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…

BONUS CHRISTMAS MEETING!

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

It’s a Spring split!

Apologies for the lateness of this update. This month it’s mostly split between Shtum by Jem Lester, Number 11 by Jonathan Coe and The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, however bringing up the rear is SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard. No need for an alternative list this month.

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.

No meeting in May as the next one will be on Wednesday 1st June, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.


Shtum, Jem Lester

Shtum by Jem Lester

A must-read for fans of David Nicholls, THE SHOCK OF THE FALL and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.

As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his ignorance, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.

Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, Shtum is a story about families, forgiveness and finding a light in the darkest days.

Published: 07/04/2016

Publisher: Orion Publishing Co

ISBN: 9781409166511


Number 11, Jonathan Coe

Number 11 by Jonathan Coe

A novel about the hundreds of tiny connections between the public and private worlds and how they affect us all.

It’s about the legacy of war and the end of innocence. It’s about how comedy and politics are battling it out and comedy might have won. It’s about how 140 characters can make fools of us all. It’s about living in a city where bankers need cinemas in their basements and others need food banks down the street.

It is Jonathan Coe doing what he does best — showing us how we live now.

Published: 07/04/2016

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

ISBN: 9780241967010


The Improbability of Love, Hannah Rothschild

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016 SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOLLINGER EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE PRIZE 2016

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered.

Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting – a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called ‘The Improbability of Love’.

Delving into the painting’s past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.

Published: 31/03/2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN: 9781408862476


SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, Mary Beard

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

Ancient Rome matters.

Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories – from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia – still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today.

SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world’s foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us.

Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome.

SPQR is the Romans’ own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, ‘the Senate and People of Rome’.

Published: 01/04/2016

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781846683817