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Books List

Date Title Author Genre Comment Chooser
November 2020 “Big Sky " Kate Atkinson Detective Current read Brenda
September 2020 “And When Did You Last See Your Father?" Blake Morrison Relationship with father 6 to 8 Bill
September 2020 or “The Help” Kathryn Stockitt Not read Bill
July 2020 “Deacon King Kong" James McBride Quirky Fiction Too "larger than life" characters for some but loved by others. Lindsay
July 2020 or “Colour of Water” James McBride Biography of his mother Well received by all who read. Readers had great respect for the woman Lindsay
June 2020 Found Erin Kinsley Thriller - It is about an 11 year old boy who goes missing We all agreed that it was a page turner, and it was given a score between 7.5 – 8.0 Caroline
May 2020 Lightless Sky Gulwali Passarlay True story - journey child refugee Most people had read it, and others were part way through. Everyone who had completed it really enjoyed it. It was well written, a page turner that engaged us and we learnt a lot by it was the comments. 9s were the order of the day, even a 9.5 to 10 - it turns out that we are a but culturally unable to give 10s or something like that. Others went from 7.5 - 8, giving an average of 8.9 mathematically worked out by Liz Jane W
March 2020 The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Alternative Historical Fiction A few members had read, or nearly completed the book... It was well received on the whole, although some struggled with the style of writing, and found it was slow to get started, and ran out of steam towards the end. It was rated 7.5->8/10 Liz
January 2020 Unnatural Causes Dr Richard Shepherd Autobiography/Crime The book was enjoyed by all and was rated quite highly at around 8-9/10. The extensive range of cases covered evoked some thoughtful comments and discussions. Penny
November 2019 A Gentleman in Moscow Amor Towles Historical Fiction Scored overall 6.6 with scores ranging from 5 to 9.5. Some members found the middle a challenge to keep going through and gravitated to the end at a faster speed Richard
September 2019 How To Be Right: ... in a world gone wrong James O'Brien non-fiction Described as Well Worth Reading. Inspired review of topical events and had a range of scores. Thought provoking and feedback inspired some who found hard going at the start to persist and read further.
July 2019 The Salt Path Raynor Winn non-fiction Scored 8.5. A good number of the group had read the book. Some people were apprehensive as they started reading that it would be a depressing read but once into the remarkable journey of the couple the book was found to be interesting and uplifting.
May 2019 This is going to hurt. Adam Kay non-fiction Scored 8.5. A well appreciated book, humorous, but informative, insightful and humbling - should be a compulsory read for everyone so they can truly appreciate the wonderful people who work in the NHS despite the personal sacrifices involved.
Ann C
April 2019 Watching Edie Camilla Way Novel Scored 8.5. A gritty tale of people with real problems in their lives with a number a of twists that kept you guessing.
February 2019 Ladder of Years Anne Tyler Novel Scored 7-8. We spent a considerable amount of time discussing the book, mainly due to the bizarre ending. The book was a bit like Marmite ... love it or hate it !
December 2018 THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL ANNE FRANK Diary, factual Scored 8.5/10. Readers had respect for the historical significance and the accomplishments of such a young writer. (anyone who was at the meeting, please feel free to expand on this)
October 2018 The Forty Rules of Love” Elif Shafak Novel Scored ~8/10? anyone who remembers please correct/add comments - thanks Lindsay
August 2018 The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable: A True Tale of Passion, Poison and Pursuit Carol Baxter Crime, factual People found it an interesting read with the main story and information of the development of some aspects of modern life. The main character was actually an ancestor of one of our group! We scored it around 8/10
July 2018 My Name is Leon Kit de Waal Lifestyle The book was thought an easy read and generally liked. It depicted how the cultural problems in the 80’s contributed to difficulties in Leon’s life and was a well written study of how he coped but was drifting into trouble. However some people thought the “happy ever after” ending was weak. The scores had a small spread, around 7.25/10 on average.
