Book Clubs

This page is intended to share my current reading of novels and collections of short stories.  Hopefully, book clubs may use it to access ideas and suggestions for their reading programmes or use some of my comments to supplement their own discussions.  Equally, I welcome ideas for novels that I really should be reading and hope this page can be an exchange between fiction lovers everywhere!

Justin Cartwright………..I have read a lot of his novels and love them.  Just coming to the end of ‘Half in Love’ – and shall be sorry to finish it – although not my favourite of his.  Try ”Other People’s Money’ – for fascinating and utterly convincing character studies and very topical themes – ‘Leading the Cheers,’  ‘To Heaven by Water,’ ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ – in fact, anything and everything he’s written would gain my recommendation.  I love the accessibility of his ideas and themes and the flexibility of his language – very natural and easy yet he says so much at the same time.  In my humble opinion, a great writer of NOW.  –  February 2013

I have just finished ‘THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE’ by John Banville.

It concerns a man who has committed two crimes – and the key question for me was whether I liked this character enough to want to read his account of his life. It would provoke quite a lot of discussion for a book group, I feel, although I can’t say I found it an enjoyable read.  Do we have to like central characters, sympathise with them, in order to read about them?  The novel is, of course, superbly written by this brilliant writer.  However, I did find its focus of interest quite narrow and was relieved to reach the end and move on to another novel.

Anne Tyler – I love her novels and have just come across one I have not read before – ‘The Tin Can Tree’ – the only one, I believe, that is not set in Baltimore.  I love her writing and the authenticity of her characters.  However, this was not one of my favourites of hers – possibly because it was not set in Baltimore?  I am not sure.  But I would certainly recommend all Tyler’s other marvellous novels.

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