A very short post for today that lists, essentially, our most requested general fiction reads at the moment. I offer it up as possible 'What do I read next?' suggestions. Don't be in a hurry to read them, though, as they have a fair few requests. Where I can I've also listed similar books/authors :)
I apologise most unreservedly for the brevity of this post. I am, currently, on sick leave due to a bout of food poisoning. Right at this moment in time I look, feel and smell like something crawled into my mouth and died. True story. I shall see you guys tomorrow with another 12 posts of Christmas list, where I plan to be at my sparklingest, bestest, ever :P
The next always / Nora Roberts
The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it's getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there's another project he's got his eye on: the girl he's been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen. After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town's bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett's transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look ...at the building and the man behind it. With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett's happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time. It's no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next... Similar author/read: The Christmas wedding by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo, The best of me by Nicholas Sparks and The Christmas note by Donna VanLiere.
The conductor / Sarah Quigley
In June 1941, Nazi troops march on Leningrad and surround it. Hitler's plan is to shell, bomb, and starve the city into submission. Most of the cultural elite are evacuated early in the siege, but Dmitri Shostakovich, the most famous composer in Russia, stays on to defend his city, digging ditches and fire-watching. At night he composes a new work. But after Shostakovich and his family are forced to evacuate, only Karl Eliasberg - a shy and difficult man, conductor of the second-rate radio orchestra - and an assortment of musicians are left behind in Leningrad to face an unendurable winter and start rehearsing the finished score of Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony.
The best of me / Nicholas Sparks
This is the story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they have taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined, and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past. Similar author/read: The Christmas wedding by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo, Lost December by Richard Paul Evans, and Hotel Vendome : a novel by Danielle Steel.
One day / David Nicholls
'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.' He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.' 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, one day. Galaxy National Book Award Winner, 2010. Similar author/read: The time traveler's wife : a novel by Audrey Niffenegger.
The sense of an ending / Julian Barnes
"Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. Similar author/read: One day by David Nicholls, The cat's table by Michael Ondaatje, and The help by Kathryn Stockett.