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    Hi all, I know this sounds very vague just to be asking for book requests but really any suggestions would be more than appreciated. I'm coming up 18, female and have loved to read for a long time. I guess I'm looking for something kind of "coming of age" ish ( or a timeless classic) without the clichés I find tend to plague teen fiction. I just have the feeling at the moment of being a bit overwhelmed by life, and I haven't been able to find solace in a good book as I have in the past- I'll outline a bit about myself and how you can help. I study sciences at school, but am intrigued by philosophy and politics. Since moving schools a year ago I've found myself a bit lonely, I've also suffered a bit with mental health problems in the past (not that this defines me, but it just is a part of who I am). My experience of life" in the stereotypical experimental teenager sense (alcohol, sex, living on the edge, being impulsive) is pretty much non-existent, mainly because I'm very self conscious. I'm quite reflective and like to read books that challenge me in some way. The books I've read in the past couple of months that I think I've enjoyed most have been The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the last book I read was The Rachel Papers by Micheal Amis. I'm interested in reading something that explores sexuality without being sleazy, if that makes sense. I'm leaving home
    in September and feel like this is a kind of turning point in my life, that I need to approach armed with some literary wisdom, or at least just having read something that makes me smile and reassures me in some way. Please- any suggestions?
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    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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    50 Shades of Gray
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    (Original post by Anfanny)
    50 Shades of Gray
    Really...(rolls eyes)
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    Didn't read the full post but one of my fav books is A Thousand Splendid Suns.
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    (Original post by Nadine_08)
    Didn't read the full post but one of my fav books is A Thousand Splendid Suns.
    Oops, sorry, definitely wrote to much, sorry for such a long post. Thank you 😊
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    (Original post by RKD123)
    Oops, sorry, definitely wrote to much, sorry for such a long post. Thank you 😊
    Nope, I'm just lazy lol. You're welcome
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    Nana or L'assommoir by Emile Zola. (english translation obvs unless u want a challenge)

    briefly two of my favourite books in his series, commenting on life in lower Class france in the post napoleonic era. intertwines funny and interesting storylines with some sadness and despair.
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    (Original post by homeland.lsw)
    Nana or L'assommoir by Emile Zola. (english translation obvs unless u want a challenge)

    briefly two of my favourite books in his series, commenting on life in lower Class france in the post napoleonic era. intertwines funny and interesting storylines with some sadness and despair.
    That sounds interesting (but of a Francophile aswell). Don't know much about Zola - would you say he was comparable with say Dickens in the themes he explores?
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    Possibly, going by your description, "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami. It's a long-time favorite of mine. (I'm also a science guy, I see some kindred.) It's a bildungsroman, it explores sexuality, love, and mental illness, and touches on the student unrest in Japan in the 1960's. It is a sad book. I haven't cried in years and I don't know what it will take to make me do so now, but that book came close at one point. But if you enjoyed The Book Thief I think you'll find it fine. It ranks up there for me. Murakami's other books can be a lot too sexual, it makes them less enjoyable for me, but Norwegian Wood itself is fine. I'll come back to you if I think of another.
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    (Original post by RKD123)
    That sounds interesting (but of a Francophile aswell). Don't know much about Zola - would you say he was comparable with say Dickens in the themes he explores?
    similar...perhaps. i feel dickens can be quite dry with his books, zola is freer, if that makes sense. he explores the true poor Parisians life. Prostitution, drunkenness, debt, greed, death but at the same time it's pleasant to read. the characters are so, friendly, and by the end you feel connected to them.

    generally i do prefer classic french/ russian literature to british. whenever i think of a bronte book, i always think of rainy moors, but say idk a tolstoy novel conjures up regal state balls and the creme de la creme of society. (obviously comparing two very different time periods, settings and themes but still xD)
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    Léo Tolstoy: War And Peace make sure to read the epilogues and Anna Karenina is included In the book.
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    (Original post by cherryblossoming)
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    A friend mentioned this one a few months ago and I'd forgotten about it- it did sound good. Thanks 😊
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    (Original post by dragonzrmetal)
    Possibly, going by your description, "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami. It's a long-time favorite of mine. (I'm also a science guy, I see some kindred.) It's a bildungsroman, it explores sexuality, love, and mental illness, and touches on the student unrest in Japan in the 1960's. It is a sad book. I haven't cried in years and I don't know what it will take to make me do so now, but that book came close at one point. But if you enjoyed The Book Thief I think you'll find it fine. It ranks up there for me. Murakami's other books can be a lot too sexual, it makes them less enjoyable for me, but Norwegian Wood itself is fine. I'll come back to you if I think of another.
    I agree, read Norwegian wood last summer. Very powerful, thought-provoking novel, but I know what you mean about Murakami; I've read some of his other novels and been quite disappointed really.
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    (Original post by RKD123)
    I agree, read Norwegian wood last summer. Very powerful, thought-provoking novel, but I know what you mean about Murakami; I've read some of his other novels and been quite disappointed really.
    Mm, it's due a re-read, I love how thick it is with symbolism, and the kinda open ending. The ending paints the beginning in a new light. Is he just a sad, old, man now? And I can't pretend not to be touched by the love story. I've lent my copy to a friend whom is reading it at the moment, and she feels completely differently about it, that his desires are simply carnal. I'm really not sure I agree, but that said, it's been a good year and a half since I read it.

    My other favourites of his are The Clockwork Bird Chronicles and South of the Border, West of the Sun. I haven't found any book of his yet that stands up to Norwegian Wood. Funny since he hates it so much, but lots of his books could have done if it weren't for all the weird incest and god-knows-what. I don't understand why Kafka on the Shore is so hyped, I found it exceedingly average, hated the main character, and thought Murakami's trademark surrealism was simply incoherent. Nakata and Hoshino's stories were the saving grace, I'd quite happily read a prequel regarding them. Actually, I've got IQ84 waiting to be read - have you read it, and if so, what do you think of it?
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    The mistborn trilogy
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    From what you've said, I think McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter ticks every single box - you might relate strongly to Mick Kelly. Skipping past those that you may have read already (Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, Huckleberry Finn, etc.), I'll also add Fante's Wait Until Spring, Bandini which does not nearly get the attention it deserves, as well as Bukowski's Ham on Rye for something grittier but not yet "sleazy" (his other work arguably is, but that's part of its brilliance in my opinion). For something with a stronger philosophical/political bent, they tend to lose any coming-of-age themes but you might try Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Camus' The Stranger, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (more accessible than his other work if you are just starting out), anything by David Foster Wallace (he deals with loneliness and mental health extensively, though I wouldn't start with Infinite Jest unless you're a particularly brave soul), and of course Orwell and Huxley.
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    Kama sutra
 
 
 
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