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Topic: Favorite books with UK locations?

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Subject: Favorite books with UK locations?
Date Posted: 8/21/2008 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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My favorites are by D. E. Stevenson and Elizabeth Goudge.  I'm always looking for more books to read with settings in Scotland, England, Wales or Ireland.  Anyone else with favorites to recommend?

Date Posted: 9/1/2008 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I liked Brideshead Revisisted a lot. I have yet to see the movie but the book was very entertaining. I also liked Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. It's short but funny :) And my absolute favorite book is I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. Actually all of these have movies associated with them which I like because I believe they were all shot on location so the scenery is pretty great, especially for me who has never been outside the US! EDIT: I also meant to mention that Maeve Binchy has books that are located in the UK, I believe Circle of Friends was one and I really enjoyed that one as well. Sophie Kinsella also has books (though they are mainly chick lit) located in England mostly.

Last Edited on: 9/1/08 9:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: favorite books with UK locations
Date Posted: 9/2/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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thanks!  I just found 'I Capture the Castle' in a used book store recently and bought it but haven't read it yet.  I did see the movie, though and I really liked the actress who played the main character - Romula Garai, or something like that - she was also in 'Daniel Deronda' and 'Amazing Grace'. 

I have read two of Binchy's books.  I will put 'Brideshead' on my list.  I've not read that, nor seen the movie.  I also might give the Sophie Kinsella books a try.  I didn't know they took place in the Uk.  I don't usually like chick lit, but it could be fun - thanks for the mention!

Date Posted: 9/2/2008 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Gee, all of Thomas Hardy's books are set in England, as are George Eliot's, aren't they?  also, most of Walter Scott's old romances, such as Heart of Midlothian, Ivanhoe, Bride of Lammermoor, Kenilworth, and The Talisman.   Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore is a perennial favorite.  Then there is J. M. Barrie--although better known for writing Peter Pan, he did write other books, and I liked The Little Minister .For more recent works, what springs to mind (for me) me are things such as The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch which was set in Ireland and was about the Irish-English long-standing enmity.   For Irish writers (BESIDES Frank McCourt !) look to Roddy Doyle (especially A Star Named Henry)and Nuala O'Faolain, unless you are looking for ficition.  O'Faolain is a contemporary Irish woman who has written some unusual autobiographical works such as Are You Somebody?

Date Posted: 9/2/2008 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I had totally forgotten about Thomas Hardy..dont know why I loved Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. There is also Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters as well. I'm not as good with more current authors though. I've just started trying to get into contemporary people and I've not picked very good ones...or ones located in the UK. The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella starts in London and most of the books are located there. There is another series called The Little Lady Agency (not sure on the author) which takes place in England, and is similar in style to the Shopaholic series. It's slightly more serious though. but still chick lit. Chick lit is fun sometimes for a change of pace. I Capture the Castle is much better in book form in my opinion. However, the actress that played Cassandra was great I thought. As was the actor that played Stephen. (this was the same author that wrote 101 Dalmations) Let us know what you end up reading and how you liked it! :)
Date Posted: 9/2/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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Ghostwalk, by Rebecca Stott, is very good:



Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman



The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Schaeffer



Subject: favorite books with UK locations
Date Posted: 9/2/2008 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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I recently discovered Josephine Tey, and have really liked reading her.  And Gwen Moffatt, for mysteries - they often involve climbing, as she is a  mountain climber herself.  I read Middlemarch a few years ago, and liked it.  Just finished Deborah Crombie's newest, 'Where Memories Lie'.  Am just beginning 'Seasons in Harris' and really like it. 

I'm on the hold list for 'the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' - that must be one of the most unusual titles I've come across! - Thanks to all of you for more titles to put in my notebook of book ideas.

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,588
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A good portion of Scarlett -- the sequel to Gone With the Wind -- takes place in Ireland.  Of course, you ought to read GWTW before you read Scarlett, but it's SO GOOD you'll be glad you did (if you haven't already).   

