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The Vote for February’s Book Club Read is On . . . .

So, we have five amazing choice for you to vote on for this month’s read.  Here’s a quick summary of each of them and details on how to vote are at the bottom . . .

 

One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus

I actually wanted to choose One of Us is Next by the same author, just released but this is the prequel to that, so maybe we should have this one first!

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high school thriller.

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online.   Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right?

 

Resistance Women – Jennifer Chiaverini

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work-but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.

Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

 

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say.

Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens. . . .

 

 

 

Adults – Emma Jayne Unsworth

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.

Adults is what you want it to be. A misadventure of maturity, a satire on our age of self-promotion, a tender look at the impossibility of womanhood, a love story, a riot. And Emma Jane Unsworth is the only voice to hear it from. Adults is excruciating, a gut punch of hilarity and a book laden with truth that you will read again and again.

 

 

 

The Doll Factory – Elizabeth McNeal

This darkly atmospheric debut from Elizabeth Macneal is a brooding examination of female subjugation wrapped in the cloak of a rattling good period yarn. In a Victorian London so richly evoked that you can practically taste the fog, the aspiring artist Iris Whittle finds herself caught between the affections of pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost and the altogether more unsavoury taxidermist Silas Reed. Alongside her two admirers Iris also has to contend with the festering resentment of her jealous sister and a society which seems determined to keep her in her place. As events move toward their end, repressed desire and obsessive love threaten to destroy everything that Iris holds dear.

 

 

 

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Thursday 6th January and we will announce the choice the next day! 

See you there! Much love Amanda xx

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January Book Choices – The Vote is On!

 

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

 

When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.

The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

 

 

 

 

Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

I did it. I killed him.

Alison’s client stabbed her husband; she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story feels off…

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

Someone knows Alison’s secret. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

Bold, provocative and compelling, Blood Orange introduces a stunning new voice in psychological suspense.

 

 

Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire is the stunning debut from journalist and author Susannah Cahalan, recounting the real-life horror story of how a sudden and mysterious illness put her on descent into a madness for which there seemed to be no cure

‘My first serious blackout marked the line between sanity and insanity. Though I would have moments of lucidity over the coming days and weeks, I would never again be the same person …’

Susannah Cahalan was a happy, clever, healthy twenty-four-year old. Then one day she woke up in hospital, with no memory of what had happened or how she had got there. Within weeks, she would be transformed into someone unrecognizable, descending into a state of acute psychosis, undergoing rages and convulsions, hallucinating that her father had murdered his wife; that she could control time with her mind. Everything she had taken for granted about her life, and who she was, was wiped out.

This is Susannah’s story of her terrifying descent into madness and the desperate hunt for a diagnosis, as, after dozens of tests and scans, baffled doctors concluded she should be confined in a psychiatric ward. It is also the story of how one brilliant man, Syria-born Dr Najar, finally proved – using a simple pen and paper – that Susannah’s psychotic behaviour was caused by a rare autoimmune disease attacking her brain. His diagnosis of this little-known condition, thought to have been the real cause of devil-possessions through history, saved her life, and possibly the lives of many others. Cahalan takes readers inside this newly-discovered disease through the progress of her own harrowing journey, piecing it together using memories, journals, hospital videos and records. Written with passionate honesty and intelligence, Brain on Fire is a searingly personal yet universal book, which asks what happens when your identity is suddenly destroyed, and how you get it back.

 

The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’.

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.

The tension between Elwood’s idealism and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.

Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

 

Based on a True Story – Delphine De Vigan

‘A wonderful literary trompe l’oeil: a book about friendship, writing and the boundary between reality and fantasy … Dark, smart, strange, compelling’

Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and suffering from a crippling inability to write, Delphine meets L.

L. embodies everything Delphine admires; sophisticated and unusually intuitive, she slowly but deliberately carves herself a niche in the writer’s life. However, as she makes herself indispensable to Delphine, the intensity of this unexpected friendship manifests itself in increasingly sinister ways. And as their lives become further entwined, L. begins to threaten Delphine’s identity and her safety.

 

 

 

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Thursday 9th January and we will announce the choice the next day! 

See you there! Much love Amanda xx

 

 

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September’s Book Club Read is . . .

. . .  up to our amazing book club members!!

Each month we will put forward 4-5 books for the club to vote on but we need to get a wriggle on to get a read in for September so this time we have chosen them to get us started!  We have picked five books to fit in with the following genres; Autobiography, non-fiction, fiction, Member’s Choice and a classic must read.    A vote has now gone up on the book club page for you to choose.

The books to vote on are . . .

1. My Thoughts Exactly – Lily Allen

Always one of the more honest and questioning pop stars, Lily Allen lays bare her struggles with fame, success and self-image in this raw and valuable testimony. Resounding with the singer-songwriter’s trademark wit and candour, My Thoughts Exactly is a refreshingly real music memoir.

In the introduction, Allen, 33, says she’s too young to write her entire life story; instead she’s interested in “the things in my life that changed events, upended things, upset the cart.  No detail is deemed too personal in the singer’s affecting account of her rise to fame and being constantly under scrutiny

A brutally honest read that must have had a few other celebrities and high profile people squirming and running for cover!

 

 

 

2. How to Fail – Elizabeth Day

Inspired by her hugely popular podcast, How To Fail is Elizabeth Day’s brilliantly funny, painfully honest and insightful celebration of things going wrong.

This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s a book for everyone.

If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.

Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It’s a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth’s own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals.

Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

 

3. After the End – Clare Mackintosh

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

 

 

4 The Silence of the Girls –  Pat Barker

Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize

When the Greek Queen Helen is kidnapped by Trojans, the Greeks sail in pursuit, besieging the city of Troy. Trapped in the Greek soldiers’ camp is another captured queen, Briseis. Condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her family, she becomes a pawn in a menacing game between bored and frustrated warriors. In the centuries after this most famous war, history will write her off, a footnote in a bloody story scripted by vengeful men – but Briseis has a very different tale to tell . . .

 

 

 

5. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

OK, so we realise that most of book club will have read and adored this book but how could we not choose it?!  The most fabulous book ever, in my opinion, made me fall in love with reading again as a teenager and with Mr Darcy, of course!

In case you haven’t read it . . .  Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel following Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book, who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and eventually comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness. A classic piece filled with comedy, its humor lies in its honest depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Great Britain.

Mr. Bennet of Longbourn estate has five daughters, but because his property is entailed it can only be passed from male heir to male heir. Consequently, Mr. Bennet’s family will be destitute upon his death. Because his wife also lacks an inheritance, it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well to support the others upon his death, which is a motivation that drives the plot. Jane Austen’s opening line–“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”– is a sentence filled with irony and sets the tone for the book.

To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Sunday 8th September to give us time to read the book before our discussion at the end of the month!

See you there! Much love EA Amanda xx