Reading Group Recommendations

Some great Reading Group recommendations…

Please feel free to send us any recommendations your book group would like to make.


The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp

Not exactly a deep and gripping adventure, in fact it’s silly, flippant and unrealistic, but it’s joyful, romantic, picturesque, and with the most delightful characters…!! One of our group says “Having recently spent 5 days in a small seaside town on the west coast of Wales, there was something amazingly familiar about everything”  Everyone enjoyed this summer read. Coll , The Coffee Hideout Café Book Club

The Lost by Mari Hannah

An absolutely gripping book! The development of the characters was pacey, along with the storyline. There was also a brilliant line of intrigue with almost all the characters which added to the depth of the plot. When the missing child, Daniel, was safely returned after 48 hours and less than half-way through the book, we wondered what was going to fill the remaining 240 pages…! No need to worry. The plot thickened, the pace went up a gear, a continued drip-feed of past secrets of each character tantalised so we can’t wait for the next Stone and Oliver book! Coll , The Coffee Hideout Café Book Club

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E Pendziwol

We found this a wonderfully descriptive novel, one that grabbed our interest and was perfectly paced. All the characters were believable and well developed while the bond between the sisters was amazing and the sacrifices they made for each other were heartbreaking.  At the beginning of the story we were made aware of Elizabeth standing alone – as the lighthouse does- without her twin and Morgan standing alone after her Grandfather died, both stories coming together, though a little too tidily and coincidentally at the end. However, we enjoyed the journey through the diaries, and the life and description of the island along with the secrets that came back from the past. Bernice McGrath, Bleasby Book Group

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

My book group is Footnotes, which meets in Southwell, but this recommendation is an individual one, and it is A Spool of Blue Thread, by the peerless Anne Tyler.  As with all her books, it is set in her Baltimore, Maryland.  It is vintage Tyler, with her usual deftly drawn characters. The story revolves round a family and is set in the present, but it traces the history of the central characters, gradually going further back, so that by the end it is like completing a finely painted canvas.
If I had the difficult task of choosing one favourite author it would be Anne Tyler; she writes with such warmth, wit and wisdom about family life and relationships.  There are usually no really momentous events, but she engages her readers in a way that makes you care about her characters and want them to be real!
My group has read Digging to America, but I can confidently say that any of her books would be worth reading in your group.  I heard a rumour that A Spool of Blue Thread is to be her last novel; I so hope that is not true!  Suzanne Dent, Footnotes Book Group

The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce

This book about the effects of the last war on the members of the Vine family and Coventry is a book teeming with life. In many ways it portrays a realistic picture of working class life after the war although it is classed as fantasy. It brought mixed feelings from the group – some thought it very good and interesting, while others were put off by some of the descriptions, especially those about embalming. Everyone agreed it brought home the horrors of war on a city.The fantasy elements of the story are dealt with in a matter of fact way and add depth to the story. This book is to be recommended. Attenborough Book Group

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

I have just had the privilege of reading the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. What a good read with a good surprise at the end. Harold sets out on a journey which turns out to be both life enhancing and a self discovery. It is beautifully written and I was sorry to leave the book when I had finished it (in fact I will reread; I cannot give a higher recommendation than this). Joan Whiting, Attenborough Reading Group

Three from NWR Arnold

We’d recommend The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal and Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. All three books have interesting issues to discuss, and inform the reader. Maggie Allison, NWR Arnold Book Group

Snowdrops by AD Miller

Our group read this book after the event in Burton Joyce Library when Jo McCarthy enthused about the 2011 Booker shortlist. It is a fairly gripping tale which reads like a confessional, and you get a very clear flavour of the corruption of Moscow life. Beautifully and economically written too. Judith Wright

Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey

We enjoyed Black Diamonds, I think this has been our favourite book. At the moment we’re reading No Way To Say Goodbye, by local author Rod Madocks. Ann Buckley, Bleasby Book Club

Blood River by Tim Butcher

This book covers the author’s extraordinary trip following the path of the Congo River. It really helps to understand the complexity of this vast continent; its people and how much devastation has been caused by greed. Colleen Ewart, Busy Bees Book Club