Stuck for ideas of what to watch next? Browse our selection of genres and decades to find hidden movie gems or rediscover old time classics.
From thrilling page turners to beautiful novels, we present you books and authors similar to the ones you love. Enjoy our recommendations – from bookworms for bookworms.
If you share our passion for music, have a browse through our list of genres and discover unmissable artists and songs from the past 50 years. You’ll find a bit of old, a bit of new and a bit of something you probably have never heard of before.
Whatever type of game you’re looking for, you’ll surely find one that tickles your fancy here. Choose your next favourite from one of our wonderful articles and get playing!
Picture the scene: the year is 567 and we are somewhere in Norway. Outside, the hall is built of pine-logs, the snow is deep and the wolves are howling. Inside, the fire burns hot and smoky and the mead is flowing. The old one-eyed story-teller has been talking for hours. His voice is husky as he ends his story:
“All the boats were sunk and all the other warriors dead. And so Ragnar The Rapacious and Sven The Smelly raised their mighty hammers at the same moment and each crashed them down on the other’s head. And thus they both woke in Valhalla.”
There is a happy sigh from the group round the fire. And just as everyone is drifting off to sleep, a voice at the back asks: “And then what happened?”
If you are a direct descendant of that curious Viking – and you might be, because he certainly got around!- then books like this, which answer that vital question, are just the thing for you.
Image Source: Whsmith
The first of five books, it starts in 1820 in the street built by a Lancashire Mill owner.The series follows the (good and bad) fortunes of Annie Gibson, a pretty girl of sixteen, something of a cut above the rest of the workers from the place.
Annie manages to endure poverty, heart-ache and rejection, rape and unwanted pregnancy, while never quite succumbing to the “offers” which might have made her materially richer and morally bankrupt.
Wonderfully researched, this is a ripping yarn that avoids ripping bodices. By the end of this book, the seeds have been sown for Annie’s character to develop, alongside the adventures she will embark on in later life.
Image Source: Shopwahl
I’m including this, the last in a long saga which divides itself between England and News Zealand, because it has everything anyone could wish for in terms of love, war, struggle, pretty heroine, difficult family and exotic locations.
But be warned: this tale of an Anglo-Irish-New Zealand family has been translated from the original German, and the translator has done it no justice. The American English sounds odd in the mouths of Victorian English characters and the translation shows little understanding of basic cultural references, which puts some glaring oddities in the text. But Lark’s story manages to rise above the damage, so don’t be put off too much.
It would be unfair to recap on an epic saga like this, but suffice to say, this follows the fourth generation who are forced to return reluctantly to the ‘old country’.
The contrasts between English and New Zealand’s society are sharply drawn and the landscapes of both countries are lovingly described.
Image Source: Amazon
Here it is, folks: the grandmother of all modern Sagas. Have you ever seen the mini-series? Yes? Well, forget that, wash your eyes out and settle down with the real thing.
Forbidden love, religious disputes, land-wars, class divisions, unrequited passion, cross-culture affairs, dysfunctional parenting, money, poverty, fame, world travel, the outback… I could go on forever listing what this book includes.
The writing is excellent: the outback glows, plantations steam and the characters live. You will suffer for them, you will want to slap them, weep at their pain or kiss them and make it all better.
And it’ll walk you through four generations. A book like ‘The Thorn Birds’ becomes a personal friend.
Don’t expect to get anything done until you’ve finished it. If you live with someone who doesn’t understand these things, best move out until you’ve finished reading.
They may not have exotic settings and the romances may be with the boy next door, but these stories give that same sense of stepping into the lives of characters, and sharing their hopes and joys.
The following recommendations are tales of triumph over trauma and will make you think that there is a novel in all of us.
The last book in the Four Streets Trilogy, it is a marvellous combination of traditional ‘true grit and stoic’ saga and pure high drama.
Not afraid to tackle some devastating issues, Dorries sets apart from usual unwanted pregnancy along the outraged devout Catholic family. Instead, there is a trans-Atlantic conundrum and an unwanted child that can’t simply be signed away out of the mother’s life. Although it stands clear that Dorries disapproves of much in the back-story, it is told with real affection.
Personally, I love a book which acknowledges that all isn’t sunshine and light in the post WW2 world, and this is set in 1963.
Buy all three, and you’ll be glad you’ve found a new favourite author.
Image Source: WordPress
This is a totally subjective opinion, but I’m giving it anyway: this is a delight.
Set in Brighton, it follows two very English, very ordinary working-class girls of the time, as they grow up together in the 1960s and ’70s. This is an era which I can just about remember but which now seems almost as alien as the Regency period.
The life-styles and values of the time are beautifully described, and the friendships and love affairs, as the girls grow up with every expectation of never leaving their home-town, are sensitively explored.
When change comes, in their lives and in the times they live through, each of the friends must find a way to adapt to a new relationship and a new way of living.
These are books which become friends, and because they are generally well-researched, they can really bring their subject to life.
Do you enjoy books which paint the bigger picture? Please share your favourites.
Rate 5 movies and we'll find your next favorite one. For FREE.