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Unputdownable Books -recommendations please!


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Initial post: 13 Mar 2012 12:37:31 GMT
I am travelling long-haul soon and saw an article that said reading an engrossing, page-turning book is the most effective way to pass the time. Can anyone suggest books that are hard to tear yourself away from? Much appreciated!

PS. I don't usually read much genre fiction (but I will) and I don't have a Kindle so print books only :)

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 13:07:34 GMT
Hi Silvershakespeare. Some books I have read and loved that I personally found hard to put down (from a mixture of genres since I don't know what interests you the most):

The Poisonwood Bible- Barbara Kingsolver (politics, culture, family dynamics, civil war, a mix of everything)
Rebecca- Daphne Du Maurier (a modern classic)
Dead Simple (and its follow ons)- Peter James (British crime/thrillers)
The Handmaids Tale- Margaret Atwood (sci-fi, dystopian society novel)
The Passage- Justin Cronin (vampire/horror but don't let that put you off- bit of a heavy book though to cart around but it will keep you busy!)
Mistress of Rome- Kate Quinn (historical)
Year of Wonders- Geraldine Brooks (historical)
The Tea Rose- Jennifer Donnelly (historical)
I am Legend- Richard Matheson (Sci-fi)
Flowers for Algernon- Daniel Keyes (Sci-fi)
The Paris Wife- Paula McLain (a fictionalised account of the relationship between Hemingway and his first wife- technically a romance I suppose...)
The Island- Victoria Hislop (culture, history, set on a Leper colony in Crete- a very good read as are her others!)
The Hunger Games trilogy- Suzanne Collins (young adult books but very entertaining and with another dystopian society premise- the first film is being released soon)
The Corfu Trilogy- Gerald Durrell (memoirs of his time on the island as a child and his love of nature and animals as well as stories of his family. Very funny)

Hope this helps- I could probably think of lots more if you have interest in trying a specific type of book. Have a good trip! :)

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 14:59:52 GMT
Ron S says:
The Collectors book one in the series from Sewell is worth a look.

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 15:08:32 GMT
If you enjoy crime fiction I would suggest anything by Mary Higgins Clark especially her early books such as Stillwatch or A Cry in the Night. If you want something to last your whole journey you could try The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It's hard to categorise but is a truly brilliant book.

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 15:30:50 GMT
V. Croucher says:
the early phil rickmans- man in the moss/ chalice/candlenight/december/crybbe - these are sort of supernatural but not the sort that gives you nightmares. Likewise Barbara Erskine - most are gripping including the short stories of which i'm not usually a fan- i found the one about matthew hopkins really unputdownable- is that a word? the crystal cave /the hollow hills ( and another one !) trilogy about merlin. The shetland series by Ann Cleeves - crime books . The Kashmir shawl , which I've just finished , fiction and held my attenion.PS if you're doing long haul audiobooks on my ipod kept me sane - there are really only so many hours you can read for when the air is a bit dry and your body isn't sure what time it is.

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 16:43:52 GMT
Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Some I have already read (Rebecca, Pillars of the Earth) but some of these are right up my street and it will be fun looking them all up. I had been wondering about The Hunger Games too so the fact I've had that recommended is a good sign!

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 16:51:13 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Mar 2012 17:20:37 GMT]

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 20:01:36 GMT
monica says:
The Alchemist by Coelho should suit you down to the ground. I know that I found it a life-changing, self-building, cosmos-affirming fable. Failing that, and if you don't trust the universe to bring you the book that would be best for the journey, could you be a bit more specific--what do you reckon you'll be in the mood for? Something that touches on the place you'll be travelling to, or that deals with particular subject or situation, something worthy and good or trashy but good ---?

Posted on 13 Mar 2012 22:04:49 GMT
Ha ha thanks for the input but you obviously haven't seen my review of The Alchemist! Just not my thing I'm afraid! However it is a good idea to maybe try and find something relevant to the trip. I usually try 'worthy' or classic but I'm not averse to 'trashy' if it passes the time...

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 06:49:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Mar 2012 06:50:18 GMT
Hi Silvershakespeare
I have read two great historical novels lately:

The Way Of Wyrd: Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer which is set in the 5th or 6th century Britain. It involves a German monk who travels to Britain to convert the pagans, but ends up being converted to their spiritual outlook instead.
The other was Fiji: A Novel which, you guessed it, is set in Fiji in the South Pacific in 1848 - it's an historical adventure romance.

Both excellent reads for different reasons.

Apart from that, I can't think of any others off the top of my head.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 06:59:57 GMT
monica says:
No, I did see your review of the Coelho and very good it was. I've never read him, but I'd not known how thoroughly sappy his stuff is till I read the review. Sounds like the sort of thing that people who use phrases like 'life-affirming' would gobble up . . .

