I’m quite enjoying Returning to Reims by Didier Eribon. And finding it a useful guide to the French intellectual, perhaps. He’s quite up himself, but he’s also honest about himself in a refreshing way.
For a different kid of ripping, plus laughs, I rather enjoy a Jilly Cooper.
I read all the Anthony Trollope novels a long time ago. When I met my SIL (ex Oxford LMH) she asked what I was reading. I answered “Trollope”. She said, “Oh, Joanna Trollope, how nice.” You may hear the tone.
I hadn’t known the existence of Mrs Trollope until then but looked her up and have been very happily since read her wonderful novels.
Funny how you can rediscover books and really enjoy them having been put off them at school. Anthony Trollope and Mrs Gaskell fell into that category! It was probably 25 years before I retried them and really loved them. However, I have never returned to either Dickens or Sir Walter Scott. Fancy forcing a 12 year old girl to read Guy Mannering…
Other books from a previous era that I enjoy include any of Barbara Pym’s works.
However in terms of more recent books, since I wanted something more lightweight in my current circumstances, a friend recently recommended Salley Vickers and I tried one and quite enjoyed it, rather to my surprise. I’m about to start on “The Cleaner of Chartres” which had rave reviews.
No Wall Too High: One Man’s Extraordinary Escape from Mao’s Infamous Labour Camps
The title says it all and I can throughly recommend it. The author was an enthusuastic follower of Mao, and then one wrong word, mentioned without thought, and he soon found himself imprisoned for a very long time.
On a similar theme, a really great book :
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
At the moment I am reading Christopher Hibbert’s ‘The French Revolution’.
And the next up is a classic I have never read:
R.F.Delderfield’s ‘To Serve Them All My Days’
The Island by Victoria Hislop is a book that has stayed with me.
It is about a Cretan island called Spinalonga just off the seasick village of Plaka which is used as a leper colony and how it is entwined in four generations of the Petrakis women.