‘The Legend of Podkin One-Ear’ & ‘Hot Milk’

The most popular choices this month were The Legend of Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood, the children’s fiction option, and Hot Milk by Deborah Levy. Joint third were Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and The Dry by Jane Harper.

You can see these and the final choice in June’s alternative reads.

Any reserved titles have been put aside but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order a copy of any book. Tell the Waterstones Doncaster staff member that you’re with the book club, and they should know to take off the extra pound, disclaimer.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 12th July, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.

Sorry for the delay in posting this month, but hopefully better late than never!


The Legend of Podkin One-Ear, Kieran Larwood

Podkin One Ear - Kieran Larwood

Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month June 2017

Winner of the Best Story Blue Peter Book Award 2017

Podkin is the son of a warrior chieftain. He knows that one day it will be up to him to lead his warren and guard it in times of danger. But for now, he’s quite happy to laze around annoying his older sister Paz, and playing with his baby brother Pook.

Then Podkin’s home is brutally attacked, and the young rabbits are forced to flee. The terrifying Gorm are on the rampage, and no one and nowhere is safe. With danger all around them, Podkin must protect his family, uncover his destiny, and attempt to defeat the most horrifying enemy rabbitkind has ever known.

Combining something of the grand drama of Richard Adams’ Watership Down and Brian Jacques’ Redwall in an adventure worthy of Patrick Rothfuss, our Children’s Book of the Month firmly sits author Kieran Larwood in the top flight of children’s fantasy fiction.

Published: 08/03/2017
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 9780571340200


Hot Milk, Deborah Levy

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for June 2017

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016

A mother and daughter arrive in a small Spanish village, caught between the desert and the dark blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Rose, struck down by a mysterious illness that has left her incapacitated, is hoping for miraculous treatment from the mysterious Dr Gomez in his clinic. Her daughter Sofia is trapped by her mother’s illness; paralysed herself by a life in which she is chained to her mother’s hypochondria, neurosis and immobility.

As the hot sun beats down, these two women’s lives simmer with pent-up resentment and bitterness. As Sofia struggles against the confines of the caged existence her mother has created for her, exploring her own sexuality and independence she threatens to tear the fragile threads that hold these two women’s lives together.

Hot Milk is a novel that seems to have emerged directly from the times we live in. Uncompromising, brave, sharply funny and delightfully curious, this is a novel for our times.

Published: 01/06/2017
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241968031

‘Letters from the Lighthouse’ & ‘The Girls’

This month the most popular choice was Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll, the children’s fiction option, with a few going for The Girls by Emma Cline.

For the other choices please check out May’s alternative reads.

Any reserved titles have been put aside but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order a copy of any book. Tell the Waterstones Doncaster staff member that you’re with the book club, and they should know to take off the extra pound, disclaimer.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 14th June, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.


Letters from the Lighthouse, Emma Carroll

Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month for May 2017

February, 1941.

After months of bombing raids in London, twelve-year-old Olive Bradshaw and her little brother Cliff are evacuated to the Devon coast. The only person with two spare beds is Mr Ephraim, the local lighthouse keeper. But he’s not used to company and he certainly doesn’t want any evacuees.

Desperate to be helpful, Olive becomes his post-girl, carrying secret messages (as she likes to think of the letters) to the villagers. But Olive has a secret of her own. Her older sister Sukie went missing in an air raid, and she’s desperate to discover what happened to her.

Then she finds a strange coded note – a note that changes everything and which seems to link Sukie to Devon, and to something dark and impossibly dangerous.

Published: 01/06/2017
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 9780571327584


The Girls, Emma Cline

The Girls - Emma Cline

Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for May 2017

If you’re lost, they’ll find you…

Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed. It’s 1969 and everywhere the heat of a Californian summer beats down and restless, empty days stretch ahead.

Until she sees them. The girls. Hair long and uncombed, jewelry catching the sun. A scattering of young women who are everything she is not, each utterly sure and at one with everything seemingly beyond Evie’s reach. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful.

Willingly, she begins to drop into their tranquilised circle, oblivious of the danger that sits so cruelly at its centre. If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone. But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where they live.

Was there a warning? A sign of what was coming? Or did Evie know already that there was no way back?

Already a worldwide Bestseller, Emma Cline’s The Girls, is probably one of the most unsettling and quietly disturbing debuts of its kind.

