How to Stop Time, Matt Haig

The clear front runner this month is Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time, a ‘time-hopping fantasy’ just published and receiving great reviews. All other choices are in July’s alternative reads, very useful if you need some inspiration for holiday booklists.

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 9th August, 5.30pm for 5.45pm.


How to Stop Time, Matt Haig

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.

He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. It’s a life he once had, long-since buried but buried secrets have a habit of catching up with you and nobody can outrun their own past.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

An author who blurs the lines between genres, blending fantasy, myth and science fiction to create some of the most inventive and enduringly popular contemporary fiction, Matt Haig is also amongst Waterstones bookseller’s favourite authors. His novels include The Radleys and The Humans as well as children’s books including A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas. He is also the author of the Sunday Times bestseller and Waterstones non-fiction Book of the Month, Reasons to Stay Alive.

Published: 06/07/2017
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781782118619

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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

Best of the Book Club 2015 & ‘A Boy Called Christmas’

'A Boy Called Christmas' by Matt Haig and Chris Mould

This month we chose between our top picks of 2015 (one per month, two where there was a split in the popular choice, listed below) and with the bonus addition of A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig and Chris Mould.

The most popular pick was A Boy Called Christmas, but we had a broad mix of uptake across all the Books of the Book Club Year, so plenty to discuss at the next meeting.

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 be on Wednesday 13th January, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.

But before then…

BONUS CHRISTMAS MEETING!

For the purposes of nibbling, drinking, and having your own private book shopping experience for a couple of hours. Bring a couple of nibbling bits with you, and Leilah will fetch a couple of bottles of wine and some crackers. Normal meet up time, on Wednesday 16th December. There will be bookish presents for attendees!


Best of 2015

January – Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon

February – Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

March – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

April – Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

May – The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

June – All Involved by Ryan Gattis, The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell

July – Forensics by Val McDermid

August – Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

September – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

October – A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

It’s Books for Syria Month!

Buy Books for SyriaIt’s a funny one this month as Leilah’s Book Club picks were largely ignored in favour of buying a book in the Waterstones Buy Books For Syria campaign.

Waterstones has come together with Oxfam, authors and UK publishers, to raise money for Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

From Thursday 1st October, all Waterstones shops will sell a fantastic selection of books by bestselling authors in our ‘Buy Books for Syria’ campaign. All of the books have been donated by their publishers and we will donate 100% of the full retail price to Oxfam’s Syria crisis appeal.

Rob Chilver – Waterstones Blog

Choices from the Books for Syria campaign

Choices from the Books for Syria campaign

In total 10 different books were chosen and so with that in mind we’re going with the two most popular, The Radleys by Matt Haig and Lila by Marilynne Robinson.

The list of the other Book Club and Syria Campaign choices can be found on October’s Alternative Reads post.

If you’d like to buy any of the books, please let Leilah or Waterstones Doncaster know as they may have to order them in. 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 18th November, 5.20pm for 5.45pm.

Costa have agreed to stay on for a short while to serve us drinks and cakes, so please get there well before 5:30. Any of you that would like to gather earlier to chat, feel free, though I’ll ask you to move to our designated space from 5pm so that Costa can clean up around us.


The Radleys, Matt Haig

The Radleys by Matt HaigLife with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose.

When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can’t sleep, can’t eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can’t go outside unless they’re smothered in Factor 50.

With a visit from their lethally louche Uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.

Published: 02/07/2015

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781782116882


Lila, Marilynne Robinson

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015

Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church-the only available shelter from the rain-and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister and widower, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security.

Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood of itinerant work. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand-to-mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a lucky knife to protect them. But despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life is laced with moments of joy and love.

When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to harmonize the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.

Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead and Orange Prize-winning Home, Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence.

Published: 09/10/2014

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

ISBN: 9781844088805

Reasons to Stay Alive

At least one of each has been picked, so we’ll have plenty to discuss at the next meeting. We’ve mostly selected Sunday Times non-fiction best-seller Reasons to Stay Alive, by Matt Haig – a short but powerful (and uplifting!) memoir about Matt’s experience of depression and anxiety, and Kolymsky Heights as a popular second selection. It’s another neglected thriller, hand-picked for promotion by ‘Mr. Waterstones’ himself – James Daunt.

For Wednesday’s attendees all reserved copies have been put aside, but you couldn’t make it, let Leilah know if you’d like order a copy. 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 April, 5.30pm for 5.45pm.

Remember and tell your friends we’re moving to Costa Coffee, Waterstones in the Frenchgate!


Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt HaigWhat Does It mean To Feel Truly Alive?

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.

A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth. “I wrote this book because the oldest cliches remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven’t been able to see it …Words, just sometimes, really can set you free.

Published: 05/03/2015

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781782115083


Kolymsky Heights, Lionel Davidson

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson

“The best thriller I’ve ever read.” – Philip Pullman

Kolymsky Heights. A Siberian permafrost hell lost in endless nights, the perfect setting for an underground Russian research station. It’s a place so secret it doesn’t officially exist; once there, the scientists are forbidden to leave. But one scientist is desperate to get a message to the outside world. So desperate, he sends a plea across the wildness to the West in order to summon the one man alive capable of achieving the impossible…

“Sensationally good. Cleverly conceived and brilliantly executed. One of the great thrillers of the last century.” – Charles Cumming

“An icy marvel of invention…It is written with the panache of a master and with the wide-eyed exhilaration of an adventurer in the grip of discovery. Mr. Davidson has not only rescued one of the most familiar narrative forms of the era, the spy thriller; he has also renewed it.” – The New York Times Book Review

Published: 18/03/2015

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 9780571326112

Meet… Matt Haig, 17/3/15

matt-haigMatt Haig is coming to Doncaster Waterstones, Tuesday 17th March at 7pm.

Event: Ticket £2 (£1 for Waterstones Card holders)

Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt HaigBest-selling author of The Humans talks about his personal journey through anxiety and depression, as explored in his new book Reasons to Stay Alive. Matt discusses candidly and honestly the nature of his mental illness, and discusses depression and anxiety in a way that is highly accessible for sufferers.

‘For everyone who has ever felt the snap of the black dog’s teeth, this book is wise, funny, affirming and redemptive.’ – Joanne Harris.