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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?
May 2012 Book of the Month. Picking up on the term 'a sexual suspect' Irving first used in his landmark novel The World According to Garp, In One Person is the tragic, comic and tender story of Billy. Over 50 years we follow Billy's convoluted bisexual life and the theatrical cast of friends and lovers and he searches for love and a sense of who he is. Political and passionate this has been described as Irving's best novel since The World According to Garp.
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013. Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2012. With her dazzling, utterly absorbing style of writing Bring Up the Bodies focuses on the downfall and destruction of the charismatic Anne Boleyn. This is the sequel to the 2009 Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall the second in what will be a Tudor trilogy. The final book will be called The Mirror & the Light, and will continue Thomas Cromwell's story until his execution in 1540. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012. Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2012. Winner of the Specsavers National Book Awards 'UK Author of the Year' 2012. May 2012 MEGA Book of the Month. Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of Man Booker Prize 2012 judging panel, on Bring Up the Bodies... ‘This double accolade is uniquely deserved. Hilary Mantel has rewritten the rules for historical fiction. In Bring up the Bodies, our greatest modern writer retells the origins of modern England.’' Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts at the Hay Festival on 2 June 2012.
May 2012 Debut of the Month. Captivating, beautifully written with a real sense of location this is a heart wrenching story of modern motherhood that is a real emotional roller-coaster. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... Dear Reader: The first time I read Underside of Joy I was lying on my sofa at home feeling very sorry for myself, and not a little annoyed when I heard that a ‘hot’ book had arrived in my inbox. Frankly, I’d rather have been drinking a hot toddy and having a snooze… Three hours later, I looked up from the manuscript, got on my phone to the office, and started bidding. Underside of Joy is that special. To my great relief we were able to successfully pre-empt in the UK before our competitors got started, and every day we received news that another territory had gone to auction – the US, France, Brazil, Germany, the list was endless, and within a month 14 territories had snapped it up. So, what is this book that seems to speak to readers so universally? It tells the story of two children, and two mothers. Ella has been mum to her husband Joe’s children, 3 year-old Zach and 6 year-old Annie, for the past three years, believing their ‘natural’ mother, Paige, has abandoned them, and she loves them as fiercely and passionately as any mother. Then the unthinkable happens and Joe is killed in an accident, leaving Ella gasping for air but clinging to her children for dear life. And then, the moment that stopped me in my tracks, and gave me the goosebumps you only get when you read something special… Little Annie breaks away from the mourners at Joe’s funeral, runs headlong and hurtling towards a statuesque blonde, and calls out the word ‘Mama’. From that page onwards, Seré has you in her snare, sympathies switching endlessly between Ella and Paige, emotions being wrung out by this tragic, uplifting, complex and unforgettable narrative. The novel is so moving that, as one publisher in the Netherlands said after reading its pages, “[I] hugged my kids and husband a little tighter, and felt that bit more patient and grateful.” And as you finish reading this journey through the under-side of joy, you are left feeling its polar opposite – pure unadulterated joy. And how many books can deliver you that! Happy reading. Sarah Ritherdon, Publishing Director, HarperCollins _____________________________________________________________________________________ A few Lovereading members have been lucky enough to get to read this novel ahead of publication. Scroll down to see what they think...
May 2012 Debut of the Month. This gripping contemporary thriller will have you turning the pages, and re-evaluating people you call friends. How do you know whether it’s dangerous to leave your children alone with them? For a debut it’s very confidently written and using multiple voices, of the main characters, lets the reader see multiple, increasingly disturbing perspectives. A great one for reading groups, but not for single mothers...
May 2012 MEGA Debut of the Month. What a brilliant and memorable debut. Superb characters, heart-rending plot and, set on an island 100 miles from Australia, a uniquely beautiful setting. After the horrors of WW1 Tom finds first solace as a lighthouse keeper and joy as he shares the experience with his young wife. Then one morning a decision they take, seemingly for the best, has devastating consequences. We think this is a perfect book for reading groups. Listen to an audio extract by clicking on the orange arrow below. The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman by Random House Audiobooks
May 2012 MEGA Debut of the Month. One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012. An enchanting, sweeping debut of big storytelling, of social and political change spanning the First World War and beyond, perfect for reading groups and fans of Kate Morton and Downton Abbey. It's a glorious read, highly recommended.