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 08:33:03 GMT
I Readalot says:
Yep Monica, that it pretty much Coelho's target audience. Apparently one of the main reasons he was admitted into the 'Brazilian Academy' was because he popularised the Brazilian language across the globe, which makes little sense as most people read it in translation. Roberto Bolano (irrascible, outspoken) commented on it in an article that has been reprinted in the book 'Between Parenthesis' where he effectively tears Coelho apart in a few words, quite funny really.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 08:52:34 GMT
MikeM says:
I've just finished reading Dear Miss Landau,by a new author James Christie.An autistic man who goes on his own road trip alone across the USA to meet up with his favourite actress Juliete Landau.It is a true page turner.

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 09:14:40 GMT
Oh my gosh Monica I didn't realise that was sarcasm! Usually I have a good radar for this stuff but that was so dry it passed me by - feel rather silly now! Very funny though, I am such a dope :) . By the way if it helps, it is America I will be going to. Last time I was there I read 'Gone With the Wind' and being in the balmy south really did ramp up the atmosphere,as well as the history. I was planning on taking Stephen King's new one (complete with American nostalgia), but it's not out soon enough. Knowing me I will do all this research and end up with a Poirot or something!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 12:10:37 GMT
Katy says:
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Posted on 14 Mar 2012 13:33:29 GMT
You can't go wrong with The Help, it will keep you enthralled. Well recommended, just read the reviews for yourself.

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 13:56:33 GMT
L & H says:
Have you read Adrian Mole? it's such an funny, easy read that it should whittle the time away.
I agree with The Help also, it's quite a page turner, even if you have already watched the film.

Older books I found gripping were Sarah Waters Fingersmith and Tipping The Velvet, Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra, Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon and you can't go wrong with a bit of Bridget Jones.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 15:23:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Mar 2012 15:38:25 GMT
I wish I had figured that out before I subjected myself to 4 of his books. In my defence I was so starved of things to read on my year abroad that I read The Alchemist, and Veronika Decides To Die, the latter of which is the only one I have actually liked. For reasons now unknown even to myself, I also read The Devil and Miss Prym and one about the River Piedra and they were pants. That was in the days before I gave up on books as readily as I do now.

As for good, unputdownable books, I agree with The Hunger Games, and The Passage. If you fancy a laugh, try some Jasper Fforde. My favourite is Shades of Grey. I also had a lost weekend reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I actually could not put it down for a second and nearly finished it in 2 days. And also secodn Fingersmith or Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters.

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 15:34:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Mar 2012 15:35:34 GMT
Study Trilogy 3 Books Collection Set Maria V Snyder (Study Trilogy) (Yelensa Zaltana Novel) (MIRA) (Poison Study, Fire Study, Magic Study)
The Iron King (Iron Fey)
Born at Midnight (A Shadow Falls Novel)

There are print versions of these as well. Remember, you can always use your computer to read Kindle books.

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 16:13:33 GMT
cult reads says:
I've been reading 'the last werewolf' by Glen Duncan. Absolutely superb, yet at times a rather draining exploration of Mr Martins classical education.
The barrytown trilogy - Roddy Doyle.
Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh
Taxi - Shaun Othen
Blood Meridian - Cormac Macarthy
American Psycho - Brett Easton Ellis
The blade itself - Joe Abercrombie
Kill your friends - John Niven

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 16:59:12 GMT
Eleanora says:
St Agnes' Stand by Thomas Eidson. Lent it to my Dad and he said it was reminiscent of the writings of Louis L'Amour. I hate all that cowboy stuff but I LOVED this book!
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, if you haven't read it already.
Perfume by Patrick Susskind.
Ice Bound by Dr Jerri Nielsen.
Let us know what you chose and happy reading!

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 17:02:47 GMT
ajk77 says:
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (twins, Highgate Cemetery and ghosts)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Very French)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Afghan bestseller)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (WW2 as narrated by Death)
The Road Home by Rose Tremain (UK as comically seen by Polish arrival)
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (ethics of transplants)
Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 17:20:04 GMT
I Readalot says:
I admit to having read 3, including Veronika Decides to Die and that strangely enough it is the only one I liked, maybe because it actually has a proper story to it. Agree with Hunger Games, Shades of Grey and The Passage, as well as being unputdownable The Passage is definitely long enough for a long haul flight.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 18:04:49 GMT
Hi,
My recommendations are A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving; The Crow Road - Iain Banks.

Couldn't put either of these down.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 18:46:48 GMT
Wiscosalsa says:
Hi, I enjoyed The five people you meet in heaven by mitch abom. Not a sentimental story .
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  152
Total posts:  208
Initial post:  13 Mar 2012
Latest post:  26 Mar 2013

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