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What are some books that I can start reading?

 
 
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 01:57 am
Hi.

I'm a woman in my thirties and I'm looking for a book to read.

I know it sounds silly, but I'm asking because I actually never even liked reading books when I was younger.

In the past, I've read biographies of famous people and also enjoyed reading books with humor (these were mostly based on travel experiences - for example, the author would write about some of his funny experiences traveling through Europe). So I guess most of the stuff I've read are non-fiction.

However, I feel like I want to start reading something that would broaden my imagination. Since I'm not a bookworm, I'm not sure if I would be good at comprehending anything difficult and/or lengthy.

I'm trying to find ways to take my hands off my cell. It's like I'm constantly on that thing that I thought spending time reading a book might help.

I'm actually also very interested in literature pieces just because I've never read any while in school.

Is there anything anybody can suggest? Preferably something not too gloomy.


 
saab
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 02:49 am
I would suggest you to start reading short stories.
It is easier than a whole book.
Start with colleted short stories from a certain country or a certain subject like love, crime or fantasy.
Choose an author you like and from there get some more by him/her.
To suggest one book is too difficult for me.
Also nice are often beautifully illustrated children´s books with text or books for young people.
Here I can mention one book Anne of Green Gables, just as an example
One of my favorite collection of short stories is Somerset Maugham`s
Medaoland
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 03:39 am
@pennie ,
“Le Petit Nicolas” by René Goscinny,“L’Étranger” by Albert Camus, “Calligrammes” by Apollinaire,“Le Père Goriot” by Honoré de Balzac,“Le Père Goriot” by Honoré de Balzac,“Contes de la Bécasse” by Guy de Maupassant.these are good to start reading.

Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 04:34 am
@pennie ,
Try Persuasion by Jane Austen--it's her last novel, and it's not as long as the others she wrote. It's also less satiric. I think you would enjoy it. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers is not gloomy, but it is sad. It is a story full of hope, nonetheless. Why don't you try those for a start.
jespah
 
  5  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 04:41 am
@pennie ,
Ah, you might want to start with Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad. Twain is very accessible and his work is in the public domain. It's in most if not all public libraries or they can order it for you quickly. If you enjoy it, read his other stuff, too! Huckleberry Finn is one of the great American novels.

If you're looking for a female writer, try Jane Austen. She wasn't a travel writer, but her works are, justifiably, classics. They are romances, often about manners and position as that was the world she knew. She died in 1817, so everything is very clean of course. Again, it's all in the public domain, and any library worth its salt will have Austen or a quick means of getting it into your hands.

And when you go to the public library (you should! Libraries are one of the backbones of our society), talk to the librarian and explain what you're looking for, and what you like to read.It is their job to know, so they can give you more contemporary recommendations.

In order to help with your cellphone addiction, you might want to make a rule with yourself that you either don't bring your phone inside or, at the very least, you don't turn it on, when you're at the library. Just, use that space to either interact with the people around you or to read. I think if you set aside spaces like this for yourself that are cellphone-free zones, I think you will start to find that the world does not end when you're not available 24/7.

Enjoy!
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 04:42 am
@Setanta,
Ha, we both thought of Austen!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 01:51 pm
Austen is often dismissed as a satirist, as though that were some kind of criticism, slighting her talent. She is one of the giants of English literature, and her prose compares favorably with Thackeray, Dickens and Hardy, whom she preceded. (Hardy wrote some real turkeys, lame gothic romance novels. and they never get mentioned--one can sees why.)
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
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Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 02:31 pm
@pennie ,
I'm going in the opposite direction everyone here is sending you. The alleged classics are daunting for a reason.

To jump start a healthy reading habit, start small. Try some graphic memoirs.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi;
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel;
Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman;
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast;
Blankets by Craig Thompson;
French Milk by Lucy Knisley.
ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 04:19 pm
@jespah,
I did like that one, Jespah.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2015 11:30 pm
@tsarstepan,
For a person not used to read or not so interested in reading the classics are not the books to start with.
Not that I ever heard of the books you recommend, but I looked them up and some seems more for none readers in our modern time.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
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Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2015 02:56 am
In fact, in the OP, Pennie said:

Quote:
I'm actually also very interested in literature pieces just because I've never read any while in school.


