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Help, I need somebody!

I've been stalking this community for a while but now I actually have something to say/ask!

I consider reading a fun activity, so I really don't enjoy reading books that I have to pull out a dictionary or take notes to understand. I don't consider my self too stupid, but I've honestly just never really had the interest in reading Dickens or Jane Austin, for example. I usually just grab YA books that I can enjoy, but now I"m getting to the point where all of the books are quite predictable.
The last book that I read was Billie Girl, and I think that it was a pretty good bridge from YA - Adult. It was about mercy killing but was definitely written in a 'straight and to the point' way, if that makes sense? I've also really enjoyed The Bell Jar and managed to read a lot of Philippa Gregory.

So here's the question --

What would you recommend to someone who is looking for more "adult themes" in a book that doesn't include footnotes?


Also, some of the books that I've read recently are here:
www.goodreads.com/user/show/1448795 

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
necropalice
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
Most contemporary paperbacks! It sounds as though you've created a bit of a mental block for adult fiction, when in reality most that are written in a no-frills styled prose are very straight forward.

Looking at your GoodReads, I would recommend you steer clear of A Clockwork Orange, as it's written in a very peculiar style. Lots of made-up slang that can be a bit of a head-scratcher. I also wouldn't say House of Leaves fits into your specifications (although both are really good!).

Some of my favourites are The Beach by Alex Garland, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Collector by John Fowles. Particularly go for the Eugenides if you enjoyed The Bell-Jar. Girl, Interrupted is another book with similar themes.

Enjoy!
memeshelle
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
When I wrote "...looking for more 'adult themes' in a book that doesn't include footnotes", I definitely had House of Leaves in mind because I managed to happily snag a copy from the library but I just could not get into it at all. It felt more like I was reading a text book for school.

I have read The Virgin Suicides as well as Girl, Interrupted, and loved both so I'll most definitely check out the other ones you've mentioned.

Thanks:)
(no subject) - jennavette - Oct. 4th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - memeshelle - Oct. 4th, 2010 08:42 am (UTC) - Expand
letter4no1
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
House of Leaves is in a class all its own, and often the footnotes are part of the story. It's good, but it's meant to be a lot of work.

If you've read Phillipa Gregory maybe give Allison Weir's fiction a try? Innocent Traitors is a good start and I've enjoyed The Lady Elizabeth.

I see that you've read Coraline. You could give Gaiman a try in the adult fiction world. It's different but still has his style.
memeshelle
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
In my opinion, reading should not be work. That's probably why I'm a bad student, haha.

The Lady Elizabeth sounds right up my alley.

Thank you!
infinitlight
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
Haha, if you are allergic to footnotes House of Leaves will drive you INSANE. I took notes while I read it--still do, sometimes, on rereads (that said, it's one of my favorite books).

A few suggestions (mine lean science-fictionish, but mostly I just like books that have good, clear storytelling, resonant themes, and readability): Kindred by Octavia Butler, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. These are a couple of my "I can always read these, even when reading is getting me down" books. :)
memeshelle
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
Thanks:)

I hate that I couldn't get into House of Leaves. It sounds so interesting:(

(no subject) - marycatelli - Oct. 5th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - memeshelle - Oct. 6th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC) - Expand
dolphin_88
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:53 am (UTC)
Ok, if you liked Philippa Gregory you should definitely read "Virgin Widow" by Anne O´Brien. I read it this summer and it´s really good. It´s pretty long though, but I´d definitely give it a try if I were you. As far as historical fiction is concerned, Alison Weir and Jean Plaidy sound interesting. I haven´t really read a whole book by them, only scraps from Amazon, but they seemed really interesting and I´m waiting for the books by them that I ordered to arrive.
I don´t know if you´re into romantic comedies, but if you are, you must read Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I have two books from her "Match Me If You Can" and "This Heart of Mine" and they´re incredible! Really readable, sweet and romantic without being soppy or cheesy, and really funny too.
I guess that´s it for now. I hope I´ve been useful.
memeshelle
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
You've definitely been useful:) Thanks!

I'll check those books out and let you know what I think!
valca85
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
I think you'd like any of Jodi picoult's books. They are a pretty quick, entertaining read. I'm currently reading Second Glance by her as part of a book club reading, and I'm enjoying it so far.
silverflight8
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
The only thing about her books is that they all end the same way...
tap_aparecium
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
You sound like me! I really want to read House of Leaves but I skimmed a copy at the book store and only ended up staring at it with a confused expression for awhile before buying two YA paperbacks and going home with my head held low in shame. Haha. I've been trying to branch out though. Perhaps you would like short stories? I like Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro and Simon Van Booy. Some non YA novels I've read recently and enjoyed that weren't work: Room, The Bronze Horseman, The Dogs of Babel, A Kind of Intimacy, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Never Let Me Go, Prozac Nation.

As for YA that offers up a little something different I'd vote for giving the Gemma Doyle series or The Hunger Games a shot. Harry Potter if you haven't read it.
ditablack
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Agreed on Never Let Me Go. Suuuuch a good book!
(no subject) - memeshelle - Oct. 6th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tap_aparecium - Oct. 6th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - memeshelle - Oct. 7th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tap_aparecium - Oct. 7th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tap_aparecium - Oct. 7th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
aphoenixrain
Oct. 4th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
How to Buy a Love of Reading - Tanya Egan Gibson

memeshelle
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
hahahaha, that sounds amazing.
(no subject) - aphoenixrain - Oct. 8th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
silverflight8
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
Generally any of the contemporary adult novels will be without the footnotes: the authors live in the same era as you do, so the slang will be comprehensible. :D

There are few books that I think you'd really need the foot notes for. I mean, I guess it takes some doing to get acclimized (for lack of a better word) to something like, say, Victorian literature like you mentioned. However, I really wouldn't try to read the footnotes alongside your first reading--it has a tendency to disrupt your reading. Most of what's written should be understandable (big leap in assumption here, sorry if it's not true)--you might miss some of the references/run into obscure slang--but most of the classics of today were just the masses' fiction in the past.

To cap this looong comment: I think it'd be great if you just went for any of the classics/older literature. See how you do with them--avoid starting out with stuff like Dickens, who has really long sentences (argh) and try to find something you like to read. They're all usually really good novels. Good luck! :)
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(no subject) - silverflight8 - Oct. 4th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - memeshelle - Oct. 5th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
little_e_
Oct. 5th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
The Virgin Suicides, Lolita.
count_fenring
Oct. 5th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
Lolita? You mean the book that, when annotated, has footnotes equaling more than a third of the actual text? Where multilingual puns and references are the rule, rather than the exception?

It's a really, really, good book. But I feel that it's the opposite of what the OP wants.

(no subject) - little_e_ - Oct. 5th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - count_fenring - Oct. 5th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - little_e_ - Oct. 5th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
count_fenring
Oct. 5th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
If you do want to try something Victorian or earlier, I'd suggest starting with Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. It's hilarious, and doesn't rely on deep vocabulary or complicated wording.
memeshelle
Oct. 6th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
will do!
phoenixtorte
Oct. 6th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
The Count of Monte Cristo. I know that seems like an "old classic", but I read it recently and the edition I had was really modern. It's about revenge and stuff, so it definately has some more adult themes, and it's not super long either.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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