Now in our 11th year, the first meeting of 2016 will be this Monday 18th from 7.30pm in the Kings Arm 65 Newcomen street. I'm going to double check but I believe they are now serving food until 8pm, so just double check back here for confirmation of the venue.
We are an informal and hopefully friendly book club that doesn't take itself too seriously over the years people have come and gone but we always welcome new people to the group. If you would like to give us a try do come along. We will be talking about The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
We take it in turn to shortlist 3 books and we choose which of those 3 books to read on the night. - Tattie to short list the books for February. All books should be readily available for under £5
Here's an updated list of the books we have read so far
Leo the African / Leo Africanus, by Amin Maalouf
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
Walking the lines - The London underground overground by Mark Mason
The Wimbledon Poisoner by Nigel Williams
H is for Hawk
Kazuo Ishiguro - A Pale View of Hills
The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion
Snow White Must Die - Nele Neuhaus
The Dress Maker of Khair Khana - Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff
Concrete Island byJ.G. Ballard
The Chrysalids - John Wyndham
The Colour of Milk is the new novel by Nell Leyshon.
Me before you by Jo Jo Moyes
The Human by Matt Haig
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson
If on a winters night a traveller by Italo Calvino
How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran By Light Alone - Adam Roberts
What a Carve Up- Jonathan Coe
Dubliners - James Joyce
The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt
A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada
SKIOS by Michael Frayn
Agent Z and the penguin from Mars Mark Haddon
The universe Versus Alex Wood by Gavin Extence.
The ballad of Peckham Rye, Muriel Spark,
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Mary Ann in Autumn (Tales of the City), by Armistead Maupin
The Milkman In The Night by Andrey Kurkov
"Snowdrops" by A.D.Miller
,"Mother's Milk" by Edward St Aubyn
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), John le Carrι.
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
"The Hypnotist" by Lars Kepler
"The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey.
The Strangers Child by Alan Hollinghurst
The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
God's Own Country - Ross Raisin
The Reindeer People - Megan Lindholm
The Children's Book - A.S. Byatt
One Day - David Nicholls
When God was a Rabbit - Sarah Winman
Dan Leno and the Lime House Golem - Peter Ackroyd
By Light Alone by Adam Roberts
Handle with Care - Jodi Picoult
The Alchemist - Paul Coelho
A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening - Mario de Carvalho
Foolish Lessons in Life & Love - Penny Rudge
Secret History - Donna Tartt
Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Post Birthday World - Lionel Shriver
Dr Sax - Jack Kerouac
Ordinary Thunderstorms - William Boyd
The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalin
The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Five quarters of the orange - Joanne Harris
The Remedy - Michelle Lovric
The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenger
A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
The Sorrows of Young Werther - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Suite Francais - Irene Nemirovsky
Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living - Carrie Tiffany
When I lived in Modern Times - Linda Grant
Star of the Sea Joseph OConnor
Fingersmith Sarah Waters
Popcorn Ben Elton
A short history of nearly everything Bill Bryson
Dont drop the coffin Barry Albin-Dyer
Cloud Atlas David Mitchell
Do not pass Go Tim Moore
Aberystwyth Mon Amour Malcolm Pryce
Last Tango in Aberystwyth Malcolm Pryce
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time Mark Haddon
We need to talk about Kevin Lionel Shriver
The best a man can get John OFarrell
Never let me go Kazuo Ishiguro
The History of Love Nicole Krauss
On Beauty Zadie Smith
Misfortune Wesley Stace
And Still I Rise Doreen Lorence
The Historian Elizabeth Kostova
The Secret River Kate Grenville
First Casualty Ben Elton
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Marina Lewycka
Service Wash Rupert Smith
Restless William Boyd
Black Swan Green David Mitchell
Post Birthday World Lionel Shriver
Salmon fishing in the Yemen Paul Torday
The house by the Thames Gillian Tindall
The Bookseller of Kabul Asne Seierstad
The Other side of the Bridge Mary Lawson
On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan
Engleby Sebastian Faulks
The Dice Man Luke Rhinehart
Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
The Heat of the Day Elizabeth Bowen
Wish you were here Mike Gayle
Call The Midwife Jennifer Worth
The Book Thief Marcus Zusak
Shakespeare: The world as a stage Bill Bryson
Mary Reilly Valerie Martin
And I have just been prompted it is my turn to put up a selection of books.
1. The surgeon of crowthorne - Simon Winchester
I will keep on putting this one forward until it will finally be choosen, that's how good I think it is. It's different though, not a work of fiction. One of the keenest volunteers in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary was a W C Minor. His refusal to go to Oxford to receive his congratulations led to the editor going to meet him in Berkshire, where he found that Minor was a millionaire American civil war surgeon turned lunatic, imprisoned in Broadmoor Asylum for murder.
