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For all of you in reading groups and need guidance to select your next group read look no further than our reading group category. Why not print off a few opening extracts to read before you decide?
A gripping and fascinating debut novel, this has ghosts, historical mysteries, murder and such evocative descriptions of Cambridge you will feel you are there yourself. Stott has written many non-fiction works and with this novel proves she has the imagination and insight to write wonderful fiction too. Original and engrossing, you will be gripped from the start.
Utterly brilliant memoir of growing up in 50’s America, of a carefree, rough-and-tumble childhood until a paedophile brings fear to the neighbourhood. I cannot recommend this highly enough. The author is a crime writer and the structure of this work, revealing the facts of the crime investigation alongside her memories and the slow piecing together of the events, is masterful.We are not the only ones who rate this, The Times are recommending it to their Book Groups for July, so get there before everyone else is talking about it first.
This won the Booksellers Award in the authorâ€™s home country of Spain and is a fascinating and intriguing read. Lies and legends that have been passed down for generations are brought to light and show how they affect lives and perceptions. A very enjoyable read.
Okay, this is straight down The Da Vinci Code territory but sans religion. Instead it takes murders echoing Shakespeare’s plots as its contemporary adventure, and revelations from his life as its intriguing historical background. It is well-written, compulsive page-turning stuff and you really don’t have to be a Shakespeare buff to appreciate it. Incidentally, if you are looking it up elsewhere then it is called Interred With Their Bones in its American edition.Comparison: Dan Brown, Kate Mosse, Steve Berry.
Shortlisted for Author of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.This is such an interesting take on how we might have all evolved and an insightful comment on how human beings can act and react in ignorance. Disturbing at times but thought provoking and would be great material for any reading group.
First published over twenty years ago it is fantastic to see Simon and Schuster have brought this back to our awareness. This is a tale of obsessive love, passion and betrayal. The beautiful but fragile Agnes is one of the most heart breaking characters you will ever read about. This is unputdownable, compelling and beautifully written.
This is Jim Crace at his most accessible. With this carefully drawn novel, set in a post-apocalyptic America, Crace takes the reader through the most desperate of circumstances, seemingly humdrum from afar, which, in fact, are the essential elements of existence: shelter, food and companionship. As the tale unfolds, the predicament in which the main protagonists find themselves, initially scarcely credible (could this happen to America?), the author depicts the breakdown so skilfully as to draw resounding parallels with the present day.
Homecoming shares some of the themes from The Reader, Schlinks highly successful novel from 10 years ago, dealing the â€œscars of historyâ€ in the wake of the Second World War. The main character goes on a journey to find out what happened to his German father in World War II with his travels reflecting some experiences of Homerâ€™s Odysseus in The Odyssey. Not all the allusions may be clear for those not familiar with Homer, but it still makes for a moving and thought provoking story.
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 12 March 2008.This is a story about love, loyalties and displacement. The three main characters all so different and yet linked by the sense of dislocation. Esther yearns to leave her sleepy village for a life with more excitement, Rotherham, is a German Jewish refugee who no longer knows where in the world he fits in and Karston is struggling with his feelings of honour after surrendering himself and his men to the English. Ho Davies captures the helplessness of each character as the war wields its devastating effects on them but also shows strong characters who will not allow their circumstances to destroy them.
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 23 January 2008.A rich historical novel set amongst the backdrop of the Crimean War. Mariella is used to the comfort of London Society, the cosy drawing rooms and social occasions and is not prepared for the reality of war when she embarks on a journey to see her injured fiancé and search for her missing cousin. The mention real historical figures such as Florence Nightingale add to the authentic feel of the novel, sweeping you along as Mariella evolves in to a strong independent woman. This is one you will not want to put down.
Barry Forshaw on R. J. Ellory and Stanley Ellin... A Quiet Belief in Angels was the breakthrough book for British writer R.J. Ellory, and his particular skill lies in a sprawling, ambitious realisation of American locales – at times reminiscent of the great Stanley Ellin. And like the sardonic American author of The Speciality of the House, Ellory has a taste for the darker recesses of human psychology. January 2008 Book of the Month. Sarah Broadhust's view... Named the No.1 Mystery of the Year by The Strand Magazine.Now for something completely different – a small-town setting for a riveting tale, one that grows so that when the eventual horror comes, it fair hits you in the stomach. It involves the killing of young girls as World War I breaks out in Europe, a period of death and brutality that so affects a young boy that his teacher persuades him to write about his feelings. We get much depth and emotion which in a crime novel lifts it way above the genre. I particularly enjoyed this one.Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 30 January 2008.Comparison: William Kowalski, John Irving, Edward Wright.
Lovereading Debut of the Year 2007.Margaret Lea is approached by a world famous author, Vida Winter, to undertake her biography. Both their stories unfold with the book, beautifully told with a strong relationship developing between them. It’s a tale of real drama, only the author has spent her life inventing stories and, as a biographer, Margaret has to find the truth. This is a very fine novel indeed.
Perfect Books for Reading Groups
Did you know that the first recorded reading groups were among women working in factories in the nineteenth century? And now, according to research undertaken a few years ago, there are tens of thousands of groups meeting regularly in the UK reading everything from literary classics to technical manuals!
Of course, if you are in a book group, choosing what to read next can be a serious matter as not every book has subject matter that can really be dicussed. So to help you Lovereading has decided to lend a hand by, each month, selecting a number of books we feel are perfect and will give your group a rewarding discussion as well as a rewarding read.
As one reader has said:
"How has it taken me so long to find this treasure of a site? As an avid reader and member of a book group you will be invaluable in selecting future reads. Thanks again for a wonderful site." Angela Whiley
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