What To Read?

I am at Grans for a few days and guess what? I have only gone and forgotten to pack any books, or even bring the devils device with me. I mean what was I thinking? However not all is lost as, apart from the local charity shops which I am not allowing myself into, there are fortunately plenty of books here at Gran’s, the only question is which one do I want to read?


Now then, it is most likely that you cannot see the titles or spines of the books, yet I would like your advice on what to randomly read next. So, what I thought was… Could you recommend me a book that is rather off the beaten track of what I have been reading lately and tell me why you loved it or why it was different and when I get back from the next set of visiting hours I can have a whizz through the shelves and see which one Gran has, if that makes sense? I really fancy something that I might not pick up otherwise, so what would you suggest?


Filed under Random Savidgeness, Uncategorized

27 responses to “What To Read?

  1. You should read ‘A Void’ by Georges Perec. He wrote the entire novel without using the letter e at all! Not once.

  2. Sharkell

    Watership Down by Richard Adams. I read it a couple of years ago and I still keep thinking of it. It’s easy to read, fun and completely engaging.

  3. Melissa N

    I love your Gran’s place! So many lovely books. The one title I can see is HhHH. I have wanted to read this for some time. I know you don’t love WWII books, but this one looks excellent. Does she have any classics? How about a Bronte or Austen novel? Any short story collections? Since I have read The Diving Belles, I have been reading more short stories. William Trevor, Doris Lessing, and Alice Munro are some of my favorites.

  4. Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki. It’s the story which inspired Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha previously, but due to inaccuracies, was released later as an autobiography. Once the most famous Geisha in Japan, it’s an incredible story about how she broke away from tradition.

    • Ricky

      I thought that the book was okay. Seriously it was so boring that I almost put myself into coma. Without the pictures, I would have been into coma.

      • Really? I thought it was fascinating. It’s the eloquent style she wrote in. The intent of the autobiography was to clarify the factual errors in Golden’s novel, relying on nothing else but her descriptive content.

      • Ricky

        I really didnt see the eloquent style. I thought Golden’s novel is very eloquent. Even though that Golden’s novel has a lot of errors, I thought that it has a very moving pace that Iwasaki lacked. I felt that she only wrote the novel to correct Golden’s novel. Golden has the story. Iwasaki got the facts.

  5. Pick a book with a beautiful, worn leather cover, one that feels good in your hands, isn’t too big and which has a classic feel. Perhaps a book of poetry or a classic you haven’t thought to read.

  6. Sweet Fanny Adams

    Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy or my very favourite, L’Assommoir by Emile Zola. Both tales begin with a struggle to rise above poverty and both have similar, yet very different endings.
    Hope you and Gran are enjoying your time with each other x

  7. Jenni

    How about the Roddy Doyle book on the third shelf from the top. I think it is The Barrytown Trilogy.

  8. If you can get hold of it, try The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee. It has an intense sense of place (the Queensland rainforest), with echoes of Picnic at Hanging Rock, and a touch of a fairytale feel.

    For short stories – try Ted Chiang, if you haven’t already. His collection is The Lifecycle of Software Objects.

  9. We don’t know what Gran reads, so this is hard! But, since you are on vacay, I would suggest a mystery. Either a golden age mystery – Christie or Sayers – or Henning Mankell (if she has any by him).

  10. gaskella

    I don’t ever recall you having read a spy story – and I spot a John Le Carre on your Gran’s lovely shelves. How about it? I love ’em.

  11. What a lovely photo. If my grandma had had a place like that I would have moved in straight away. Well, what to read? Does she have anything by Raymond Chandler (perhaps not exactly grandma material)? Or what about the superb biography about Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster? Alexander McCall Smith? “The Lady vanishes” by Ethel Lina White? “To Kill a Mockinbird” by Harper Lee? Lots of fun. Anna

  12. Laura Caldwell

    Read an American classic and then compare/contrast with the English ones that you have read in the past six months. I find them very different-(except for Edith Wharton, who reminds me of English classics). Read a Steinbeck or Jack London or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  13. Some historical fiction by Dorothy Dunnett, perhaps? The Lymond Chronicles (first book The Game of Kings) is my favorite historical fiction series of all time. It’s set in the 1500’s, and this first book takes place in Scotland though subsequent books take you to France,Russia, Malta, and the heart of the Ottoman empire. It’s exciting adventure, political intrigue, romance and it expects the reader to keep up. And finally, the central figure in all the books, Frances Lymond is a spectacular character – sort of 16th century James Bond crossed with Rhett Butler from Gone WIth The Wind. Speaking of which how about Gone With The Wind? Addictive, Wonderful book… Looks like you have plenty of books to choose from!

  14. Do you simply want a great tale? How about two teenage boys during the Siege of Stalingrad who each will get a bullet in the back of the head unless, in that war-ravaged city of destitution, they can find a dozen eggs for a wedding cake because the colonel’s daughter is getting married. Their quest is nothing short of an odyssey with some of the most unforgettable characters and situations you’ll ever encounter in a work of literature. It’s brilliant.

  15. EllenB

    Any Ann Patchett there? If you can, go for one of her earlier novels The Magican’s Assistant.

    Hope Gran is doing well.

  16. Lots of classics there though I can’t read the titles. Does she have Ivanhoe by Walter Scott? I read it last year and was totally surprised by it. Think Robin Hood, knights in shining armour, jousting tournaments, castle seiges and brave court jesters. Loved it.

  17. Col

    Reading this makes me realise two things – firstly I don’t get off the beaten track often enough as most of what I’ve read recently is decidedly ‘beaten track’ – hence I have nada to recommend! Secondly I need to get something done with my eyesight – Annabel is spotting author names on spines in the picture and I can barely make out the shape of a book!!! However years ago I stayed with a friend who lived in an Aladdins Cave of books like your Gran’s. Paralysed from choosing by the richness of the fare on offer I decided to choose at random. I used a dice to pick a word at random from the front page story in the paper then searched for a book with that word in the title – on my fourth or fifth go it worked. My word was ‘speedboat’ and there on his shelves was ‘The Speedboat’ by Renata Adler. So my suggestion is not an off beaten track novel but an off the beaten track, convoluted method of choosing one! (P.S. if you use this method, and if by some quirk of fate it also leads you to ‘The Speedboat’ I’d forget it – I though it was a terrible book!)

  18. Go for a book by someone whose name is barely familiar – perhaps someone who was very fashionable when your Gran was younger but has now fallen out of favour, for whatever reason, or look for a run of books by someone you’ve never read and try one. You might get a brilliant surprise.

  19. Don’t have any recommendations for you…but I love her library 🙂

  20. Alison P

    I’m with Col – HhHH is an excellent read. Highly recommended

  21. I know it’s far too late to be recommending a read to you but I’ve enjoyed everyone else’s recommendations! And I think Gaskella’s right about you not having reviewed a spy story, as far as I remember. Could be worth rectifying…

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