2. No time for goodbye - Linwood Barclay
On the morning she will never forget, suburban teenager Cynthia Archer awakes with a nasty hangover and a feeling she is going to have an even nastier confrontation with her mom and dad. But when she leaves her bedroom, she discovers the house is empty, with no sign of her parents or younger brother Todd. In the blink of an eye, without any explanation, her family has simply disappeared.
Twenty-five years later Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? If so, why was she spared? And if they're alive, why did they abandon her in such a cruel way? Now married with a daughter of her own, Cynthia fears that her new family will be taken from her just as her first one was. And so she agrees to take part in a TV documentary revisiting the case, in the hope that somebody somewhere will remember something - or even that her father, mother or brother might finally reach out to her . . .
Then a letter arrives which makes no sense and yet chills Cynthia to the core. And soon she begins to realise that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she has ever made . . .
3. Extraordianry People - Peter May
An old mystery.
As midnight strikes, a man desperately seeking sanctuary flees into a church. The next day, his sudden disappearance will make him famous throughout France.
A new science.
Forensic expert Enzo Macleod takes a wager to solve the seven most notorious French murders using modern technology - and a total disregard for the justice system.
A fresh trail.
Deep in the catacombs below the city, he unearths dark clues deliberately set - and as he draws closer to the killer, discovers that he is to be the next victim.
As prompted by Jac, here are my three options for April's Book Club reading. I've checked on Amazon (as the easiest option) and all are available second-hand for under £5 ... I'll be bringing along print-outs of the list for people to look at tonight.
1. Your Face Tomorrow: Fever & Spear Javier Marias
Recently divorced, Jacques Deza moves from Madrid to London in order to distance himself from his ex-wife and children. There he picks up old friendships from his Oxford University days, particularly Sir Peter Wheeler, retired don and semi-retired spy. It is at an Oxford party of Wheeler's that Jacques is approached by the enigmatic Bertram Tupra. Tupra believes that Jacques has a talent: he is one of those people who sees more clearly than others, who can guess from someone's face today what they will become tomorrow. His services would be of use to a mysterious group whose aims are unstated but whose day-to-day activities involve the careful observation of people's character and the prediction of their future behaviour. The 'group' may be part of MI6, though Jacques will find no reference to it in any book; he will be called up to report on all types of people from politicians and celebrities, to ordinary citizens applying for bank loans. As Deza is drawn deeper into this twilight world of observation, Marias shows how trust and betrayal characterise all human relationships. How do we read people, and how far can the stories they tell about themselves be trusted when, by its very nature, all language betrays? Moving from the intimacy of Jacques' marriage to the deadly betrayals of the Spanish Civil War, Your Face Tomorrow is an extraordinary meditation on our ability to know our fellow human beings, and to save ourselves from fever and pain.
2. Nine Stories J.D. Salinger
Nine Stories is a compilation of nine classic Salinger tales, each with the intriguing characters for which the author is known and loved. The first story, A Perfect Day for Bananafish, draws the reader into the light, airy atmosphere of a summer day at the beach only to devastate with an ending not for the weak of heart. Each tale to follow paints an increasingly intriguing picture of sometimes frighteningly real people in uncommon situations that the author somehow manages to present as almost ordinary. For Salinger fans or new comers to his work, Nine Stories is a must. Read it one story at a time if you can manage to put it down.
3. Mr. Fox Helen Oyeyemi
Its a bright afternoon in 1938 and Mary Foxe is in a confrontational mood. St John Fox, celebrated novelist, hasnt seen her in six years. Hes unprepared for her afternoon visit, not least because she doesnt exist. Hes infatuated with her. But he also made her up. Youre a villain, she tells him. A serial killer . . . can you grasp that? Will Mr Fox meet his muses challenge, to stop murdering his heroines and explore something of love? What will his wife Daphne think of this sudden change in her husband? Can there be a happy ending this time?
I thought we've had some rather serious reading recently, so my selection for May book club is three books I hope will make you laugh. Of course humour is the most subjective of things - but here we go with a selection.
1. Tom Sharpe. Wilt. The first of the Wilt books. Henry Wilt lectures at a Polytech and always understands life in unexpected ways. I believe this is the book with the blow-up doll..
2. P.G. Wodehouse. Thank you Jeeves. The first appearance of Jeeves and his rather feckless master Bertie Wooster. Harking back to a golden age that never existed - you'll need to leave your social conscience to one side and just enjoy it for what it is!
3. Dawn French. A tiny bit marvellous. Everyone hates the perfect family. So you'll love the Battles. Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent: She doesn't understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologist, is fairly embarrassing.