April 2012 Book of the Month. This is the stunning, emotional debut novel, first published in 1995, from the unclassifiable but excellent author Jennifer Egan. She gained fame after winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for her spellbinding A Visit from the Goon Squad. In The Invisible Circus obsession over the death of a sister leads the surviving sibling on a odyssey to discover the truth, unearthing uncomfortable revelations about her family.
April 2012 Debut of the Month. This edgy, seductive, tense and sinister debut, perfect for reading groups, will have you, like us, engrossed; but can you really trust the memory and recollections of the narrator Rachel? If you enjoyed Notes on a Scandal, Before I Go to Sleep or Sister then this could be right up your street.
An unusual and delightful debut that all lovers of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian will adore. Normally I find novels written in emails, memos, diary entries and the like, such as this is, irritating but this succeeds on all levels. The different strains of the madcap story, reported in different voices, works a treat and as the characters are developed and the plot unfolds, so your interest is held vice-like. Part political satire, part scientific experiment, part spiritual enlightenment and part love story, it is highly accomplished, lightly amusing, unexpectedly touching and very rewarding. I truly loved it. Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2007. The film adaptation of this book due is due to premiere in the UK on 20th April 2012. Comparison: Marina Lewycka, Mark Haddon, Ben Elton.
April 2012 Book of the Month. Getting a copy of a new novel from award-winning Sebastian Barry in the office is always a treat and his latest is simply superb. Spanning nearly seven decades, it is a devastating and beautiful novel of memory, war, family-ties and love, which once again displays Sebastian Barry's exquisite prose and gift for storytelling. Shortlisted for the Galaxy International Author of the Year Award 2011. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.
Lucia on Holiday is a new addition to the Mapp and Lucia canon, based on the immortal characters first created by E.F. Benson. Perfect reading for followers of Benson's original novels and sure to be equally loved by new fans, this is a pitch-perfect and deliciously enjoyable social satire of an England long gone but not forgotten. A ‘Piece of Passion’ from the publisher Elliott & Thompson...'Guy and I met when we published a book he had written on cricket and racial and class tensions in the 1960s and 70s; a fascinating subject, but not one I had known much about beforehand. We bonded over a mutual love of EF Benson’s classic Mapp and Lucia novels when I discovered Guy had written his own sequel – with another in the pipeline. Like me, Guy came across the originals as a child and has been hooked ever since. Although we were largely focusing on non-fiction I just couldn’t resist, and I’m so glad I didn’t. Both Lucia on Holiday and Major Benjy have been a joy to edit: the brilliance of Benson’s books is in the writing – full of nuanced and exquisitely funny observations – and Guy brings the same joyously jaded eye and fantastic turn of phrase to his sequels. Tilling (a fictional Rye) is the archetypal timeless English village: in Major Benjy, as with Benson’s novels, the plot revolves around ordinary life in the 1920s. There’s skulduggery at a cake-making competition, a disastrous dinner party and a housekeeper with designs on her employer. All so seemingly minor and yet Tilling is a hotbed of strategic alliances, fiendish plotting and one-upmanship. It’s the perfect anecdote to the stresses of the modern world; more refreshing than a gin and tonic.' Olivia Bays, Publisher at Elliott & Thompson In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Lucia on Holiday a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'What a delightful, funny, captivating read this book is from start to finish...A really good old fashioned and light-hearted story with endearing characters which will leave you with a smile on your face.' Scroll down to read more reviews.
You always put your own child first, don't you? When an explosion rips through her daughter's school, Rose McKenna faces a horrifying choice. Does she go in search of her daughter, Melly, or save the children nearest to her first, one of whom is the bully who has been making her daughter's life a misery...This is an international bestseller from an award-winning author. Save Me is Sophie's Choice for the 21st Century.
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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