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Books NON wine related


They are really great, and that experience sounds phenomenal. Will probably be doing my competent crew next year and taking along an O’Brian sounds like the perfect accompaniment.

Yep, with 20,000 Leagues I did quickly come to the conclusion that the difficulty I was having with it was in large part due to the fact that Verne was having to (or chose to) explain in great detail things that we today take for granted. I’m glad I read it but like you skipped the paragraphs or pages detailing which shells or fish they saw in painful detail.


Oooh, not familiar with that, but it looks really interesting.
I will have to give it a look when I’m a bit further through my to read pile which is growing to a damning size, it both shames me and I believe could halt the flow of a good sized river.


This has been the other-half’s recent discovery, and he’s also working his way through the series. It seems to bring him huge pleasure!


Oh wow!! Great recommendations, thank you so much everyone.

I have this so I’ll definitely read it now, thank you.

Please do, it’s the first of a trilogy, he’s already working on the third and general feedback on the book has been really positive so far. I’m just not that into fantasy, I even find watching The Hobbit difficult.

I’ll check this out too, thanks Andy.
One of my favourite books ever is Brick Lane by Monica Ali. I’ve not read any of her other books so I need to do something about that.

This sounds really interesting and the books are beautiful.
My Grandfather had a library, complete with chesterfield arm chairs and a ladder on wheels to gain access to the higher shelves. On his death all the books were donated to one of my brothers who is a proper book worm. He was only 15 at the time and he has now built his own library to house them perfectly. Some of the books he has are hundreds of years old and first editions of which I’m not allowed to touch :laughing:. Not sure why he doesn’t trust me.
Keep the recommendations coming, especially with the colder and darker nights which will be upon us before we know it. I’m loving all the suggestions so far.


This, this is the dream…


I’ll try to find an old photograph if I can.


Like this?


Pretty much @catherine, that’s TOTALLY me…:rofl::joy:


Great seeing all these recommendations. Have always loved reading and adored doing my literature degree. Too many favourites to mention, but the last author whose work I fell head over heels in love with is a Norwegian writer called Tarjei Vesaas. The books are generally short, minimalist in style, sometimes mixing poetry in with the narrative, and every one I’ve managed to track down has been hauntingly beautiful.

Like @Inbar though, I’ve also been reading more non-fiction as time goes by. One of the most engrossing recent ones was Masha Gessen’s ‘The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia’. Superbly written (if terrifying!) stuff.


I’m going to look out for this author! It sounds like something I may enjoy, and sounds very much like I what I love about Tove Jansson’s prose - sparse, minimal but oh so deep. Even her Moomin books - ostensibly for children - are little wise treatises about life and how to live it.

Is it easy enough to find Tarejei’s books?


This looks great. Having lived in a former soviet country, I’ve always had an interest in soviet politics and the great dark secrets they hide.


Thankfully more have been coming back into print over the past few years, which is wonderful to see; others require a bit of digging. The Ice Palace and The Birds are the two that have received the most critical acclaim, both are in print and I can’t recommend them enough.

Must confess I’m rather ignorant about Tove Jansson’s non-Moomin oeuvre - all tips v gratefully received!


Do we need to start a ‘book and wine’ matching section? :smiley:


Thanks for this one, @martin_brown. Given other things going on elsewhere, this one is going straight on the list.


I’ve really liked the Jefferson Winter series by James Carol - he’s an ex-FBI serial killer investigator now “for hire”

A good read but nothing to heavy with some nice plot twists


If you like action then Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” books are worth a read. So much better than the Tom Cruise film versions. Harlan Coben is normally a decent thriller read as is James Patterson.


Like many others have said, the combination of a decent glass of wine with a good book is one of life’s pleasures. In the past I’ve read a lot of crime/spy/thriller type fiction and have worked my way through these over the years

John Le Carre - https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/john-le-carre/43258/

Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels - https://www.ianrankin.net/character/john-rebus/

Peter James’ Roy Grace novels - https://www.peterjames.com/books/ds-roy-grace/
(@Inbar @Bargainbob - these are all set in and around Brighton)

Alison Bruce’s Cambridge novels - http://www.dhhliteraryagency.com/alison-bruce.html

but current favourite is probably C J Sansom who wrote the Matthew Shardlake series of novels set at the time of Henry VIII. Beautifully written and excellent stories. I’m in the middle of reading the excellent Winter in Madrid - http://www.cjsansom.com/Books/WinterinMadrid


Hard to get into with usage of unexplained boating terms, but soons gets addictive. I’ve read them all in order three times now and know that if I pick up Master & Commander I’ll not stop till I read them all again.

Each time I’ve reread them I have discovered things I missed first time around, things that are only hinted at, such as Aubrey’s affair with his Admiral’s wife.

There are several sites that explain the naval terms, language, have maps of the ships routes etc, though I only found the on the third read…



In the words of the book, I wish you the joy of them…


Thanks for those two links, @peterm they both look very useful. I did quite a lot of research into terminology when I was reading Forester’s Hornblower books before starting on Patrick O’Brian. I was recommended and bought this book:

which I highly recommend (despite it sometimes being a little poorly organised). From mentions in this book I visited the Trincomalee in Hartlepool which is a Napoleonic Frigate that is still afloat. To be fair it was actually built just after the end of the Napoleonic wars, but it still gives an excellent feel for life aboard one of these ships and is very similar to the sort of frigates Aubrey would have commanded. Again highly recommended. From that I decided to go crewing on a voyage on the Lord Nelson; a three-masted, square rigged barque approximately the same size as the Trincomalee. Also highly recommended!

Now I have to save enough money to do another voyage on her!


I first encountered Tove’s writing aged 9 - borrowing ‘Moomintroll Midwinter’ (translated into Hebrew as ‘The Valley of the Strange Creatures’) from a friend- and got smitten. It started a life-long and on-going love of Scandinavian literature, culture and language. Years later I stumbled upon her adult fiction, and been reading everything I can get my hands on since.

Her adult fiction is deceptively ‘simple’ - but this belies its depth of wisdom, philosophy and life-affirming qualities.

A company called Sort of Books seems to currently be the main publisher of her adult fiction, and I read all the ones they have translated this far. Of those, I can recommend the following: The Summer Book, Travelling Light (a collection of short stories), and Fair Play. Most recently I also finished The True Deceiver, which I read in Hebrew - but the English translation was far superior, and really managed to convey her sparse style. I really enjoyed it too.

Hope this helps :grinning: