The Prose Practice – Is There Another ‘One Day’ Out There?

The other day I had a direct book recommendation question which I thought you could all help me with. I do find it very odd when people I weren’t aware had read my blog and then ask me in the flesh for a recommendation of something to read next. I tend to go a bit flustered and then my mind goes blank.

This happened the other day when one of my aunties friends had read ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls then gone to look up some reviews of it and had happened across mine (which is the most popular post on Savidge Reads ever so far – random). It seemed we were on a complete wave length with the book and so she wondered if I could recommend any other books like it that she would love just as much.

Initially I thought ‘ooh that’s easy’ but actually it’s really not. I do think ‘One Day’ is a book rather unlike many I have read. Some people have labelled it chick-lit by a man, which I think under sells it to be honest and I would rather call it an accessible page turning modern classic. So my initial list included such titles as ‘Small Island’ by Andrea Levy and ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ by Rebecca Skloot however they only have the fact they are wonderfully written books that kept me reading spellbound into the early hours like ‘One Day’ did. They aren’t another ‘One Day’ really, but then again is there one? Or do I recommend something that’s really a modern love story, which is of course rather serendipitous being the day today is.

So I am now thinking that I should come up with three lists and of course I will need your help with this. We all love recommending books to someone who is keen to read lots after all don’t we? I am aware that some of you haven’t read ‘One Day’ (if you haven’t then you simply must) but you can join in two as I have three sort of books I am looking for, which are;

  • Can you recommend accessible well written page turners be they fiction or non, ones that kept you glued to your book until the small hours, made you miss stops on public transport, late for work and the whole outside world disappear?
  • Are there any other books that are like ‘One Day’? Would any of the other David Nicholls books have the same effect on a reader?
  • What are the best modern love stories?

So let’s show some love and lovely recommendations on this loving day for a new book lover. I know you will come up with some great reads and as ever I am as interested in your responses as my aunties friend will be when I pass them on. Much love to you all for joining in!


Filed under The Prose Practise

21 responses to “The Prose Practice – Is There Another ‘One Day’ Out There?

  1. love virtually maybe ,it is about a couple as they maybe start a affair ,all the best stu

  2. I have found it really hard to find another novel like One Day, I loved every minute of it and unlike many ‘romance novels’ for a lack of a better term (I’m not even sure I could class it solely as a romance) it felt so honest and real.

    1. I’m not sure I can call them accessible page turners, but these are some of the books that I couldn’t put down, literally: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, The House at Riverton by Kate Morton and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

    2. I cannot think of any books like ‘One Day’, unfortunately I am rather unhelpful here.

    3. I tend to avoid modern love stories because I never really believe what I assume (rightly or wrongly) will be soppy mush. I want a drawn out realistic heartbreaking romance, and I’ve not found one as perfect as One Day for that yet. Again I am useless, but I look forward to the list you compile!

  3. Page turners, page turners…
    First of all “One Day” 😉 But seriously. “The Help” Kathryn Stockett and “Girl in Translation” Jean Kwok. From the non fiction shelf I just love Tuscany books by Frances Mayes. With one of her books I’ve missed a metro stop for the first time in my life. 🙂 “Wild Swans” by Jung Chang you do not want to put away either.

    • I have always been rather daunted by the size of Wild Swans and so not read it, daft I know.

      I suggested The Help as I too really loved that. Not heard of Girl in Translation, I shall look that up.

  4. Matt Cresswell

    I would highly recommend The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan. It falls into the modern love story category, and is spread across a whole relationship in different snapshots. Its not similar in style or even scope as One Day, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind as similar. It’s a superb book, full of recognition moments when you realise, ‘yes, that’s EXACTLY how it is.’

  5. Darla LaRoche

    The Lover’s Dictionary is not exactly like One Day but it is an unusual love story that I think you will enjoy.

  6. I haven’t actually read One Day so I can’t recommend anything (or dissuade readers), but I do want to comment on and politely disagree with the dismissal of “chick lit by a man”. You say this undersells the book, but the fact is that many books with similar premises or topics by women have been dismissed as mere chick-lit. Many readers have been able to move past this label (mostly because they’ve had little choice in the matter if the book is quality) and understand that there’s good and bad books in every allegedly “bad” genre. Thrillers, mysteries, romances, sci-fi, etc. are all genres that are often dismissed as lower-class, but have gems in them (even if not all are to each reader’s personal tastes). “Chick lit by a man” seems to me the most apt description of One Day (again – I haven’t read it) that I’ve encountered. If we look at the state of literature today, there’s no real reason it should undersell the book. If this is in fact the case, our situation doesn’t seem to be very good…

    • No one should disuade anyone from reading One Day, seriously its that good.

      I didnt actually say it undersells the book calling it chick lit, what I mean is that will put a lot of people off, and I dont include myself in that because I have read it. I have nothing against chick lit or any genre fiction out there that isnt literary, I dont like the snobbery. I’m just saying its been labelled that and that might put off some people and I really hope it doesnt.

  7. I know this is somewhat after the event in terms of your original post, but I just read One Day, loved it, googled ‘what book is like One Day?’ and arrived here! I don’t have direct answers to your questions, but One Day did remind me of: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – both fab reads in a contemporary setting, which kept me turning the pages. In terms of love stories, how about A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth? OK, it’s nothing, I mean nothing, like One Day, but it’s another one I didn’t want to end, and yes it is about love.

  8. Ok, so I just read your thoughts on The Slap, and I’m guessing you won’t be agreeing with that one …

    • I think the big difference between The Slap, Freedom and One Day is the lightness of tone in One Day. The Slap is just so sordid, it’s almost unbearable to read, and Franzen’s books can also make you really uncomfortable. Even though sometimes Dexter made me cringe, I never felt that disconnect of “OMG I want nothing to do with these people’ like I felt with Freedom, and especially with The Slap.

  9. After dismissing ‘One Day’ as ‘popular’ fiction and therefore assuming it would be poorly written I was pleasntly suprised by how funny and engaging it was, and how well-written – expecially the dialogue. The funny thing was, when i was writing submission letters to agents and publishers for my new novel, I was trying to find a book to compare it to – and after I read ‘One Day’ i finally had a book to compare it to. So, if you loved ‘One Day’ I think there’s a reasonable chance you may like my novel Whisky Charlie Foxtrot which will be released November 1st by Fremantle Press. While it is not primarily a romance, it is similar in tone and in its depiction of contemporary relationships (with friends and family, as well as lovers).

  10. Daijza M.

    I can think of 2 wonderful books that are similar to One Day! 🙂 American Star by Jackie Collins and Dear Rosie by Cecelia Ahern ( author of P.S. i love you- the movie) . Another great book that will jerk tears is Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

  11. S.

    Late, late comment, but: The marriage plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

  12. An even later comment, but When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman, it is exactly as addicting as One Day, read it and you will not be disappointed…

  13. Pingback: The Prose Practice Returns; Help Aunty Alice… | Savidge Reads

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