THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB discussion

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AUTHORS-FORUMS- CHECK OUT ALL! > MODERN WRITERS- WHO DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST

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Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
I have not read many modern British writers- although I understand that many write in the "Classic" style- I am quite interested in any who you read and why! I do enjoy Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill as well as Ruth Rendell.



message 2: by Gary (last edited Oct 17, 2009 06:28PM) (new)

Gary | 123 comments Charles Dickens has such interesting characters,and the way he weaves their intertwining lives into the history of england, london, etc. really trips my trigger.

all said and done, i've enjoyed his books but always i come back to the same favorite. A CHRISTMAS CAROL. i read it sometime every year at xmas time.
i also really like the movie version with alistar sims. looking forward to the new version with jim carrey.

started a p g wodehouse book, but didn't finish it due to being so busy. i need to get back to it.




Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Gary wrote: "Charles Dickens has such interesting characters,and the way he weaves their intertwining lives into the history of england, london, etc. really trips my trigger.

all said and done, i've enjoyed hi..."


Love Wodehouse! especially The Drones Club and The Oldest Member!



Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
There is a new book out called Wolf Hall- centering on Thomas Cromwell- aide to Henry VIII- it has received rave reviews in UK- now published in USA- interested if anyone has read it


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Wolf Hall received a very favorable review in mylocal paper on Sunday- seems very appealing to those who enjoy historical fiction


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Ian Rankin is indeed a very fine modern British writer!


Darcia Helle (DarciaHelle) I really enjoy Kate Atkinson's books. Her mysteries are light and entertaining. I'm drawn to her characters, which have all the little quirks that make them feel human.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Darcia wrote: "I really enjoy Kate Atkinson's books. Her mysteries are light and entertaining. I'm drawn to her characters, which have all the little quirks that make them feel human."

Darcia- I never read Kate Atkinson- I will have to check her out! thanks!


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Nanette wrote: "I would have to say George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Brian Friel, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and of course, Shakespeare."

Great list Nanette! I need to research Brian Friel- as I am not familiar with his work- can you recommend a title?



Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Nanette wrote: "Hi Rick,

Brian Friel is an Irish playwright - does that count as "British?" Probably not, but as an American I may be out of line here.

Anyway, he wrote a play called "Faith Healer." I perf..."


sounds facinating!




Paul Cranswick | 17 comments Louis De Bernieres and Glen Duncan would be in my list definitely. Nick Hornby's modern comedies are entertaining. Barry Unsworth and Graham Swift usually enervate and entertain. Zoe Smith and Monica Ali have written good novels recently and David Mitchell's Ghostwritten (all his own work no doubt) is also a splendid novel - at least for the first 90% of its being. My wife swears by Tony Parsons to tittilate (when I need a rest of course) whilst the thrillers of Robert Goddard, Mark Billingham, Lee Child and Stuart MacBride always hit the spot.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "Louis De Bernieres and Glen Duncan would be in my list definitely. Nick Hornby's modern comedies are entertaining. Barry Unsworth and Graham Swift usually enervate and entertain. Zoe Smith and M..."

Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels are a favorite of mine!


Richard I\d recommend Geoff Dyer as an excellent modern British writer. He doesn't get a huge amount of publicity but that belies his superb talent. 'Jeff in Venice, death in Varanasi' is one of my books of the year for 2009.


David Milnes | 5 comments Something very wrong here - no one's mentioned The Ghost of Neil Diamond, a dark comedy that has received rave reviews from New York (Dissident Books), England (Bookmunch), Ireland (harmlesssfraud.com) and China (well, not so rave from China). Far and away the best book I've read in the last 11 years, which is how long it toom me to write it.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "I\d recommend Geoff Dyer as an excellent modern British writer. He doesn't get a huge amount of publicity but that belies his superb talent. 'Jeff in Venice, death in Varanasi' is one of my books o..."