So i don't understand why people are whining about the recommendations. Do you folks even bother to read the OP? Jane Austen is considered classic literature, and her writing is accessible to any English speaker. Just because a book is a classic doesn't mean that it's either hard to read or to understand.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2015 06:46 am
Yep, the OP asked for literature pieces that were not too gloomy. Austen and Twain fit the bill is spades, I'd say.

I do think it's a good idea to mix things up. The graphic novels mentioned are probably some of the best ones ever written.
0 Replies
 
pennie
 
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Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 09:46 pm
@saab,
Thank you, saab Smile

I've heard of Anne of Green Gables. It's so well-known but sadly, I've never actually read it! So, I looked it up on Amazon. It looks like there's a series?

Anyhow, thank you very much for the suggestion.
0 Replies
 
pennie
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 09:51 pm
@Medaoland,
Thank you for taking the time out to respond, Medaoland.

While in school, I studied some French literature (but never really read!) and noticed that most novels ended in like a tragedy. I did find Guy de Maupassant very easy to read, though. His style of writing made it easier.

Either way, thank you for the suggestions.
0 Replies
 
pennie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 09:59 pm
@Setanta,
Ohh Jane Austen! I sort of recall studying her book 'Pride and Prejudice'? I forget whether I watched the movie or tried reading the book ...lol

I've never read 'Persuasion'. That might be good Smile
The other one by Carson McCullers sounds good as well. Thank you for the suggestions, Setanta.
0 Replies
 
pennie
 
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Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 10:10 pm
@jespah,
Thank you, jespah! Smile

Yes!! Strangely, I was thinking of Tom Sawyer when I was writing this post! You mentioned Twain and thought, "voilà!" As a kid, I remember watching Twain's pieces in cartoon form. Never read Huckleberry Finn, though. It's like, gosh, where have I been all these years?

And yes, definitely heard of Jane Austen. Thank you so much for taking the time out to share all this - really appreciate it.

I guess it's worth heading out to the library. I'be been sort of sad lately thinking that there aren't that many bookstores around anymore ever since smartphones came out. Everything is so available on Kindle, e-books, etc. I'd rather check out books at a store and actually take it in my hand and read.
0 Replies
 
pennie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 10:12 pm
@tsarstepan,
Thank you, tsarstepan.

Thank you for taking the time out to list them, but I looked them up online and I'm not so sure those are the things I'm looking for.
0 Replies
 
pennie
 
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Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 10:18 pm
This is sort of off but I'm wondering if any of you have read "Flowers for Algernon"...? I'm just wondering because I saw it as a suggestion on Amazon. Is it a good book to read, too?

Also, do you guys still read books often? If so, when do you find the time to read? Before bed or at a cafe? What types of books do you like? Mystery? Classics? Sorry I'm just so curious after having read all the responses.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 11:52 pm
@pennie ,
I was looking at my books wanted to find something to read and saw this.
The boy in the striped pyjamas by John Boyne
I can really recommend it. It is a book for over 10 year old and just as touching for a grown up.
It is about the friendship between two boys - one a Jewish boy in a KZ and the other one the son of a Nazi Officer.

To your question about reading.
Yes I do read a lot and always have.
The time - instead of TV, before falling asleep and when travelling.
I like many types of books and often one books leads to another.
Once I read Isaac Bashevis Singer and got interested in more Jewish authors and then I got a book about Jiddish in Berliner Jargon.
I read Karen Blixen´s book Out of Africa, saw the film got Bror Blixen´s Memoir and a book about him. A book about Karen Blixen by Judith Thurman and another one by her secretary Clara Selborn. Fitting into all this a book by Beryl Markham - a pilot in Afrika.
Sometimes I just end up reading some tearjerking books or some mystery.
I prefer Scandinavian and British and American authors.
I have difficulties with modern German authors.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 05:38 am
@pennie ,
pennie wrote:

This is sort of off but I'm wondering if any of you have read "Flowers for Algernon"...? I'm just wondering because I saw it as a suggestion on Amazon. Is it a good book to read, too?


It's a lovely book. Has an iconic sympathetic protagonist. Very original take on science fiction. Can't recommend it enough. It's an easy read. Pretty short to if I remember correctly.

Me? I lean heavily towards science fiction (hard science as opposed to opera like Star Wars), mystery (from Walter Moseley to Alan Bradley), graphic memoirs, some general fiction, some history non-fiction when the rare inspiration hits.
 

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