Sunday, 26 July 2009

Help!


At the risk of seeming self-indulgent, I would like some help, please. I have to have a hip replacement this Friday (31st); such an elderly-sounding operation, and I'm a terrible patient (nurses always are). But with time on my hands (and a nice big Amazon token to spend), I shall have time for lots of reading. What does anyone recommend (MNW writers are taken for granted, of course)? I'd like gripping, easy reads. Nothing too demanding, but absorbing, emotional - in fact anything that has really grabbed anyone recently. I'd be really grateful for ideas.

I'm so sorry that this means I shan't be at the launch of Len's new book, but shall be thinking of him (and anyone else who is planning to go) and I shall toast the new novel in anything I can get hold of.

I would have posted this on my own blog, but have no idea how many people pass by it, and time isn't on my side. So I do hope you'll forgive my taking up MNW blog-space.

17 comments:

Len Tyler said...

Sorry I won't see you on Thursday, but best wishes for Friday. I hope it all goes well.

Books to take with you (MNW apart)? I've just finished reading C J Sansom's Dissolution - a mystery set against the dissolution of the monasteries. Couldn't put it down.

Tim Stretton said...

Best of luck for Friday, Frances. Sorry I won't see you at Len's launch.

I'd second Len's recommendation too. All the Sansom books are great but you need to read them order - so Dissolution is the one to start with.

I'd have recommended The Time Traveler's Wife but I seem to remember you hated it!

I know Alis is on holiday so I can claim the credit for tipping Geraldine Brooks' "Year of Wonders", a moving and beautifully-realised portrayal of a 17th-century village isolated when plague strikes.

Aliya Whiteley said...

Good luck, Frances. If I was going into hospital, I'd take Patrick McGrath's Asylum because every time I read it, all noises, thoughts and distractions are blotted out. Such an involving book. And romantic. And murderous. Cool. Come to think of it, I'd take The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles as well. For the same reasons.

I really must read Year of Wonders. It sounds great.

Tim Stretton said...

Alis is a great tipster, Aliya. Everything she recommends is good.

Frances Garrood said...

Thanks so much for those, guys. I have read 'The Year of Wonders' (I loved it - yes, do read it, Aliya). I've read one of Sansom's, but not Dissolution, so I'll take that plus Aliya's recommendations. Any more ideas welcome. I'm assuming the pain won't be so excruciating as to prevent my wanting to read...

Matt Curran said...

Hi Frances

My fellow MNWers are more well-read than I, so I bow to their knowledge on such matters (though you can't go wrong with a John Wyndham book!)

Good luck with the operation - I hope it's as pain-free as possible and the recover is equally painless and swift.

Matt
x

Doug Worgul said...

Frances,

Best wishes for a smooth procedure and swift recovery.

I highly recommend Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. I'm currently re-reading --- and recommend --- the timeless American classic Huckleberry Finn. It's been maybe 35 years since I first read it. Astounding work. The first American novel to confront racism. Also a wonderful adventure and coming-of-age story. Hemingway said it was the first great American novel, and by his judgment nothing as good had been written since.

drw

Doug Worgul said...

(Actually, there were other American novels preceding Huckleberry Finn which confronted slavery and racism. But none as widely popular, or of such quality.)

Brian McGilloway said...

Good luck with the operation, Frances, and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Ann Weisgarber said...

Frances, I'll be sending positive vibes on Friday. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

I loved Ellen Feldman's Scottsboro, a novel based on the famous Scottsboro trial in 1933. It's told from the point of view of a woman journalist. I couldn't put it down. I also very much like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It takes place in Nazi Germany and although that might sound like a downer, the book is a page turner.

Keep us posted on your progress!

Maggie Dana said...

Good luck, Frances. I just read and enjoyed a quirky and well-written novel called BORDEAUX. If you're not afraid of laughing (and ripping stitches) there's always Bill Bryson, enough to keep up anyone's spirits.

If the hospital has Wi-fi, maybe you'll be able to keep us posted.

All the best, Maggie

Frances Garrood said...

My first Amazon parcel arrived today (Asylum, Dissolution and The Book Thief), and I shall begin with Dissolution. That should keep me going for a while. I'm ordering more today. Many thanks for all the suggestions and good wishes.

Len Tyler said...

Good luck, Frances - will be thinking of you tomorrow.

suroopa said...

Sorry could not suggest a book. Saw the blog too late. But prayers are with you today for a speedy recovery. Hours of lovely reading for you and many more spent in writing! Read "Dead Earnest" - enchanting!

Frances Garrood said...

Well, I'm back ,with spanking new ceramic hip (Spode? Wedgewood?) and a HUGE bruise. The book suggestions were great but I was so exhausted that I hardly had the energy to read at all. But I did read Anita Shreve's latest (Testimony) which switches viewpoints so often it made me dizzy, and am now much enjoying Asylum (thank you, Aliya) where the viewpoints are even more extraordinary and would fascinate David (see his POV series on his blog), but the brilliant writer gets away with it. I'm now off to have my first glass of wine for a week...

Tim Stretton said...

Glad to see you back, Frances. Enjoy the tipple!

Aliya Whiteley said...

So glad it went well, Frances - and glad you like Asylum! I love that book.