Richard- love hearing new names- here is some info and a link to an excellant New Yorker article on Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer (born June 5, 1958) is a British author. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he lives in London. He is best known as the author of But Beautiful, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, and has been called (by Keith Jarrett, for example) the best book ever written about jazz. Other notable titles are Paris Trance, Out of Sheer Rage (a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award), and Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It. He has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman, Esquire, Wallpaper*, and Monocle.

It was reported in Sept. 2003 on Slate that columnist Jaime Wolf was adapting Paris Trance into a film. No further details have been provided. [1:]


http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics...



Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
David wrote: "Something very wrong here - no one's mentioned The Ghost of Neil Diamond, a dark comedy that has received rave reviews from New York (Dissident Books), England (Bookmunch), Ireland (harmlesssfraud..."

David-seems like a very popular book

Like John Self, the protagonist of Martin Amis' Money, Neil Atherton is a virtually friendless man, adrift in a city of exhausting ambition and indifference. David Milnes' accomplished novel traces Neil's journey through the side-streets and lonely bars of Hong Kong with an appreciation for the city's strange comedy, like a Wong Kar-wai film. This is not the glamorous Hong Kong - even the skyline and harbour become, in a wonderful inversion of an iconic scene, just some "cosmetic bottles round a filthy sink" - but it is a haunting one. And as we follow Neil's mortifying attempts to make it as a Neil Diamond impersonator on the expat club scene, we meet a marvelous cast of supporting characters: the enigmatic travel agent-turned-impresario Elbert Chan, a black tennis coach and potential rival singer, and, most troubling of all, a seasoned Diamond impersonator from Los Angeles with no interest in sharing this potentially lucrative niche market...

Though it focuses on Neil's weary rage and bewilderment, the narrative never seems weighed down by it. Milnes is often at his best when he steps back a moment from his tortured protagonist: when, for instance, he considers some of Neil's fellow travelers in the teeming commerce of Hong Kong, and feels "humbled a moment by an understanding of how much harder it was to sell a copy-watch than a copy of Neil Diamond."



Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
David wrote: "Something very wrong here - no one's mentioned The Ghost of Neil Diamond, a dark comedy that has received rave reviews from New York (Dissident Books), England (Bookmunch), Ireland (harmlesssfraud..."

adding The Ghost of Neil Diamond to group bookshelf
author is on twitter- sent him tweet



Paul Cranswick | 17 comments Agree that Geoff Dyer's books are well worth a read. Another bunch to consider would be (with recommended novel):
Jake Arnott (The Long Firm), Nicola Barker (Darkmans), Joseph Connolly (Poor Souls), Helen Dunmore (Burning Bright), Sebastian Faulks (either of Birdsong or Charlotte Gray), Giles Foden (The Last King of Scotland),Andrew Greig (That Summer), Matthew Kneale (English Passengers), Hilary Mantel (A Place of Greater Safety), Ian McEwan (The Innocent), Andrew O'Hagen (Our Fathers), Tim Parks (Judge Savage), Rose Tremain (Restoration) and Sarah Waters (Fingersmith)


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
I must say I enjoy Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills and other thriller writers - currently reading Brad Thor's new Book - The Apostle
also reading Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins


Robin (Trochus) | 18 comments Gary wrote: "Charles Dickens has such interesting characters,and the way he weaves their intertwining lives into the history of england, london, etc. really trips my trigger.

all said and done, i've enjoyed hi..."


A Christmas Carol - just wonderful. In a completely different direction I love Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - another short story with memorable impact.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Gary wrote: "Charles Dickens has such interesting characters,and the way he weaves their intertwining lives into the history of england, london, etc. really trips my trigger.

all said and done, i'..."


Robin- do you have a favorite film version of Dr Jekyll" mine is the 1932 Frederic March one



Robin (Trochus) | 18 comments Rick wrote: "Robin- do you have a favorite film version of Dr Jekyll" mine is the 1932 Frederic March one"

No, haven't seen that one Rick. I can only remember one film - made for tv a few years ago, but I can't remember who was in it. I liked it though. I think it is a bit like Frankenstein, the films seem to wander away from the book somewhat. Though Jerry Lewis was pretty spot on in the Nutter Professor!

