Too close to call this February

Hello to all the new members! You’ll have noticed that we’ve had to put a freeze on new sign-ups as our little book club has become too darn popular. We’re seeing this as temporary, but in the meantime we can add people to a waiting list and anyone can follow along via this site, our Facebook page or via Goodreads.

There was a very close split between book choices this month so all except one were selected, the most popular was Little Deaths by Emma Flint, one of Leilah’s favourites:

I’m thrilled that Little Deaths has squeaked to the top of the popular vote. It’s a corker of a debut, and one of my own personal Books of the Year for certain!

The other choice can be found in February’s Alternative Read.

For Wednesday’s attendees all reserved copies have been put aside, but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order either 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 22nd March, 5.25pm for 5.45pm.

Little Deaths, Emma Flint

Little Deaths by Emma FlintIt’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave.

One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery. Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation.

Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press.

Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew. Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

Based on the real-life case of Alice Cribbins (previously fictionalised in the novel Where Are the Children? By Mary Higgins Clark) this is a novel about trial by media and the hunt for truth on shifting sand.

Published: 12/01/2017

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781509826575

The Gustav Sonata, Rose Tremain

The Gustav Sonata - Rose Tremain

Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month February 2017
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016

‘It is no use asking what happened, Gustav… How can I possibly know? Everything in the war depended on who you were and where you were. And then destiny took over.’

What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment?

Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in ‘neutral’ Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him.

Gustav’s childhood is spent in lonely isolation, his only toy a tin train with painted passengers staring blankly from the carriage windows. As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav’s life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined.

Published: 26/01/2017

Publisher: Vintage Publishing

ISBN: 9781784700201

Frazzled, Ruby Wax

Frazzled - Ruby Wax

Five hundred years ago no one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us.

Roby Wax had spent a lifetime building a successful career, home and family through ‘sheer drive’ and determination. Then, having struggled with depression all her life, she suffered a major relapse and decided the time had come to make a change. She proceeded to study mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at Oxford University (achieving a Masters for good measure) and learned how to take personal control over her mind, her mood and her life.

Anyone afraid that this is a book about sitting on rocks in yoga tights chanting to the moon needn’t fear, this is a practical, honest and easy-to-follow guide that is about finding time and space for yourself in a world where the pace seldom slows. Ruby Wax shows us how to de-frazzle for good by making simple changes that give us time to breathe, reflect and live in the moment.

Published: 29/12/2016

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

ISBN: 9780241972069

Northern Lights, Phillip Pullman

Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman

It begins with a girl and her daemon

The girl is Lyra Belacqua, an orphan who lives in a place like, and yet unlike, Oxford in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Yet for Lyra, her world is about climbing the rooftops of the Oxford colleges with her friend Roger, enthralling the neighbourhood children with her tales and keeping out of the way of the scholars of Jordan College.

Then children start to go missing, snatched mysteriously by a group the children call ‘The Gobblers’. When Roger is taken, Lyra founds herself bound up in a dangerous chase, a daring game of cat-and-mouse that sees her on the run from the highest authorities.

It is a hunt that will take her far from Oxford, to high-society London and the home of the mysterious and beautiful Mrs Coulter and beyond, to the home of the witches and the kingdom of the ice bears where the aurora awaits.

Published: 05/03/2015

Publisher: Scholastic

ISBN: 9781407154169

Book club is currently full

We’ve had a lot of enquiries so far this year, so are having to close to new members from today.

However anyone can still see what we’re reading, follow along, join us on Goodreads and our Facebook page.

If you’re interested in being added to a waiting list, get in touch.

The Ashes of London

It was lovely to see everyone back for some more bookish adventures in 2017!

The most popular choice this time around was Andrew Taylor’s historical thriller The Ashes of London, but there’s a good mix of options, including a novel narrated by objects and a Costa Book Awards children’s category winner.

All other choices can be found in January’s Alternative Reads.

For Wednesday’s attendees all reserved copies have been put aside, but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order either 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 15th February, 5.25pm for 5.45pm.

The Ashes of London, Andrew Taylor

 The Ashes of London - Andrew TaylorFrom the No.1 bestselling author of The American Boy comes a brand new historical thriller set during the time of the Great Fire of London.