Jane W
May 2018 The Paying Guests Sarah Waters Lifestyle Can anyone remember comments? Scored 8/10
March 2018 The Year of Living Danishly Helen Russell Lifestyle Well liked and thought provoking. Discussion centred around social and cultural norms and expectations. Linked to the recent announcement that Finland is the happiest country in the world to live and the Scandinavia lifestyle is often cited as being desirable. Generally the long dark Winters were not seen as favourable. Scored 7.75/10
February 2018 Siddhartha Herman Hesse Life / Religion Feelings about Siddhartha by Herman Hesse were very lukewarm. People generally didn’t like the main character and felt his search was selfish and all about himself with little regard for anyone else, which diminished any message that was being put forward by the book. Average Score 4.5/10
December 2017 The Last Days of Night Graham Moore Historical novel It was enjoyed by us all, and provoked a lively discussion. The average score was 8.5/10 Richard
October 2017 The Farming Ladder George Henderson Life History/Text Book Details the experience of a farmer and his thoughts on the best methods of agricultural production in the 1930-40s. A Marmite read. Score 6/10 Rod
October 2017 The Trouble with Goats and Sheep Joanna Cannon Novel A quirky novel set during the heat-wave summer of 1976. Score 6/10 Ann C
August 2017 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman Novel Can anyone remember comments? IIRC it was well received. Score 8/10? Zoe
July 2017 A God in Ruins Kate Atkinson Novel Full of interesting wartime detail, well researched. Score 7.5/10 ???
May 2017 The long and winding road Alan Johnson Autobiography, politics An easy and informative book that provoked some discussion. Score 7.5/10
March 2017 Do not say we have nothing Madeleine Thein Historical novel Provided insight into Chairman Mao's cultural revolution and the Tiananmen massacre. Score 8/10
January 2017 Leaving Time Jodi Picoult Historical novel A good story that provoked a discussion about spiritualists, seances and the like. Score 8/10
December 2016 Angel Elizabeth Taylor Fiction Easy page turner, main character far from an Angel. Average scored 6/10
October 2016 Exposure Helen Dunmore Thriller, Fiction Provoked wide ranging discussion. Good Read.
August 2016 Prisoners of Geography Tim Marshall Geopolitics High Scoring Recommended Read. Rated 8.6/10
June 2016 The Long Walk Slavomir Rawicz Based On True Story Positive Review. Some improbable aspects. Scoring 8.2/10
May 2016 Love in a cold climate Nancy Mitford Humour, Fiction Uninspiring and lacked a good story line. Average score 4.
March 2016 Fair Stood the Wind for France H E Bates Military An easy read which invoked the fear of hiding in occupied territory and that was enjoyed by all. Average score 8
January 2016 Tom's Midnight Garden Philippa Pearce Childrens An easy read that was enjoyed by most of the club. Average score 7.5
November 2015 Le Grand Meaulnes Alain Fourier European This book was not thought to have aged well, with average score around 5/10
October 2015 Our man in Havana Graham Greene Classic A very entertaining book which we all thouroughly enjoyed reading. Score 8/10
August 2015 Funny Girl Nick Hornby Comedy A disappointing read, not going anywhere and not particularly funny.
The average score was probably around 5/10
April 2015 Travels with a donkey in the Cevennes Robert Louis Stevenson Travel (and donkey"!) Most people found this book rather heavy going, and lacking in travel interest. The average score was 4.5
April 2015 Spanish Steps, Travels with my donkey Tim Moore Travel (and "donkey"!) An enjoyable and entertaining book. Average score 7.5
March 2015 This Boy Alan Johnson Politics An easy read that painted a good picture of life for the poor in the 1950s. Average score 7.5/10
January 2015 The Dog Stars Peter Heller Sci-Fi We felt this was more of a post apocalyptic novel rather than fantasy or Sci-Fi. We gave it an average score of 7/10.
November 2014 Educating Rita Willie Russell Play, fiction Very enjoyable play reading evening, although didn't finish the play.
September 2014 The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown Non Fiction, Sport Mixed reviews with some liking it and some finding it too detailed. Average score 7
July 2014 (1) Gone girl Gillian Flynn Mystery? Generally enjoyed - all giving it 8/ worth reading if you havent already.