I tend to read older classic stories, but a more recent book I read last year and liked was Mathew Kneale's "English Passengers".



Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Rick wrote: "Robin- do you have a favorite film version of Dr Jekyll" mine is the 1932 Frederic March one"

No, haven't seen that one Rick. I can only remember one film - made for tv a few years ag..."


haha- yea- jerry as the Nutty Professor and Buddy Love!!!



Ivan I love the work of Alan Bennett - novels, plays, memoirs - even the CDs of his works are great.

Mark Gatiss and his Lucifer Box books are very fun.

Alan Hollinghurst's "The Swimming Pool Library" and "The Line of Beauty" are gems.


Lai Parcon (LaiParcon) | 52 comments Hi Darcia,

I like Kate Atkinson. Read One Good Turn and Behind the Scenes at The Museum.


Stuart (Asfus) | 152 comments Rick wrote: "Darcia wrote: "I really enjoy Kate Atkinson's books. Her mysteries are light and entertaining. I'm drawn to her characters, which have all the little quirks that make them feel human..."

I strongly recommend you read her books. She has a very clever dark wit.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
I must admit that most of my favorite modern writers are thriller writers- Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills, David Baldacci and the immortal Elmore Leonard lead the list.
Also enjoy Tony Hillerman and Michael Palmer/Robin Cook


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) Rick wrote: "There is a new book out called Wolf Hall- centering on Thomas Cromwell- aide to Henry VIII- it has received rave reviews in UK- now published in USA- interested if anyone has read it"

I got a copy of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and hope to read it in the next few weeks. A lot of people have really liked it.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Lyn M wrote: "Rick wrote: "There is a new book out called Wolf Hall- centering on Thomas Cromwell- aide to Henry VIII- it has received rave reviews in UK- now published in USA- interested if anyone has read it"
..."


I am very much interested in what you think of it once you read it!


message 30: by readinghearts (Lyn M) (last edited Mar 25, 2010 09:13PM) (new)

readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) Of the modern British writers, I would say Neil Gaiman, Kazuo Ishiguro (even though he wasn't born in England, I think he is considered a British writer), and Alison Weir. And then there is always Edward Rutherford's historical fiction novels. I really enjoy those.

I have Behind the Scenes at The Museum by Kate Atkinson on my TBR.


Rose (PeaceMom) | 148 comments Lyn M wrote: "Rick wrote: "There is a new book out called Wolf Hall- centering on Thomas Cromwell- aide to Henry VIII- it has received rave reviews in UK- now published in USA- interested if anyone has read it"
..."


I tried to read Wolf Hall and couldn't get past 100 pages. It was slow and confusing to me. But you're correct, many, many people loved this book, which is why I got. It just wasn't for me. I'd be curious to get your input once you have read it.


Ivan Michael Cunningham. He wrote The Hours and Flesh And Blood (both well worth reading). He has a new book coming out this year - a novel called "Olympia." Also, I enjoy (some) Chuck Palahnuik, Barbara Kingsolver, Alan Bennett, Alan Hollinghurst (especially The Line of Beauty).


Stuart (Asfus) | 152 comments Kate Atkinson


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) Rose - I am a Tudor aficionado, so this book looks to be right up my alley.


Lindz (miss_bovary00) | 47 comments I have always loved Terry Pratchett, Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, and Nick Hornby.


Thalia Rick wrote: "There is a new book out called Wolf Hall- centering on Thomas Cromwell- aide to Henry VIII- it has received rave reviews in UK- now published in USA- interested if anyone has read it"

As I suffer from Tudorphilia, this book was eagerly placed on my reading list and scooped up nearly as fast as possible. This is book one of two planned novels centered on Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's main man after the fall of Cardinal Wolsey. I read it as quickly as I could considering the book is large and dense. It's written in an unusual tense too which can be a little distracting (or effective depending on your view). Little is known about Cromwell early life and I really enjoyed Mantel's inventions, I wish there was more of that time period included. Otherwise it's a very encompassing book, a bit dry in the middle but certainly worth the read, particularily if you are a Tudorphile. I found the cover and title an odd choice, for North America at least anyways, as neither gives you a hint that it is related to the Tudors. Because it was nominated, and subsequently won, the Man Booker Prize, that would at least have increased it's exposure here. Hope that's helpful. Cheers!


