Recommended Reading

So yesterday I read this, and honestly some of the recommendations made me cross. Some of this might be cultural but really…

So quotes from the original article in italics…

I am feeling very low on energy these days. I want to read about some real love with a happy ending that gives me hope of a happier world and future.

Try An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole! It’s lovely and smart and tender, and like all true romance, it has a happy ending.

An Extraordinary Union is a good pick, I also note that it’s the only rec in the article written by a black person and about black people. So romances by black people or people of colour.

How about Girl Gone Viral – Alisha Rai, The Boyfriend Project – Farah Rochon or The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang.

So far in lockdown I have read most of the novels of James Herriot and would be grateful for a recommendation of something similar. I’m looking for a book(s) set in a rural or natural setting, with nice people, fairly low stakes, lots of laughs, and evocative writing.

Oh man, James Herriot novels are such a good idea for what to read right now. Nothing but a vet roaming the English countryside and having some animal-centric hijinks. What could be better? Well, a couple of things come close, which is why we’re all here.

The best books I know of for that kind of pastoral low-stakes playfulness would be the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. They have a reputation for being very frilly, but they’re mostly just about people running around small towns in Canada getting into small scrapes and then looking at the beautiful natural landscapes all around them and pushing through. I would also recommend Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, which is a little more satirical in its humor than Herriot is, but is also extremely funny and ends up being very kind to most of its characters.

I’ve read Anne of Green Gables and it’s lovely but no even if you’re trying to introduce people to new things, this is not a good pick. Try Gerald Durrell. Other recommendations? Lark Rise to Candleford, try Jack Sheffield’s Teacher, Teacher, Miss Read might even be your thing but not Anne of Green Gables.

Can you recommend books as madcap, inventive, and hilarious as Eoin Colfer’s Plugged and Screwed? I’ve tried Google and Goodreads to no avail. Help!!

Ooh, this is a tricky one. My normal go-to author for this sort of request would be Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair is a start-to-finish delight), but when I suggested Fforde, you wrote back that you already read and liked him. In that case, I have to assumeyou have probably already read both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, the two best other sources for this particular kind of quirky British genre humor, and at this point I start to come up dry.

You’ve suggested Jasper Fforde but he’s read them, how about Nick Harkaway – The Gone-Away World, Tiger Man and so on. Why no love for him?

Finally for the things that I’ve been reading during lockdown, not everything but all of these were bought and read while I was in lockdown.

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

Say Yes to the Duke – Eloisa James

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Girl Gone Viral – Alisha Rai

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor – Adam Kay

I’ve also re-read a good chunk of my Georgette Heyer collection, The Thief of Eddis books by Meghan Whalen Turner, lots of Chalet School books and the What Katy Did books because sometimes you just need to be told!!

About nicdempsey

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