July 2014 (2) And the Mountains echoed Khaled Hossein Novel not so popular - most people scored it about 6 but one very low score of 1 brought the average out at 4.5
June 2014 Touching distance James Cracknell & Beverley Turner Biography Generally it was felt to be a very interesting book - some enjoyed the sports/Olympic aspects and other were very interested in the brain damage effect. Overall score 7.5/10
April 2014 Rip Tide Stella Rimington Thriller
February 2014 The Day of the Jack Russell Colin Bateman Detective? It was voted 6/10 and had very mixed reviews with scores from 2/10 to 9/10!
January 2014 Various books from the Samuel Johnson prize for non fiction shortlist (choice of 6 books) various
November 2013 The Cuckoo's Calling Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) Detective The scores ranged from 5 to 9; averaging out at around 7.5, with most people enjoying JK Rowling’s first detective novel.
September 2013 The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald Classic The consensus for the Great Gatsby was that although the setting and the era was beautifully described, none of the characters were at all likeable, so we gave it a score of 4/10.
July 2013 The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Through a Window and Disappeared Jonas Jonasson It was voted 7/10 and most people found it a funny, lighthearted read
May 2013 The Maid of Buttermere Melvyn Bragg A real “Marmite” book, we some people liking it very much, and rating it 8/10, and others not liking it at all, and rating it 2/10. Average score 5/10.
April 2013 The Siege Helen Dunmore Covering the siege of Leningrad this book made light work of a hard hitting subject. Although it was thought provoking we felt it lacked any real depth and therefore gave it 6/10
Feb 2013 The Buried Circle Jenni Mills A very well received book which combined a good storyline with plenty of historical facts and local interest. We gave it 9/10!
Dec 2012 Saturday Ian McEwan
Oct 2012 Born on a Blue Day Daniel Tammet This was a very interesting read and different people were able to relate to different parts of it. It was given an average score of 8/10
Sept 2012 The Red House Mark Haddon On the whole people enjoyed reading the book, and thought that it was well written, although it didn’t stick in the memory for long. It was given an average score of 7.1/10
Jul 2012 A Place in My Country: In Search of a Rural Dream Ian Walthew We were very disappointed by this book, which was easy to read but lacked a good story line or real substance. It was given an average score of 4/10
Jun 2012 The Girl on the Landing Paul Torday A well written book that was easy to read and provoked a good discussion. It was given 7/10 or 8/10 by all who had read it
Apr 2012 Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens
Feb 2012 Choice 2 Steve Jobs - The Exclusive Biography Walter Isaacson
Feb 2012 Choice 1 Business stripped bare: Adventure of a global entrepreneur Richard Branson
Jan 2012 Middlesex Jeffery Eugenides Rated 7/10
Nov 2011 Our Kind of Traitor John le Carre
Sept 2011 The Channel 4 TV Book club summer reads (8 books) various
July 2011 The Year of Living Biblically A.J. Jacobs
May 2011 -alternate Norweigian Wood Haruki Murakami
May 2011 The thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet David Nichols
March 2011 The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot Rated 8/10
January 2011 -alternative option Meltdown Ben Elton Rated 7.5/10
January 2011 Operation Mincemeat Ben Macintyre Rated 9.5/10
November 2010 The Lost Continent Bill Bryson
October 2010 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson Rated 7.5/10 good read, but not quite up to the hype!
July 2010 Solar Ian McEwan
June 2010 All Quiet on the Western Front Eric Marie Remarque Rated 8.5/10 and a worthwhile read.