Published: 04/05/2017
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784701741

Review: The Good People

4/5 – Very good

Life in the Irish countryside when people were full of superstitions which played a huge part in their lives. The fairies possessing people and stopping chickens laying, cows not yielding milk, crops failing. The women gossiping spreading rumours. The sadness and lack of understanding of life and the troubles it brings. The trial of 3 women for possible murder when it was really fear and superstition.

I found it a rollercoaster of emotions. Well written with a good understanding of how people lived and how superstition ruled them.

Maria Bailey

‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar’ and ‘Norse Mythology’

This month Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman were most popular, with The Power by Naomi Alderman coming a close third.

It’s spread fairly evenly, but for the other choices please check out April’s alternative reads.

Any reserved titles have been put aside but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order a copy of any book. Tell the Waterstones Doncaster staff member that you’re with the book club, and they should know to take off the extra pound, disclaimer.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 17th May, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.


Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, Chris Packham

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt himself in the fields and woods around his suburban home.

But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love; a friendship that would change him forever.

In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the ’70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds’ eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. Pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him.

Beautifully wrought, this coming-of-age memoir is unlike any you’ve ever read.

Published: 06/04/2017
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
ISBN: 9781785033506


Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction.

Now our greatest living fantasist reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales.

Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarök and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman’s prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.

Published: 07/02/2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408886816


The Power, Naomi Alderman

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Power is everywhere, it is under our feet, it circles around the cities and towns we have made our homes. We gather it and order it and make it flow from the centre outwards in a network like veins, pulsing with an electric heartbeat that keeps things functioning just as they always have. Yet power transfers and the time is coming for it to change hands.

What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?

Imagine a world where teenage girls awake one morning with extraordinary physical strength and power that outstrips their male counterparts. Thanks to a newly acquired section of muscle near their collarbone, young women can now conduct electricity like electric eels: inflicting pain or electrocuting to death as they wish. They can even waken this power in older women too. In Naomi Alderman’s The Power, the balance of the world is irrevocably altered overnight.

This brave new world is far from a utopia however. As uprisings and revolts spread through the world and after the initial delight in female empowerment subsides, a darker side to the new world order emerges.

Published: 06/04/2017
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780670919963

Black Water Lilies and The Tobacconist

This month Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi and The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler were most popular.

We have readers for a couple of the other choices, so please check out March’s alternative reads for the ones not listed.

Any reserved titles have been put aside but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order a copy of any book. Tell the Waterstones Doncaster staff member that you’re with the book club, and they should know to take off the extra pound, disclaimer.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 19th April, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.


Black Water Lilies, Michel Bussi

Black Water Lilies - Michel Bussi

Waterstones Book of the Month for March 2017

Three women lived in a village
The first was mean, the second was a liar, and the third an egotist.

This is the story of thirteen days that begin with one murder and end with another. Jerome Morval, a man whose passion for art was matched only by his passion for women, has been found dead in the stream that runs through the gardens. In his pocket is a postcard of Monet’s Water Lilies with the words: Eleven years old. Happy Birthday.

Entangled in the mystery are three women: a young painting prodigy, the seductive village schoolteacher and an old widow who watches over the village from a mill by the stream. All three of them share a secret. But what do they know about the discovery of Jerome Morval’s corpse? And what is the connection to the mysterious, rumoured painting of Black Water Lilies?

Published: 02/03/2017
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
ISBN: 9781474601764


The Tobacconist, Robert Seethaler

The Tobacconist - Robert Seethaler

When seventeen-year-old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna, his homesickness quickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city.

In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek, he will soon be supplying the great and good of Vienna with their newspapers and cigarettes. Among the regulars is a Professor Freud, whose predilection for cigars and occasional willingness to dispense romantic advice will forge a bond between him and young Franz.

It is 1937. In a matter of months Germany will annex Austria and the storm that has been threatening to engulf the little tobacconist will descend, leaving the lives of Franz, Otto and Professor Freud irredeemably changed.

Published: 06/04/2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509806591

Review: Northern lights

Review: Northern lights

4/5 – Very good

A little slow at the beginning but then, the story telling and imagination took over. You enter into a world of fantasy, fear, witches, spiritual happenings. Well written with twists and turns finishing on a cliff hanger and a need to know what happens next, yes I bought the next book in the trilogy with all the promise of being as good as the first book. It is a hood read for adults and older children. Recommend this book.

Maria Bailey