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) Thanks for the above, Thalia.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
I recently discovered a terrific thriller writer- Marcus Sackey- I am on my second book of his- The Blade Itself- and his books are both thrillers and social dramas


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) I just added that one to my TBR also, Rick.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Lyn M wrote: "I just added that one to my TBR also, Rick."


you wont be disappointed!!


message 41: by Judith (last edited Apr 01, 2010 09:29AM) (new)

Judith (jloucks) Does anyone use the Booker Prize winners as a source of contemporary authors? I do, and I have never regretted a choice.

I like Ian McEwan, A. S. Byatt, K. Ishiguro, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje....Any fans out
there? Must be as I see both Ishiguro and McEwan have already been mentioned. All these were qualified as "British" enough to be nominated for the Booker Prize, though Atwood is from Canada.


Judith (jloucks) Paul wrote: "Louis De Bernieres and Glen Duncan would be in my list definitely. Nick Hornby's modern comedies are entertaining. Barry Unsworth and Graham Swift usually enervate and entertain. Zoe Smith and M..."

I've enjoyed Swift's novels. He's a really good story teller, interesting plots as well as characters.


Judith (jloucks) Rick wrote: "I must admit that most of my favorite modern writers are thriller writers- Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills, David Baldacci and the immortal Elmore Leonard lead the list.
Also enjoy Tony Hillerman and Mich..."


I've read most everything Hillerman wrote, Rick; and I love his characters and the "tone" of his novels. I've learned a good deal about Native Americans from reading him. It was a great loss to the mystery genre when he passed away last year.


Judith (jloucks) Judith wrote: "Paul wrote: "Louis De Bernieres and Glen Duncan would be in my list definitely. Nick Hornby's modern comedies are entertaining. Barry Unsworth and Graham Swift usually enervate and entertain. Zo..."

I'm trying to think of the book I read by Bernieres...I know I loved it, but title escapes me right now.... Was it "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"?????


Judith (jloucks) Rick wrote: "I must say I enjoy Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills and other thriller writers - currently reading Brad Thor's new Book - The Apostle
also reading Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins"


I re-read "The Woman in White" earlier this year, a favorite. "The Moonstone" is another good one!


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Judith wrote: "Rick wrote: "I must say I enjoy Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills and other thriller writers - currently reading Brad Thor's new Book - The Apostle
also reading Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins"..."


The Woman in White was both haunting and really allowed the reader to belost in the tines- a great acheivement


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Judith wrote: "Rick wrote: "I must admit that most of my favorite modern writers are thriller writers- Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills, David Baldacci and the immortal Elmore Leonard lead the list.
Also enjoy Tony Hiller..."


I still mourn Tony Hillerman-I so lovedhis novels-especially the laterones when Chee and Leephorn work together(or apart) we shall never see his type again I fear


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) I haven't read any Hillerman yet, but I hear he is really good, and I have been fascinated with Native American culture since high school (A long time ago!). I am looking forward to reading them.

I also have The Woman in White on my bookshelf, but haven't gotten a chance to read it yet.


Rick F. | 12781 comments Mod
Lyn M wrote: "I haven't read any Hillerman yet, but I hear he is really good, and I have been fascinated with Native American culture since high school (A long time ago!). I am looking forward to reading them.
..."

Lyn- Hillerman incorporated many of the Native American rituals into his mysteries - which made the books both entertaining and educational

The Woman in White- just be prepared to be transported to a different time and place- and have it's impact felt long after you complete the book!


Rose (PeaceMom) | 148 comments Lyn M wrote: "I haven't read any Hillerman yet, but I hear he is really good, and I have been fascinated with Native American culture since high school (A long time ago!). I am looking forward to reading them.
..."


The Woman in White is hands down one of these best ever books! Enjoy soon.


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