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    I have a few books to suggest. I tend not to read anything written in the last twenty years, so most of the books are perhaps a little older than you want; still I think they're eminently worth reading.

    1. 'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole, one of the best comic novels of the twentieth century. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

    2. 'Bonjour Tristesse' by Françoise Sagan, the story of a young girl who rejects traditional notions of love, marriage, and sex; funny and daring.

    3. 'Mrs Dalloway' by Virginia Woolf, a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway; perhaps Woolf's greatest novel.

    4. 'Zeno's Conscience' by Italo Svevo, the story of a man's attempt to give up smoking and make sense of his life. A neglected masterpiece.

    5. 'V' by Thomas Pynchon, his first novel: absurd, comic, absorbing, tangential, and slightly maddening. Anything by Pynchon is worth reading, although 'Gravity's Rainbow' is perhaps a little heavy for holiday reading.

    6. 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel García Márquez, for which he won (in large part) the Nobel Prize. I'm surprised no one has mentioned this already. Sublime, dreamlike, comic, profound.

    7. 'The Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison. The story of a black man searching for his identity in white society, smoking, drinking, listening to jazz. Powerful, angry, and perfectly written. "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me".

    8. 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveller' by Italo Calvino. Perhaps his masterpiece, ingenious and witty.
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    Nearly forgot, the ideal book, and one of my favorites:

    'The Master and Margarita' by Mikhail Bulgakov. I'll quote the blurb from the back of my copy: 'One of the great imaginative novels of the century, a fierce political satire, filled with the most dazzling surreal humour'. The translation by Michael Glenny is good.
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    thank you everyone for your reccomendations. I printed out all your suggestions and took them with me to waterstones. unfortunately due ot being a student saving for her hols i stuck to the 3 for 2 offer so your suggestions were restricted. I got the time travellers wife, cloud atlas and the jane austen book club (which seems to have got that slightly more trashy edge to it... but hey i need 1 beside the pool!) Thank you all for your wonderful advice, i hope to read all you've suggested. please keep going with the thread, everyone should have advice about what to read!
    kels xxx
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    cool! let us know what you think. xx
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    (Original post by Amazing_grace)
    Have you read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown? You can't go wrong - even if it's not mind-blowingly well written, you won't be able to put it down as it is really compelling. Be warned though - you might read it in a day!
    Really? I honestly thought it was a waste of a read. And the writing really made me cringe.

    Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin is a brilliant summer read. It’s beautifully written - almost quite epic. Or you could go for J.M Coetzee's Disgrace - I was really surprised by how good it was given how much I disliked his fragmented Foe.
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    Oh another good summer read is The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. It's very atmospheric and evokes summer and the heat very well. Plot-wise I much preferred The Secret History (her debut novel) but for the summer I'd go with The Little Friend.
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    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    Or you could go for J.M Coetzee's Disgrace - I was really surprised by how good it was given how much I disliked his fragmented Foe.
    I think "Disgrace" should come with a warning for holiday reading, hehe! I am interested in the way he writes - it feels calculated and distanced, which adds to the shock and disgust when you read "Disgrace". That said, it makes it powerful, too. I found it interesting in terms of how futile a reader can be made to feel, but that feeling did linger for months afterwards.

    A must-read for me this summer will be "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (Louis de Bernieres). It may be a bit of a cliched choice, but whenever I pick it up, I know I'm going to sink into it and read for hours. It's romantic and poignant. I took it on holiday one year and felt like I was in Cefalonia and Germany.

    Poetry always is wonderful to take on holidays, because you can randomly pick one up and think about it. I read some Keats last year, which was wonderful, especially when I was sitting in the garden .
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    (Original post by Amazing_grace)
    Have you read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown? You can't go wrong - even if it's not mind-blowingly well written, you won't be able to put it down as it is really compelling. Be warned though - you might read it in a day!
    angels and demons is better !!!!
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    hemingway - death in the afternoon - greatest book
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    (Original post by kelamia)
    Hi, I'm going on holiday next week and figured I'd get advice from the people who i know really appreciate literature!
    Can anyone reccomend any really mind blowing books that i could read whilst away? I'd prefer something modern and not too heavy but still better than holiday pool side trashy novels. Something that anyones read recently and its just blown them away?
    your ideas would be fab thanks!

    Well if u want a gwd read i really suggest dan brown's Angels and Demons. Its much better than teh Da Vinci Code!!! and Purfume by Patrick Suskind (i think thas how u spell his name!!) is erally good too, pretty disturbing tho!, ohohoh annnd theres a book called "are you experienced" by William Sutcliffe thats perfect for u if ur a student goin on a gap year!, hope my humble selection has been of help!!
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    (Original post by ManOfTheWorld)
    Well if u want a gwd read i really suggest dan brown's Angels and Demons. Its much better than teh Da Vinci Code!!!!!
    thank you ! :rolleyes:
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    It is sooooooooooooo not better than the da vinic code. And they're pracitcally the same book anyway. xx
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    Hey mousey
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    Can I add 'The Crying of Lot 49' to the Pynchon list
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    Has anyone mentioned 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time' by Mark Haddon, I really enjoyed that book. Also anything by Bret Easton Ellis - don't just watch the movies!
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    I've read The Curious Incident. I love the little details in that book, and i think the author portrayed how it feels to be autistic particularly well. Steph are you studying English at Nottingham? xx
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    oh god. the time traveller's wife will destroy you! :bawling:
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    I've literally just started reading 'The Time Traveller's Wife'!

    Next stop: 'Cloud Atlas'
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    By the way has anyone read 'Mrs. Kimble'?

    It was a 99p read but surprisingly good.
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    It’s not exactly high brow literature but who cares: Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary – the Edge of Reason is very amusing, much better than the film. It rocks.

    Fiona87 We should start a J.M. Coetzee appreciation soc. Hehe. He reminds me a little of Jean Rhys - I think it's the excellent lucidity of his writing.
 
 
 
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