Book Club

I love to share my books, recommend my favourites, and talk about what I like about them. I rarely don’t like something about a book. It is someone’s heart and soul so you have to find something to like! Click here for my list to date.

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“Maeve’s Times” by Maeve Binchy

Maeve's TimesFor my last book, I wanted to choose one of my favourite authors. I wish I had met Maeve Binchy as I would love to have listened to her talk about her life and her inspiration for writing such great character novels. Her books always left me feeling happy.

Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 28, 1940. She received a B.A. from University College in Dublin in 1960. After teaching at a school for girls, she became a journalist, columnist and editor at the Irish Times. By 1979, she was writing plays, a successful television script, and several short story collections. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 20 books including Silver Wedding, Scarlet Feather, Heart and Soul, Minding Frankie, and A Week in Winter. The Lilac Bus and Echoes were made into TV movies, while Circle of Friends, Tara Road and How About You were made into feature films. She died after a brief illness on July 30, 2012 at the age of 72.

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“Forever” by Judy Blume

ForeverJudy Blume books were everything to me as a young reader. The book Forever was considered pretty far out there as it discussed sex in a pretty grown up way. As I come to the end of my 365 day challenge, this book seemed important to bring back!

There’s a first for everything. When you build up something in your mind — really imagine it, wish for it — sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn’t live up to your expectations. True love is nothing like that. Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can’t get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven’t been together all that long, they know it’s serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom. But it’s senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big “first”: a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?

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“The Potato Factory” by Bryce Courtenay

The Potato FactoryBryce Courtenay is the author of one of my favourite all time books – The Power of One. While very different from that book, The Potato Factory is a good read.

Ikey Solomon is very successful indeed, in the art of thieving. Ikey’s partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from 19th century London to Van Diemens Land. In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, where she plans a new future. But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey’s wife, Hannah, her old enemy. The two women raise their separate families. As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.

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“Birds Without Wings” by Louis De Bernières

irds Without WingsLouis De Bernières is best known for his book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (and subsequent movie). Birds Without Wings, told from the perspective of a number of different characterswas received well by readers.

Birds Without Wings traces the fortunes of one small community in southwest Turkey (Anatolia) in the early part of the last century — a quirky community in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully over the centuries and where friendship, even love, has transcended religious differences.

But with the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the onset of the Great War, the sweep of history has a cataclysmic effect on this peaceful place: The great love of Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty, and Ibrahim, a Muslim shepherd who courts her from near infancy, culminates in tragedy and madness; Two inseparable childhood friends who grow up playing in the hills above the town suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the bloody struggle; and Rustem Bey, a wealthy landlord, who has an enchanting mistress who is not what she seems.

Far away from these small lives, a man of destiny who will come to be known as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is emerging to create a country from the ruins of an empire. Victory at Gallipoli fails to save the Ottomans from ultimate defeat and, as a new conflict arises, Muslims and Christians struggle to survive, let alone understand, their part in the great tragedy that will reshape the whole region forever. Published 2004.

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“The Snowman” by Jo Nesbø

The SnowmanSecond book in the series by Nordic Noir writer Jo Nesbo. One of the most popular writers in this genre.

One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. 
Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he’s received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. But this is a killer who makes his own rules… and he’ll break his pattern just to keep the game interesting, as he draws Harry ever closer into his twisted web. 
With brilliantly realized characters and hair-raising suspense, international bestselling author Jo Nesbø presents his most chilling case yet—one that will test Harry Hole to the very limits of his sanity.

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“Skeletons At the Feast” by Chris Bohjalian

Skeletons at the FeastOne of my favourite books is Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. Skeletons at the Feast from 2008 was well received.

In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-year-old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred–who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.

As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna’s and Callum’s love, as well as their friendship with Manfred–assuming any of them even survive. 

Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies–while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations

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