Book Group listing

Book Group meetings in 2016

Each month we have an open meeting in the bookshop read more about it here. We usually focus on modern fiction and the discussion regularly attracts around 20 people, men and women, of all ages.

November 2016
The Universe Versus Alex Woods
by Gavin Extence

An intriguing and entertaining novel raising issues of Aspergers and euthanasia with a touching friendship across generations.

October 2016
Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent

For some, knowing how the book was going to end proved difficult, but it was tremendously atmospheric and powerfully bleak in its description and characterisation. A fascinating novel, beautifully written.

September 2016
Lying Under the Apple Tree
by Alice Munro

Despite much anticipation for this author, most of the group were disenchanted with the title story and uninspired to explore further. Keen fans of Munro stressed the appeal of the bleak subject matter.

August 2016
The Long View
by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Interestingly the younger women were distressed by the plight of the narrator. The older women accepted that was 'just what happened'. All agreed the writing was beautiful, but some came away from the book more downhearted than others.

July 2016
The Last Pilot
by Benjamin Johncock

An astonishing book enjoyed by all. So much to discuss regarding the science, the history, the relationships, the merging of fact and fiction, and the author's skill in making us believe.

June 2016
Our Souls at Night
by Kent Haruf

A slim book but so much to discuss - about old age, companionship, loneliness, love, regret, guilt, community, family, commitment, compromise, personal sacrifice.

May 2016
A Suspension of Mercy
by Patricia Highsmith

Almost unanimous in this being a good read, though dated and puzzling. Not representative of a master thriller writer, but many will be reading her other books.

April 2016
The Infatuations
by Javier Marias

An intelligent, clever, thought-provoking book for some, but the majority of this group felt that it was too much philosophising and not enough plot.

April 2016
I Am China
by Xiaolu Guo

A whole range of responses - beautiful writing, a compelling and moving story, thought some, others felt the characters unengaging and the structure flawed.

February 2016
Tepper Isn't Going Out
by Calvin Trillin

Lots of laughter and lots to share in this unlikely tale about parking a car. Some wanted it turned into a sitcom, others were delighted with the design (incorporating a free bookmark), and only a couple gave up on it entirely.

January 2016
All the light we cannot see
by Anthony Doerr

Almost unanimous in our praise for this book - beautifully written, intriguing ideas, wonderful characterisation. Every page a delight, although a few people felt the descriptions overblown and the short chapters disjointed.