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.

“The Fiery Cross” by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery CrossThe first book in the Outlander series came out in 1991. Now almost 25 years later, Diana Gabaldon is still writing books in the series, working on the 9th book now. The Fiery Cross is the 5th in the series.

The story of Outlander begins just after the Second World War, when a British field nurse named Claire Randall walks through a cleft stone in the Scottish highlands and is transported back some two hundred years to 1743. Here, now, is The Fiery Cross, the eagerly awaited fifth volume in this remarkable, award-winning series of historical novels. The year is 1771, and war is approaching. Jamie Fraser’s wife has told him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy – a time-traveller’s certain knowledge. To break his oath to the Crown will brand him a traitor; to keep it is certain doom. Jamie Fraser stands in the shadow of the fiery cross – a standard that leads nowhere but to the bloody brink of war.

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“The Woman Who Walked Into Doors” by Roddy Doyle

The Woman Who Walked Into DoorsIrishman Roddy Doyle has written a number of books and screenplays. Probably one of his most well-known books is The Commitments, which was made into the 1991 movie of the same name. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors was published in 1996.

This is the heart-rending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after a violent, abusive marriage and a worsening drink problem. Paula Spencer recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo and the marriage to him that left her powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.

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“Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Hitchens

InfidelI think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a very interesting woman. She has lived a lot of life.

One of today’s most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would be next. She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the Dutch Parliament.

Infidel shows the coming of age of this distinguished political superstar and champion of free speech as well as the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice. Raised in a strict Muslim family, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries ruled largely by despots. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament. Under constant threat, demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father, and expelled from family and clan, she refuses to be silenced.

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“Stella Bain” by Anita Shreve

Stella BainThis is Anita Shreve’s 17th book and I think I have read almost all of them. Can you imagine being that prolific to have written 17 books. Impressive.

Stella Bain has no memory of her past when she wakes up in a hospital bed in Marne, France. It is 1916, and she wears the uniform of a British war nurse but speaks with an American accent. As soon as she is able, Stella sets out for London, where she hopes to find answers. What she discovers-with the help of Dr. August Bridge, who takes an interest in her case-both shocks and startles. As Stella’s memories come racing back, she must undertake a journey across the ocean to confront the haunted past of the woman she used to be.

In this gripping historical drama that transports us from Europe to America and back again, Anita Shreve weaves an engrossing tale about love and memory, set against the backdrop of a war that devastated an entire generation.

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“Wideacre” by Philippa Gregory

WideacreKnown for her Boleyn series of books, the Lacey family trilogy were actually her first books, with Wideacre being published in 1987.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory comes the stunning first novel of a thrilling trilogy about the Lacey family, and the captivating woman at the heart of a power-hungry estate willing to go to any means to protect her family name.

Beatrice Lacey, as strong-minded as she is beautiful, refuses to conform to the social customs of her time. Destined to lose her heritage and beloved Wideacre estate once she is wed, Beatrice will use any means necessary to protect her ancestral name. Seduction, betrayal, even murder—Beatrice’s passion is without apology or conscience. “She is a Lacey of Wideacre,” her father warns, “and whatever she does, however she behaves, will always be fitting.” Yet even as Beatrice’s scheming seems about to yield her dream, she is haunted by the one living person who knows the extent of her plans…and her capacity for evil. 

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“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy

Anna KareninaOne of those classics that we are all supposed to have read. Must do that sooner than later!

Considered by some to be the greatest novel ever written, Anna Karenina is Tolstoy’s classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A rich and complex masterpiece, the novel charts the disastrous course of a love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, and in doing so captures a breathtaking tapestry of late-nineteenth-century Russian society. As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy, “We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life.”

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