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 Muse & The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

It was split down the middle this month with half taking The Muse & half going for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

There were three other choices, so please check out July’s alternative reads for holiday book ideas.

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 August, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.

The Muse, Jessie Burton

The Muse - Jessie Burton

A picture hides a thousand words…

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick.

But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn’t know she had, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences…

Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception – a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.

Published: 30/06/2016

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447250944

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street


An International Bestseller – A Guardian Summer Read – An Amazon Best Book of the Month – A Goodreads Best Book of the Month – A Buzzfeed Summer Read – A Foyles Book of the Month – A Huffington Post Summer Read – A Yorkshire Post Book of the Week

In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny flat to find a gold pocketwatch on his pillow. But he has worse fears than generous burglars; he is a telegraphist at the Home Office, which has just received a threat for what could be the largest-scale Fenian bombing in history.

When the watch saves Thaniel’s life in a blast that destroys Scotland Yard, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori – a kind, lonely immigrant who sweeps him into a new world of clockwork and music. Although Mori seems harmless at first, a chain of unexpected slips soon proves that he must be hiding something.

Meanwhile, Grace Carrow is sneaking into an Oxford library dressed as a man. A theoretical physicist, she is desperate to prove the existence of the luminiferous ether before her mother can force her to marry.

As the lives of these three characters become entwined, events spiral out of control until Thaniel is torn between loyalties, futures and opposing geniuses. Utterly beguiling, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street blends historical events with dazzling flights of fancy to plunge readers into a strange and magical past, where time, destiny, genius – and a clockwork octopus – collide.

Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.

Published: 14/07/2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN: 9781408854310

The Miniaturist on the BBC

Book at Bedtime

For those who either didn’t read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton or just really enjoyed it, you can listen to the abridged version on Book at Bedtime, BBC Radio 4, at the moment.

All the episodes are also available via the Book at Bedtime website.

Open Book with Mariella Frostrup

You can also listen to Jessie Burton’s interview with Mariella Frostrup on BBC Radio 4 via the Open Book website.

Jessie Burton to visit Waterstones Doncaster

Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist, is calling by Waterstones, Doncaster at 1.30pm on Wednesday 30th July.

If you’re free, please pop by and say hello. If you’re not, but would like your copy signing and dedicating, then if you can drop your book off before the event, I’ll get your book dedicated for you and fetch it over to Cast that afternoon for the Book Club meeting if you would like.

If you’ve not got a copy, but would like one, you can buy one over the phone for £9.99 and we can take dedication details at that point. Waterstones Doncaster number is 01302 329142.


The Miniaturist vs. This House is Haunted

This month we have two choices again, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (an historically rich drama full of secrets) and This House is Haunted by John Boyne for those brave ones among us.

All reserved copies have been put aside. If you’d like to buy it from Waterstones Doncaster just tell the staff member that you’re with the book club, and they should know to take off the extra pound, disclaimer.

We’ll be discussing it on Wednesday 30th July, 5.30pm at the Cast Theatre Cafe Bar and look forward to seeing you all there, directions and map.

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton

9781447250890Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month

Set in 17th Century Amsterdam, The Miniaturist is a tale of love, obsession, betrayal and retribution. It marks the arrival of a genuinely exciting new writer.

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin.

Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways …Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realises the escalating dangers that await them all.

Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Published: 03/07/2014

Publisher: Picador


This House is Haunted, John Boyne

1867. On a dark and chilling night Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor. It is the start of a journey into a world of abandoned children, unexplained occurrences and terrifying experiences which Eliza will have to overcome if she is to survive the secrets that lie within Gaudlin’s walls.

Published: 10/04/2014

Publisher: Black Swan

ISBN: 9780552778428