What happens at Book Club … gets blogged

As we talked about so many books on this particular occasion, I thought it would be good to write down some of the comments we made about the books we read and why we chose them.

The book that we had all been reading over the past two months was The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twang Eng. “Beautifully written”, “the best book we’ve discussed so far”, “the chronology was confusing, but it was worth the effort in trying to work it out”. Mind you another comment was “the chronology was confusing, and it wasn’t worth the effort in trying to work it out”, but voted by the majority as an amazing book that we loved.

Last month we decided to just raid the shelves and choose a book individually. We chose very diverse books, and it was fun to share our experiences of why we chose what we did and if we enjoyed it.

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner Chosen because of Sally Gardner’s recent Carnegie award for Maggot Moon, and the reviewer’s admiration for her approach to her dyslexia, the book merges the world of faerie with seventeenth century Puritan England. A ‘proper’ fairy tale, with echoes of Cinderella, it would appeal to teenage girls, and adults who enjoy fantasy novels and still have teenage tendencies.

I know this much is true by Wally Lamb Not chosen for its portability or the prospect of a quick read. Other books by this author had been enjoyed and our reviewer reported that at about a quarter of the way through, all the signs were there that this was going to be a winner. Twin brothers (one a paranoid schizophrenic) struggle with their relationships and maybe the narrator isn’t as reliable a witness as first thought. A lot going on in this novel, one for the reader with commitment to last the course and arm muscles of steel.

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle “I want to tell you all about this book, but I’m not going to. You have to read it for yourself, and I’m not going to spoil the beauty of it by explaining it.” There. Enough said. We all took a copy and will report back next time. Expect tears.

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech Another Young Adult book and another about twins. (Oh! To complete a twin trilogy maybe we need to add Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger to our list? Just a thought.) It was felt that this book was ’OK’. Nothing special, a nice read, probably enjoyed by teenagers, but maybe not so much a crossover book that adults would enjoy.

Fade Away by Harlan Coben Myron Bolitar is a full time sports agent and a part time detective. Or is it the other way around? Complex, well written and if you like suspense, thriller, detective novels then this is for you. Good holiday read, but it won’t change your life.

Lost Angel by Kitty Neale Enjoyable drama set in wartime Britain. Lots of juicy domestic plot set against larger scale tragedy. Good book for a holiday read or curled up with hot chocolate and a duvet depending on season.

A Darker Domain by Val McDermid We love Val McDermid and as our reviewer has read exactly three pages so far it’s difficult to write a review. However, a comment was made that the leading characters seem to be very quick to make snap judgements about peoples’ appearances and really that’s not how nice people behave. But we won’t make snap judgements about this one and watch this space for the in-depth follow up.

See you all on 24th September, when we talk about The Space Between by Rachel Billington, A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle and, no doubt, what we all got up to over the summer.

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