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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?
One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2014. 59-year old Ove is quite possibly one of the grumpiest people you’ll meet but, he has been an upstanding pillar of the community for decades. The last six months have taken their toll and he decides perhaps that life is not worth living. Ove lives in a residential area of which he is fanatical about maintaining and keeping to the rules. A family of a pregnant mother, two daughters and an IT consultant dad move in next door. Ove resents them. He resents everything and everyone and so he plans his death but each attempt is thwarted mostly by people needing help. Ove is a very practical man and so he helps, yet he remains exasperated that other people’s lives are beginning to intrude upon him. Quirky, uplifting, charming, sad, life-affirming and totally irresistible, this is a perfect gem that will leave you with a spring in your step.
This is one of those books you begin reading, a little intrigued as to where it’s going, trying to second guess it, continue reading, find you can’t second guess, get nearer and nearer to the end, discover a great twist and realise you have just read a brilliant and clever book and now need to start all over again! A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde is a dark, maniacal thriller that explores many kinds of duality - individual, social and cultural, and is a heartfelt tale about the search for belonging and the nature of love and desire. We don’t want to give too much away so we’ll just say it’s great and bloody funny – give it a go.
A story of farming folk in the 1970s fighting for their living. A brute of a father dominates his eight-year old son and treats his 17-year old daughter like a skivvy. The mother walked out seven years earlier. How, why and what happened comes as quite a shock in this eventful tale of rural England. Most impressive. Comparison: Susan Fletcher, Angela Huth, Mary Lawson (Other Side of the Bridge).
Winner of the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011. May 2011 New Gen Book of the Month. Prize-winning Patrick Ness displays brilliant new skills of sensitivity in this hauntingly touching story of how a boy deals with the looming threat of his mother’s death from cancer. Haunted by a monster in his dreams, denied much information by his family and treated as a weirdo by his class mates and a ‘special case’ by his teachers, Conor struggles to get to grips with the devastating emotions which threaten to overwhelm him. How he finds the courage and strength to face the end when it happens is both utterly shattering and deeply satisfying. Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself.
I am a big fan of this author. She tackles gritty, sensitive issues in a thrilling manner. This one is about post-natal depression which it displays in its worst form. Jessica and Matthew are happy, young and in love. Their pregnancy is unexpected, a bit earlier than planned but still welcomed. Sadly the birth is a Caesarean and Jessica feels distant from her daughter. She then can’t breast feed and feels ill. Everyone else is euphoric. Eventually she gets medical help and things do improve. Then suddenly she begins to deteriorate. This has now gone on for a year and then, of course, the crisis comes. A page-turner, difficult to put down, brilliantly written in an accessible style and language. We have the story itself and also a diary, so sad. I cannot speak too highly of this book. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Click here to see Perfect Daughter by the same author.
Gloriously moving and delightful, this is the perfect companion to hide from reality with for a few hours. At first glance Claire appears to have a heavenly life, her husband is busy finishing their dream cottage and Idyllic Homes are featuring them in their magazine (you know… the darling, fairy-tale type of magazine that actually stuffs you green with envy). Each chapter is headed with an extract from the article detailing Claire’s perfect home, each chapter then describes Claire’s reality; the chaos of three children, an indifferent husband, a monstrous mother-in-law and then the teasing, flirting and fluttering that a click of connection and hope can bring. Become friends with Claire, laugh with her, cry with her, care about her and cheer her on as she struggles to become the person she deserves to be. ~ Liz Robinson
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.
A Secret Kept is a hugely accomplished novel from the multi-million copy bestselling author of Sarah's Key. It plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present. To read it is to enjoy it hugely. Click here to view a reading guide for this book.
Written in an unembellished, reportive style, spotted with journal entries, this is the story of a family seen through the eyes of the women as they cross the vast hostile territories of America on the Oregan Trail in 1845. I was told it would make me cry but to be honest the horrendous incidents on almost every second page just overwhelmed me, leaving me numb, totally gripped but too stunned to cry. Would any of them complete the journey?Comparison: Nancy Turner, Sara Donati.
Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015. May 2015 Debut of the Month. A year in the life of a northern British Mormon family. You’ll certainly learn a lot about the Mormon church but the thrust of the novel is how a family of four kids with a housewife mother and a devout bishop father cope with the death of four year old Issy. It is Jacob’s seventh birthday when Issy becomes unwell. Mum is busy so the two teenage kids, Zippy and Al, are left to mind her. She dies of meningitis. This is lightly written, funny in places, lots of teenage issues and questions of faith, but it is young Jacob’s beliefs that stand out. ~ Sarah Broadhurst One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2014. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2014. The Costa Judges said Bray's book was “a deeply moving story about grief and faith, toldwith the lightest of touches.” A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Picking the right words to help persuade you to read A Song For Issy Bradley feels a big responsibility because I think it is such a special novel. Here are three of the reasons why I love it. 1) Each member of the Bradley family feels vividly alive - it took me back to the awful embarrassment of being a teenage girl; made me want to hug seven-year-old Jacob and experience the devastation of a bereaved mother. 2) It made me think. This is a novel about family – but it’s also about faith and doubt and what you do when everything you’ve believe in changes. 3) The writing is beautiful. I’ve read it several times now and each time I notice new lines that make me think, ‘yes, that is exactly right’. - Jocasta Hamilton, Publishing Director, Hutchinson A letter from the Author... A Song for Issy Bradley is a meditation on doubt and faith and longed-for miracles. I used to imagine that it was also my personal farewell to the miraculous but, as I reflect on the Bradleys’ story, I notice a tacit acknowledgement that sometimes, in very exceptional circumstances, incredible things just might be possible. - Carys Bray, Southport, October 2013. Cick here to read the full letter.
June 2017 Book of the Month. A fascinating foray into the past, and the intriguing missing period of time so well documented, yet little known about in Agatha Christie’s life. I’ve visited the Silent Pool and Newlands Corner where Agatha Christie went missing, so for me this was a must read. Andrew Wilson seamlessly blends fact and fiction, and has obviously thoroughly researched this period in Christie’s life. The Editor’s Note cleverly sets the scene, and then chapter one begins, Agatha Christie, speaking in the first person, oh my word! Andrew Wilson effectively took me back in time to 1926, creating an engaging, readable, and oh so colourful story. This is most definitely not a whodunit, rather it’s an imagined how and why did she do it. ‘A Talent for Murder’ is wonderful escapism, and a worthwhile, thoroughly enjoyable read. ~ Liz Robinson
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 2 December 2010. November 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. Dawn French turns her hand to fiction with the release of novel A Tiny Bit Marvellous – a hilarious and compelling read about a motherand her two teenage children.
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