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Book Club Recommendations

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 discussed. 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.

Sorry

Sorry

Author: Zoran Drvenkar Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/09/2012

This highly original, dark (v v dark) and sinister thriller breaks all the rules; such as switching from 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and having a highly fragmented timeline, but it delivers something thrillingly different. Four friends set up an agency to say ‘sorry’ and allow company executives to be absolved of guilt - but does that mean anyone can be absolved of anything with a simple transfer of cash?

eBooks of the Month
The Believers

The Believers

Author: Zoe Heller Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2009

A dysfunctional famlily saga that begins in London in 1962 and then moves to Manhattan 40 years later. Heller has created some very memorable characters and skillfully handles them, as a revelation causes the Litvinoff family to reconsider their lives.

eBooks of the Month
On Beauty

On Beauty

Author: Zadie Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/07/2020

WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Swing Time, White Teeth and Grand Union, discover a brilliantly funny and deeply moving story about love and family Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful? Set between New England and London, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family. 'Ambitious, hugely impressive, beautifully observed' Guardian

eBooks of the Month
A Cupboard Full of Coats

A Cupboard Full of Coats

Author: Yvvette Edwards Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2011

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011. Narrated with a distinct and fiery spice, Jinx and Lemon must find their own paths to redemption in this stunning debut novel in which over the course of one weekend they strip away the layers of the past to lay bare a story full of jealousy and tragic betrayal.

The Disaster Tourist

The Disaster Tourist

Author: Yun Ko-Eun Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2021

Yun Ko-eun’s The Disaster Tourist is a triumph of originality and slick, satirical style. It’s a richly wry, cuttingly dark comedy that shines a light on the absurdities (and ethical dubiousness) of certain tourism practices, and on modern life more generally, with its understated lyricism packing poignant punch. Through Yona, we certainly see the bizarreness of the world we live in. A world in which a thirty-three-year-old woman works for a travel company that specialises in disaster tourism package holidays. To compensate Yona for being sexually harassed by him, her boss allows her to take a break on one of the trips they’re thinking of axing. What a deal! What a way to deal with harassment! Yona goes on the trip to the remote Vietnamese island of Mui, where the major attraction is a supposedly catastrophic sinkhole. When she becomes trapped here, the island takes on the appearance of “a theme park that wasn’t yet open”. Then, after making a hideous discovery, cutting truths are revealed like exposed nerves amidst escalating absurdity - and tragedy. Quite brilliant.  

Star Books
The Saffron Kitchen

The Saffron Kitchen

Author: Yasmin Crowther Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2007

Contrasting rural Iranian life and traditions with a London immigrant's affluence, this is an impressive work of love, family and identity.

Debut Books of the Month
Beatrice and Virgil

Beatrice and Virgil

Author: Yann Martel Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2011

One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011.   July 2011 Book of the Month. This is an utterly beguiling, magical, fable-like story that uses the relationships between humans and animals to address much bigger themes including those about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity.  Like his multi-million copy selling and Booker Prize winning Life of Pi, the reader is taken on an odyssey but this time to address the emotional legacy of the holocaust through Henry, an ordinary man with whom the reader will care greatly for and through Beatrice and Virgil, a donkey and a howler monkey.  It’s written on many different levels so it’s a book that is bound to create a big buzz both for and against it. Views are divided here but lovers of Life of Pi will I think find this an absorbing but possibly heart-breaking tale.

eBooks of the Month
The Society of Others

The Society of Others

Author: William Nicholson Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/05/2005

This review is provided by bookgroup.info.This extraordinary novel by William Nicholson (better known as the playwright responsible for Shadowlands and co-screenwriter of Gladiator) is a surprise from start to finish.  The narrator is a young man, passive to the point of inertia, whose motto is 'Life is hard and then you die'. He spends his time in his bedroom doing nothing - really nothing at all - until a pigeon gives him a sign that he should get away. This sets him off on a Kafkaesque journey where he is hurtled from violence to danger and back again via a cast of strange characters. His wry and, at times, very funny commentary reveals his personality (which is actually quite lovable) and its development along the way. It is a philosophical and spiritual journey and I have to admit that, as someone with a profound distrust of religion, I was tempted to put the book down as soon as the G word was mentioned. I had to remind myself that I read because I want to know what other people have to say and to keep my mind open. I'm glad I did because ultimately it's a thought-provoking book that calls for an oblique and humane perspective on the world. It also engendered a very lively discussion amongst our group.Sarah Broadhurst's view...Renowned children’s author has written his first adult novel that he describes as “a thriller about the meaning of life”.  It stars a normal teenager with no direction, no ambition and no motivation who sort of falls into hitch-hiking round Europe.  With no destination, he goes wherever the lorry driver is going enduring the man’s philosophical chat along the way.  Borders are crossed and suddenly we are in very foreign territory indeed, a dangerous, frightening Kafka-esque place and our teenager walks into a nightmare.  Reading it is like receiving a sharp punch in the stomach.  A staggeringly impressive work.Comparison: Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader, Jim Crace, J M Coetzee.Similar this month: Yasmina Khadra, William Sutcliffe.

eBooks of the Month
The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life

The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life

Author: William Nicholson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/05/2010

May 2010 Book of the Month. A wonderful collection of characters, in a small Sussex village, all have their secrets, resentments, heartache and desires. A book that will keep you gripped from page one. This author is perhaps better know for his teen fiction but this book shows his talents cross over in to the world of adult fiction too.

Books of the Month
Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob

Author: William Landay Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/02/2013

This stunning, sophisticated, legal thriller has been lauded with praise by some heavyweight crime authors [see the review section] and we can only agree. A community is shocked when a school boy is found brutally stabbed to death but it takes a shockingly personal turn when the son of the Assistant district attorney is implicated in the killing. How far will he go to protect his son? With twists, turns and some jaw dropping revelations it really is one that no crime fan should miss.   Click here to view videos of William Landay answering readers' questions about this book.   In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Defending Jacob a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I am still thinking about the story five days later...You have to read Defending Jacob – it is quite simply a brilliant story!' Scroll down to read more reviews.

eBooks of the Month
The Inheritors

The Inheritors

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2011

This was Golding’s 2nd published novel and hailed by critics as his best, so startling was it that one, Arthur Koestler, described it as ‘an earthquake in the petrified forests of the English Novel’.55 years on the novel charting the downfall of the Neanderthals, from their perspective, by the violent race of Homo Sapiens is still shocking.

eBooks of the Month
Naked Lunch : The Restored Text

Naked Lunch : The Restored Text

Author: William Burroughs Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/04/2010

One of Irvine Welsh's favourite books. The anarchic, phenomenally strong-sellling classic from the godfather of the Beats. Welcome to Interzone!