit less sophisticated.

Tulip Fever by Deborah Monagh is interesting, set in Amsterdam in the 1600s when tulip bulbs were like currency.

Psychopoesie

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 09:34:59 AM »
Lately, I've been enjoying reading a mystery series by Alan Bradley. First one is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

The books are set in a small village in  1940/1950s England. The protagonist and narrator, Flavia de Luce, is a precocious 11ish year old who lives in a big crumbling country house with her eccentric family. I'm guessing the village is going to end up with more murders than Midsomer.

The books are quirky and a lot of fun - well worth the suspension of disbelief. I've been galloping through them so I consider them fast-paced.

However, my tastes may be quite different to yours: not sure what mysteries you enjoy. I like a few of Amy Tan's books, a few Grisham, but not into Binchy at all. And I really enjoy fantasy titles, with Pratchett being one of my favourites.

A few friends recommended Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. I read the first one, Still Life, but didn't really take to it. I may be odd one out on those - everyone else seems to rave about them.

Other mystery writers I enjoy are: Donna Leon (Brunetti) , Andrea Camilleri (Inspector Montalbano), P.D. James (Adam Dalgleish) - although these may seem slow, and Anne Perry (historical mysteries). There are heaps of others but those are the ones that sprang to mind.





TootsNYC

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 09:43:50 AM »
I read this recently--it should be out any day now:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18668016-brazen


Quote
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

cicero

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 10:07:01 AM »
<cicero has left the building and is busy looking up book suggestions at Amazon and other sites>

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whiterose

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2014, 10:21:38 AM »
How about the Joona Linna books by Lars Kepler? So far, 3 of them are available in English.
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POF

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2014, 10:47:00 AM »
I love binchy and Grisham as well.  I just read all of Faye Kellerman's mysteries.  I found it very interesting because one of the main characters is Jewish and I believe Orthodox ( forgive my lack of knowledge - but very strict in keeping kosher and sabbath and modesty.  They can be a bit gory at times, but I have a low tolerance for gore - and it isn't on every page or gratuitous.


I also like Marian Keyes - and think you might as well -  along the same lines as binchy - but a bit darker.  Some romance - but very good stories.  Start with Watermelon - which deals with one of the sisters in this family and then the rest of the books focus on one of the others.  I laugh out loud at some of the descriptions - etc/

Dawse

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2014, 12:32:36 PM »
Lately, I've been enjoying reading a mystery series by Alan Bradley. First one is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

snip

I really like those too! For having never been an eleven year old girl, Bradley writes one very well.

If you enjoy historical fiction and crime drama, may I recommend the Shardlake series by CJ Sansom? They are set during Henry VIII's time, about a lawyer (Matthew Shardlake) who ends up solving all sorts of mysteries. The first one is Dissolution. I've not read them for a while but they're very good, very engrossing.
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Nikko-chan

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2014, 02:17:29 PM »
I just read How To Wash a Cat by Rebecca M Hale, which was kinda cute.

Thipu1

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2014, 04:48:33 PM »
Cicero, do you read non-fiction?

Lately, I've been on an Erik Larson kick. I'Ve finished '"Devil in the White City' for the third time and I'm working on 'Thunderstruck' for the second time.  I've also found a book he wrote in 1992.  It's 'The Naked Consumer. how Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities'.  It may seem a little  old but it's still relevant and interesting reading. 

Believe me, 'Devil in the White City' is a wonderful read.     

readingchick

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 05:38:46 PM »
I like the Kelly Flynn knitting mystery series by Maggie Sefton and the Lucie Montgomery mystery series by Ellen Crosby. No gore whatsoever!

Oh, and I second the recommendation of Erik Larson; I've read Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts; both are amazing books. I also like Matthew Pearl's books; they're what I call "intellectual thrillers". Elizabeth Kostova is good, as is The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo, and The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 07:57:40 PM by readingchick »

kaybee

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2014, 05:46:08 PM »
the nineteenth wife

chestnut street--by maeve binchy
mr churchill's secretary
zookeepers wife


and am looking up all the other suggestions too.


if you have a kindle you can take books out for free at american libraries if you have the library id number

bonyk

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Re: so... read any good books lately?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2014, 08:18:38 PM »
I second Marian Keyes.  I rarely laugh out loud while reading, but she has me in stitches.