Novels I Recommend
These are novels that I have enjoyed reading, and can thoroughly recommend to other readers.
Some are Love Stories, others are Crime Thrillers or Mysteries, I'm also interested in Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy.
So, in no particular order, the following are books that have captured my attention over the years.
I love Colette's writing. She has a way of making her characters live, with all the strengths and weaknesses of real people.
Claudine at School was her first book, and partly autobiological.
The others follow the fortunes of this entrancing young lady: Claudine in Paris, Claudine Married and Claudine and Annie.
Antonia White's translation is exquisite.
The hard-boiled American detective is represented in the books of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker etc.
Some of my favourites:
'The Thin Man' is available as one book, or in the collection of the complete novels of Dashiell Hammett.
This collection runs from Chandler's pulp fiction days to his later novels.
Well worth getting as
you can see the development of a great writer.
My favourite of his is:
'The Long Goodbye'
- a wonderful book.
Click on the
In his essay, 'The Simple Art of Murder', Raymond Chandler criticises, for good reason, the 'English' detective story.
However, although not exactly true to life, the English murder mystery does make good reading.
I recommend the following authors: Margery Allington, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edmund Crispin, Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh, and, the more modern, Colin Dexter, Elizabeth George, Jill Paton Walsh and many more.
Here are some of my favourite books - click on the covers to buy.
I suppose Anne McCaffrey's writings influenced me the most.
Her stories of Pern and the other worlds she created, plus the realistic characters, with all their faults and failings, left a lasting impression on me.
If you haven't read the stories of the Dragon Riders of Pern, the Harper's Hall novels, her Crystal Singer series or her books abot the Brain Ships - you are missing out!
Click on the book covers to buy.
Books for Young Adults / Children
I was a compulsive reader when I was in my teens (still am!), and read everything, whether it was specifically aimed at young adults or not. Neither did I care if it was aimed at boys or girls - if it was in English, and held my attention, I read it.
I have just finished rereading, for this article, the first of the 'Biggles' books, 'Biggles Learns to Fly', by Captain W.E. Johns. Set in 1916, it reads like fantasy - a pilot being send out to fight against the enemy after just nine hours of instruction - but the books are humourous, sad, morally correct, and refreshingly free from any stigma of 'political correctness'. They are also extremely well written adverture stories.
Amazon have, at the time of writing, only five of the 'Biggles' books available.
I suggest you start rummaging through books at garage sales, car-boot sales, or those wonderful, dusty, second-hand bookstores, which are still as exciting as Aladdin's cave for those of us who read.
Other Books well worth considering reading, or giving to young adults as presents are:
Gwendoline Courtney was a British writer who wrote books mainly for girls. I remember, many years ago, reading a book of hers called, 'The Grenville Garrison'.
A good read, although dated, and it's non-political language might shock some of the more liberal minded parents, but it's great entertainment.
Not many of her books available on Amazon.com, more (and cheaper), on Amazon.uk.
Another book for girls I remember from the mists of time is 'Mistress of the Air', by Dorothy Carter.
An excellent read which evokes a world long gone by.
Of course there are also, rather dated, detective stories for young adults: for girls the 'Nancy Drew' mysteries, for boys, 'The Hardy Boys'.
Again, we a looking at a time long since past, although not as long ago as 'Biggles', but the books are still entertaining adventures in their own right.
Maybe, I'm not the only adult that gets a kick out of reading these novels.