May 2010 The Lieutenant Kate Grenville
March 2010 Right Ho, Jeeves P.G. Woodhouse
January 2010 (alternate choice) A lust for Windowsills Harry Mount
January 2010 The White Tiger Aravind Adiga
October 09 (alternate choice) The Book Thief Marcus Zusak
October 09 The American Boy Andrew Taylor
September 09 (alternate choice) Northern Lights Philip Pullman
September 09 The Help Kathryn Stockitt
July 09 Snow Orhan Pamuk
June 09 The Other Hand Chris Cleave
June 09 (alternate choice) Angels and Demons Dan Brown
April 09 The Delegates Choice Ian Sansom
April 09 (alternate choice) The Yes Man Danny Wallace
February 09 "A Mercy" Toni Morrison
Dec-08 Poems and Stories Various
Nov-08 Planet of the Blind Stephan Kuusisto
Sep-08 The Road Home Rose Tremain
Jul-08 Dreams of my father Barak Obama
Jul-08 Blood River Tim Butcher
Jul-08 Bearded Tit Rory McGrath
Jun-08 Mill on the Floss George Elliot
Jun-08 Candide Voltaire
Apr-08 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
Feb-08 Fever Pitch Nick Hornby
January 08 "Maps for Lost Lovers" Nadeem Aslam
"The Naming of the Dead" Ian Rankin
November 07 "Farewell my Lovely" Raymond Chandler
October 07 "Purple Hibiscus" or "Half a Yellow Sun" Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
August 07 Cleopatra’s Needle Anne Mustoe
June 07 Brighton Rock Graham Greene
Apr 07 Semi-Detached Griff Rhys Jones
Mar 07 Small Island Andrea Levy
Jan 07 The Thunderbolt Kid Bill Bryson
Jan 07 A Spot of Bother Mark Haddon
Jan 07 Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Jan 07 The Innocent Man John Grisham
Dec 06 Readings of Poetry and short stories etc. Various
Nov 06 also Play (part 2)- The Cocktail Party T.S. Eliot
Nov 06 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Marina Lewycka
Nov 06 The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
Oct 06 also Play (part 1)- The Cocktail Party T.S. Eliot
Oct 06 A Quiet Vendetta Roger Jon Ellory
Aug-06 You Know you got Soul Jeremy clarkson
Jun-06 The Farm Richard Benson
Arthur and George Julian Barnes
Lincoln Lawyer Michael Connelly
Apr-06 Moondust Andrew Smith
Mar-06 Around the world in 80 days Jules Verne Travel / Adventure
Dec-05 Irish poets (various) Irish Poets
Nov-05 The Beach Alex Garland Thriller / cult Only a couple of people read it − good page turner
− quite a lot of discussion around cult nature of book,
and comparisons to film
The Road Taken Michael Burke Everyone enjoyed this
Sep-05 Broken Music Sting Autobiog Enjoyed by most, though some found writing style
Stuart a life backwards Alexander Masters
Jul-05 Like a Fiery Elephant:The story of BS Johnson Jonathan Coe Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction Both these titles were enjoyed by those who read them
(Stuart a Life Backwards currently being serialised on BBC4).
The Fiery Elephant book quite hard going though
Jun-05 Persuasion Jane Austen Classics Half the group read this book, who all really enjoyed the
book − good characters and lots of wit. most probably
read it before. I think there was another title, can’t
remember what.
Apr-May 2005 Time and the Conways JB Priestley Play Everyone really enjoyed doing a play and reading it out
in parts. This was linked to a theatre visit to see another
Priestley play, An Inspector Calls
Popular Music Mikael Niemi Not many people read this − varying reactions from
not very interesting to very enjoyable.
Mar-05 The Joke Milan Kundera European
The Queen and I Sue Townsend Enjoyable read but not much to discuss!
Feb-05 Case Histories Kate Atkinson Modern good read, but characters are rather
Dec-04 Pompeii Robert Harris Crime Again, wide range of reactions from very enjoyable to
didn’t get past the first 30 pages − yawn.
Blockbusters/beach reads not to all tastes.
Oct-04 The Motorcycle Diaries Che Guevara Travel Only half group had read this. Varying reactions from
brilliant to so so. Film more popular generally −
perhaps we should be a film group!
Jul-04 The Loving Spirit Daphne Du Maurier Romance Definite thumbs down and a bit dodgy with caveat not a
bad attempt for a first book.
May/June 04 Brick Lane (continued) Monica Ali ? I think we selected two books for two meetings?
Brick Lane Monica Ali Varied reaction with some really enjoying it and others
finding it too long and/or slow
Apr-04 Curious Incident of Dog in night-time Mark Haddon Modern Well received and provoked lengthy discussion on subject
of book
Mar-04 Starter for ten Brian Nicholls Modern Light but enjoyable. Some found characters