Subject: Books set in England(& Ireland)
Date Posted: 9/22/2008 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 5
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If you like a superbly written mystery book, read any of Anne Perry's books, set around 1900. Another terrific mystery writer, Martha Grimes, has her stories set in England. Most titles are the names of pubs in England.  Dorothy Sayers wrote mysteries set in the 30's and 40's, many of which have been on PBS TV.  Peter Lovesey has written many well-written mysteries in England around the 30's.

Minette Walters, another super writer, has written many fiction books, one of which , "The Rector's Wife" ,was also on PBS.  Another grand dame of English mystery books is Gnaio Marsh.  Give Colin Dexter a try too--his "Rumpole at the Bailey"(high court in England)series is so enjoyable! Rumpole,a sarcastic literary disheveled barrister, aims for true justice, amidst his run-ins with pompous judges and fellow barristers. These books were also PBS series.

I also like Maeve Binche's books, esp. Circle of Friends and Tara Road(set in Ireland).  These could keep you busy quite a while! Enjoy!

Subject: great look at race, class and country
Date Posted: 11/7/2008 3:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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Small Island by Andrea Levy.

Subject: thanks for the suggestion
Date Posted: 11/8/2008 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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i think i picked up 'small island' once when looking round Borders.  it looked really good and i meant to look for it at the library.  i will put it on my list - thank you because i had been trying to remember what that title was!  (i ought to have learned to always have a pen and paper with me as i wander through borders!). 

i just finished charles finch's, 'the september society' and i really liked it.  his first mystery was 'a beautiful blue death' and i liked it, but i liked this one even better.  it had lots of description of oxford which i really enjoyed. 

awhile ago i read owen sheers', 'resistance', about a german invasion of england spreading into a secluded valley in wales.  it was a very unique book.  his prose was amazing.

am listening to a book on tape by ann granger - a meredith and markby mystery.  i am enjoying this series.  am only on the 3rd and i think she has written a whole bunch.  they take place in the cotswolds. 

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Barbara Pym, Rosamunde Pilcher, Joanna Trollope. 

There are also many, many great mystery series set in these countries.

Date Posted: 11/9/2008 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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Another that I've not seen mentioned is North and South written by Elizabeth Gaskell in the 1850s.  I actually have a copy but it's a bit unpostable because the dog chewed the cover a little.  LOL!!  It's a wonderful story and BBC produced a miniseries starring Richard Armitage (he's also in Robin Hood on BBC-America....*swoon*).  I loved it so well I purchased the DVDs, also.

Any of Jane Austen's books also fit the bill.  A contemporary author that I like is Cecelia Ahern whose stories take place in Ireland (P.S. I Love You, Rosie Dunne, If You Could See Me Now).

Subject: thanks!
Date Posted: 11/9/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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i've got to start keeping pen and paper right by me so i keep track of these.  i've never heard of cecelia ahern.  will have to look for her.  and i was just thinking last night that i needed to read gaskell.  i've seen the series, 'north and south', and then 'cranford' and then 'wives and daughter's.  and it hit me that i love these series, and have never actually read one of them.  so i have cranford now and will read it soon.  we just finished watching 'wives and daughter's' last night.  i had seen it years ago.  it was really wonderful.  my husband and daughter really got caught up in it too, which proves it was good. 

just began humphrey carpenter's biography of tolkien today.  am enjoying it very much.  and 'a cotswold mystery' by rebecca tope.

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 11
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You might want to look into Ian McEwan too. As far as I know all his books are set in England. Atonement and Saturday are both fantastic books, but a lot of people do find McEwan hard to get through.

Date Posted: 1/10/2009 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4
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I would suggest the "Outlander" series by Diane Gabaldon.  There are a series of 6 currently out with 2 more in the works.  The first 4 are in the UK.  I love them...they have a permant spot in my library.