We Are Reading

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”

Garrison Keiller

The Humans by Matt Haig

After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he does not seem to be quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except his dog, Newton. What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ? Is it a case of a genius having a nervous breakdown, or is it perhaps an alien from outer space?…  Paperback, Canongate, £8.99

Eve has read this and not being a fan of Sci-Fi, says it was initially a challenge. However, Matt Haig’s writing and brilliant characterisation soon drew her in and she thoroughly recommends this book.

(Buy now from www.nottinghambooks.co.uk)

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Set in 1988, the story is about Frank who owns a music shop in shambling Unity Street, an unloved corner of the city, selling only vinyl records. Frank knows everything about music and always finds his customers the music they need, but doesn’t know what he needs himself.

Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann, a strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Ilse has her own problems and Frank has a past he will never leave behind, but what follows is a delightful story about the redemptive power of music.

It is a story about the triumph of a quiet hero, about learning how to listen and how to feel and about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Above all, it is about the power of music to bring us back to life.  It has been described as “nostalgic,warm and sentimental” and if you liked Rachel Joyce’s previous novels, you’ll enjoy this.  Hardcover, Transworld, £14.99

Honour by Elif Shafak

Set in Turkey and London in the 1970s, Honour explores pain and loss, loyalty and betrayal, the clash of modernity and tradition, as well as love and heartbreak that can tear any family apart.

Although Turkish, the author has written this book in English rather than it being translated and it is impossible to know that English is not her native language.  Although sad in parts, the story has a redemptive ending and offers a glimpse into another culture.  Paperback, Penguin, £8.99

A good book for Reading Groups to discuss!