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Both Anthony Quinn's latest, Our Friends in Berlin, and Cressida Connolly's After the Party were interesting and very enjoyable - and sent me back, with equal pleasure, to their respective backlists. Recently read a proof of Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall which was skilful, fascinating and written in beautifully controlled prose. Just finished The Hungry Grass by Richard Power (re-issued by Apollo in 2016, I think) - wryly elegiac. Now back in time to Elizabeth Bowen's The Last September, of which I don't think I shall ever tire. Hope you soon find something to absorb you!


An excellent collection there, Caroline; thank you!


Coincidentally, I just started Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September, too, supplemented with internet searches for images of Bowen’s Court, which the setting is supposedly based on. I’m also savoring the prose of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Add readalongs for Drácula and Moby Dick and 1-2 pages/day progress through the brilliant Journal of Jules Reynard and all booked up here. Good luck with your next choice!


Another good clutch of books - thanks, Readerlane.


Now I'm wanting to re-read Elizabeth Bowen. Despite the double-stacked shelves and piles of books in every corner, I'm also struggling to find the right book at the moment and have abandoned several recently after 50 pages or so. So I was delighted to find myself completely absorbed in An American Marriage (Tayari Jones) and also The Good Women of China (Xinran). Would also recommend Laura Shapiro's What She Ate for dipping in and out of; I loved the chapter about Eleanor Roosevelt. (It would be a great choice for a book group.)


Thank you, Mary, the pull of Bowen is strong here too. Your lot sound good.


Selina Hastings biography of Rosamond Lehman. I am thoroughly enjoying it.Maybe you have already read it? Have just finished A Spy named Orphan,the biography of Donald McClean and a more delighted to be meeting the same characters again!

Rhys Davies

I think The House in Paris is amazingly good. And I read the biography of Molly Keane written by her daughter recently which was (IMHO) more interesting than the novels......two good reads! I am reading Reservoir13 by Jon McGregor at the moment. I don't think I have ever read a novel written in quite the same style before. Xxx


Yes, I have read that biography, Brenda, and enjoyed it very much. I see A Spy named Orphan has been well reviewed.


I fancy that Molly Keane biography!
I think all I've read by Jon McGregor are short stories but they were very well done.


The more I have to choose from the longer it takes me to pick something up. It's a good job I don't stock much fiction or I'd be forever caught like a rabbit in headlights, constantly re-reading my Georgette Heyer in a state of over-indulged panic.

Dark Puss

Currently reading The Making Of The British Landscape by Nicholas Crane. Do you never choose a book at random to read?

Rebecca Leamon

Am hoping to finish The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, which I am finding challenging on many levels despite the amazing quality of its writing. Also will finish rereading Fillets of Plaice by Gerald Durrell. Have you read Circe by Madeline Miller? I listened to it, and the reader (Perdita Weeks) was; though I found the beginning a tad slow, I loved the book overall.

Jenny in Edinburgh

I’ve just read the first chapter of Circe by Madeline Miller and am hooked. After a long spell with my Kindle, it is a joy to read a beautiful hardback book again.


I read the Molly Keane biography a while ago and found it fascinating but I can't say I warmed to her particularly. I do like her books though as I have a connection to the world that she wrote about albeit more from the Irish side rather than the Anglo Irish one.


Whenever I im in your position, I always turn to Mrs Gaskell or Anthony Trollope. Both can be relied upon to entertain.


Oh, what to read next is always a delight but a worry to get it just right. Some great suggestions from your readers, I'll take note. I would echo After The Party by Cressida Connelly, I'm reading it at the moment, it's very good. Also reading Circe slowly, my knowledge of the Gods, Olympians sketchy to say the least so having to take my time with it. I would also agree it gets easier as it progresses.
I'm listening to Isabel Dalhousie's latest exploits, I can't get on with the Botswana lady but find Isabel fun to listen to. Hope you've managed to settle on something good.
PS Am I the only one who can't get on with Kate Atkinson? But I'm going to read the latest if see if it changes my mind.

Dorothy Goudie

Just finished Tin Man by Sarah Winman; it was amazing (sad, beautiful, sweet and so well written). How about The Long Drop by Denise Mina. A horrendous subject but written about so cleverly.


Just a couple of recent reads. Grace by Paul Lynch about the Irish Famine is searing, compelling stuff (though I do find contemporary Irish fiction tends toward the grim). And then a complete oddity and quite new to me, The Nebuly Coat by John Meade Falkner. I know he wrote Moonfleet, but that is the sum total of my knowledge, and I think this volume dates back to the early 20C. It has a powerfully created atmosphere, well-delineated characters but is extraordinarily hard to categorise. Perhaps one for a day when you feel you've read everything or its close relation already. Elizabeth Goudge's much darker cousin?


I'm reading The Cazalet chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard and I can't believe I've not read them before. I'd been through a bit of a dry reading spell and contemporary novels were not doing it for me so The Cazalets are perfect. I particularly love the second novel Marking Time.


I highly recommend Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce.


I finished Transcription this morning (listened to the audio book read by Fenella Woolgar). At first I thought it was too soon for me to read another story of WWII espionage after William Boyd's Restless but I was drawn in & loved it. I listened to 5 hours of it yesterday, just couldn't stop. Loved all the wheels within wheels, the details of the spying & the BBC in the 50s, really fascinating.

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