Believe it or not, I do read grown up books!
I am putting together a list of "what to read" this summer.
Two titles already on the list: Denial: A Memoir of Terror by Jessica Stern and Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim.
The following suggestions were made by friends on Twitter:
Beginner's Greek: A Novel by James Collins
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley
Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Capital of the Mind: How Edinburgh Changed the World by James Buchan
Case Histories: A Novel (the Jackson Brodie series) by Kate Atkinson
Any other suggestions? For grown up books, in no particular order (and no, they don't have to be new) my preferences for summer reading are: history; mystery; family saga.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
I always thought Nellie Olsen was the best character on Little House. I'll have to check it out.
And I LOVE Kate Atkinson's work. The Jackson Brodie series is fab.
Have you read Martha Grimes' Richard Jury books? That's my favorite mystery series.
Try The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. It's kind of all three things that you like, and while I guess it is nominally literary fiction, it's quickly engrossing and easy to read. It's about the fortunes of an affluent Czech couple before, during, and after WWII.
I read all the Cazalet books by Elizabeth Howard, and just loved them.
I have a few suggestions:
The Thomas Lynley Mysteries by Elizabeth George-set in England, wonderful reads, but I would read them in order.
Deborah Crombie writes a mystery series with a very engaging couple whose relationship develops a bit more in each book, she reminds me a bit of Elizabeth George.
If you like historical novels, Elizabeth Chadwick's The Greatest Knight, Scarlet Lion, and A Place Beyond Courage are all incredible. I just discovered her this year, and have been reading everything I can by her. Talk about setting the scene, I was transported!
A book I read recently that I couldn't put down was Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier.
I just read Tish Cohen's recent adult contemporary fiction The Truth About Delilah Blue it would fall into your family saga category. It was a pretty good read.
Mysteries: Louise Penny's Armande Gamache series, Elizabeth George's Lynley/Havers series and Carol O'Connell's Mallory series (even better if you can find the OOP "Judas Child").
Adult Fiction: anything by Iain Bank (NOT his SFF persona, Iain M. Banks) or Julian Barnes. "A Dance to the Music of Time" by Powell
Family Saga/SFF: Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy (avoid the third book, stick with the first two)
Can't help with the family sagas, but...
Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes
The Invention of Clouds by Richard Hamblyn
(okay, so these are more like science history in England during the Romantic era)
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (set in 1950s South Africa)
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill (start of a seris set in 1970s Laos)
anything by Laura Lippman (read the Tess books in order, beginning with Baltimore Blues, even though my favorite is In Big Trouble. For the standalones, I think I'd go with To the Power of Three first.)
And like Lazygal, I am a HUGE Carol O'Connell fan. Judas Child is back in print now and as it's one of my favorite books, I second this recommendation.
In addition to the books I suggested last week, my favorite family saga are the Williamsburg novels by Elswyth Thane. Book 1 is Dawn's Early Light.
For mysteries, I would recommend In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming. Although I was startled once when, while studying for the bar exam, I stayed up all night finishing one of her books and sending an impassioned fan email, she simply put me on her mailing list rather than responding. But perhaps better for her just to concentrate on writing...
Love, love, love the Cazalet Chronicles. Love, love, love The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
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