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contemporary authors

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Kirstie, 9 Apr 2008.

  1. Just reading that thread on 'what are you reading'... I'm ashamed to say that I don't read books for pleasure very often and haven't heard of many of the authors listed. But when I go to friend's houses they all seem to have loads of contemporary novels on their bookshelves, and they're able to have conversations about them too. I have no idea what any of them are so this leaves me feeling a bit left out!

    I have read the odd fiction book here and there. The last one I read was 'a short history of tractors in ukrainian', which was great (read last summer on holiday) and other books i've read are by sebastian faulks (birdsong and charlotte grey) and Atonement (which i read about 4 years ago), which was also good.

    I'm looking for a decent holiday book this year, but also feel that I should read for pleasure more often, so, what are your recommendations? I'm just interested in contemporary authors at the moment cos I think I should learn about them. I know a lot of the 'classics'. I don't mind whether its sci fi or historical either...
    Ta
     
  2. Hilldodger

    Hilldodger Über Member

    Location:
    sunny Leicester
    Birdsong, I really enjoyed that.

    But, if I was going to recommend one book, welltwo actually, I'd say Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and then the follow up World Without End.

    They are both huge books but everyone I know who has read them has rated them as some of the best fiction books ever.

    Read the reviews here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pillars-Earth-Ken-Follett/dp/0330312731
     
  3. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Depends really on what you want - I like Will Self (there's something about his use of language) but his books can be a difficult read (until "How the Dead Live", they lack emotion, I think). "Great Apes" and "How the Dead Live" are both worth a look though - If you like those, go back further in his back catalogue.

    I've not read much Jeanette Winterson, but did enjoy "Lighthouse Keeping" (you can read an extract here.

    I enjoyed Annie Proulx's "Shipping News" and Carol Shields' "Larry's Party" recently too...

    Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" is a good book.

    This site might help with some ideas (the British Council's authors database) for contemporary British authors Booklists. The lists are themed, which might help narrow down your choices :biggrin:

    Look out for offers like the ones The Times does now and then (buy the paper, and get the book of the week for 99p) - I did this last year, and it has the plus of introducing you to things you wouldn't normally buy. Reading the book sections of the papers (online) can be a good bet for introductions to new authors too.
     
  4. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    Kirstie,

    if you want intelligent crime stories with credible three dimensional characters, I would suggest the Wallender books by Henning Mankell. Not sure of the titles in English but one very good one should be called Midsummer Night Murder or something. Ditto the crime stories by PD James.

    Personally I think murder stories are the ideal holiday reading as they are diverting rather than deliberately heavy.

    Oh and BTW I got a Plastikman CD (Street One). It's OK so you're let off the Dean Martin torture.
     
  5. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Very, very good.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    Thanks everyone - keep em coming.
    AndyinSig. Thank the lord. Mine ears are saved! Hope you enjoyed the CD - try DE9Transitions by Richie Hawtin too!
     
  7. I keep going on about Lee Child and Harlen Coben...and their respective heroes Jack Reacher and Myron Bolitar - perfect passing clouds reading matter.
    Also, try 'The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant' by Pablo Tusset. Made me snigger once or twice but quite an 'interesting' book actually.
    :biggrin:
     
  8. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    Birds Without Wings by Louis De Berniers should keep you going all holiday. I very much enjoyed it - similar in style to Captain Correlli but on a much bigger scale.
     
  9. feckless

    feckless Über Member

    Location:
    Not all that close
    Griefwork by James Hamilton Paterson if you want odd, or Cooking with Fernet Branca by the same fellow if you want light and idiotically funny. There are even some slightly unsettling recipes if you're feeling adventurous.

    f
     
  10. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Whoah, there! You obviously haven't read this!

    Terrific books, the "Factory" series. This one moves me deeply.
     
  11. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Yes, I really enjoyed it too. Not profound, maybe... but well written, cleverly constructed and very entertaining. An excellent holiday book.
     
  12. surfgurl

    surfgurl New Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    The best holiday book I read was by Mo Hayder - "The Treatment". It's a crime thriller scary type book. We were camping in north west Scotland for a week and I savoured this book. I treated myself to a few pages at a time as I was enjoying it so much I didn't want it to end. I did make the fatal mistake of reading it late at night in the poorly lit campsite toilet block. Mr Surf had to come and walk me back to the tent.

    I enjoyed some of the earlier Nick Hornby books, particularly Fever Pitch. Other crime books I enjoy are by Peter Robinson, there is a whole series, and they regularly appear at boot sales and in charity shops.
     
  13. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    No I haven't and it looks interesting. Thanks for the tip. I may get round to it once I get through my current pile of not-yet-read stuff.
     
  14. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Oops, pointed you to the wrong one, Andy. I meant this one. Though they are all good.
     
  15. for crime novels i'd go for Ridley Pearson, or the classics by Chandler.

    Thomas H Cook does great crime/thriller books too. Similar to Snow Falling On Cedars style (something happened in the past and it comes to the surface many years later). he also has a great name for holiday reading.

    i usually take a Ray Bradbury short story collection if i go away as it's easier to dip into, but that's as my holidays usually revolve around seeing bands playing and i'll be on trains/buses to the next city at some point.