London, 1666: a city in flames…

As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, even the great cathedral and as the embers smoulder, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul’s – stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back.

A woman on the run…

The son of a traitor, James Marwood is a reluctant government informer, forced to hunt the killer through the city’s devastated streets. There he encounters a determined young woman who will stop at nothing to secure her freedom.

A killer seeking revenge…

When a second murder victim is discovered in the Fleet Ditch, Marwood is drawn into the political and religious intrigue of Westminster. At a time of dangerous internal dissent, Marwood’s investigation will lead him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined and vengeful woman.

Published: 01/01/2017

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 9780008119096

First meeting of 2017

Just a reminder for anyone who didn’t come to the Christmas get together the first meeting of 2017 will be on January the 4th at the normal time.

Hope you see you all there and in the meantime have a very merry Christmas!

Best of the Book Club 2016, ‘A Boy Called Christmas/The Girl Who Saved Christmas’ & Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

This month we chose between our top picks of 2016 and three new ones (all choices listed below this time). The overwhelming winners were  A Boy Called Christmas/The Girl Who Saved Christmas and Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain.

If you’d like to buy any of the books, please let Leilah or Waterstones Doncaster know. 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 is TBC, as before then…


Bring a little something to nibble and share at the table, drinks will be provided and there will be some mystery proof book hand-outs. We’ll pick a date then for the January meet up. Normal meet up time, on Wednesday 14th December.

A Boy Called Christmas, The Girl Who Saved Christmas – Matt Haig & Chris Mould

'A Boy Called Christmas' by Matt Haig and Chris MouldYou are about to read the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and a boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781782117896

The Girl Who Saved Christmas - Matt Haig, Chris MouldOnce upon a time, Father Christmas didn’t come to visit children every year. In fact, it nearly came to pass that there was no Christmas as we know it.

The reason? There was not enough magic in the world. Magic is born of hope – and if the children of the world couldn’t see any magic, then why would they hope for it?

That was until one little girl, who believed in magic totally, lay in her bed and wished and wished…

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781782118572

Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain – Barney Norris

Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain -Barney NorrisOne quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – all facing their own personal disasters.

As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781784161354

Best of 2016

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

We were spoilt rotten at the last meeting as we were visited by Ryan Gattis (All Involved) and Chris Mold (Pocket Pirate series, A Boy Called Christmas & the soon to be published The Girl who Saved Christmas).

Interesting, exciting and entertaining, thank you Ryan and Chris for a fabulous evening.

And for those who came Leilah has this message:

I just want to say a big thank you to all of you who came and made Ryan Gattis and Chris Mould feel so welcome. I know that we took over a bit more of your time than usual, but I am so grateful for your kindness to these two heroes of mine!

The main two choices for this month were The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange followed by The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

The other choices can be found in October’s Alternative Reads.

For Wednesday’s attendees all reserved copies have been put aside, but if you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order either 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 16th November, 5.25pm for 5.45pm.

The Secret of Nightingale Wood, Lucy Strange

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

It is the summer of 1919 when Henrietta Abott (Henry for short) and her family – Mama, Father, Nanny Jane and her baby sister who everyone calls Piglet – move to Hope House. Tragic events have left the family fragile, hoping the new house will bring with it the fresh start they all so desperately need.

But Mama is ill and when Henry’s father takes a job abroad the family is left under the care of Doctor Hardy, a man Henry doesn’t trust. As Doctor Hardy exerts more control over the family Henry finds herself drawn-in by the house – its secret stairways, hidden doors, unexplained sounds and shadows in the candle’s guttering flame.

Then there is the mysterious firelight that glows in the distant trees beyond the garden, in the close-knit darkness of Nightingale Wood. What Henry finds there will change her whole world forever.

This thrilling debut is a chills-down-your-spine ghost story with a richly involving secret at its heart. With overtones of classic children’s mysteries like Moonfleet and Tom’s Midnight Garden this is a book to savor as the night draws in.

Published: 06/10/2016

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd

ISBN: 9781910655030

The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro

The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day.

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years.

They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other-worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

Published: 28/01/2016

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 9780571315079