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…


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


Reading Notes from Piu Marie Eatwell

Piu Marie Eatwell has kindly provided reading notes for her book The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse.

There’s no obligation to read and discuss them, but if you read her book you may find it very interesting. Click the link below to download the PDF.

Download reading group notes by Piu Marie Eatwell

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse

This month we’ve chosen The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell, and as a second choice All Involved by Ryan Gattis.

I’m sure everyone is thankful to Piu for coming along. She was a really fantastic guest, and it was a wonderful experience to have an author join us and speak so passionately about her work and genre. Hopefully we’ve reassured her that Book Clubs aren’t as scary as she might have feared!

Piu has kindly sent over some discussion points, so Leilah will forward these out to you a week before the meet and we should get a really interesting discussion going. If you are a speedy reader and would like the notes earlier than 10th June, just email Leilah at Waterstones Doncaster, via our Facebook Page or ask in store.

Also for those who chose the second option All Involved. Ryan Gattis, the LA-based author of All Involved, called in to store on Tuesday and has left Leilah with very limited signed and stamped stock of his novel (he had a customised stamp designed by a famous LA tattooist). Email Leilah at Waterstones Doncaster ASAP if you want one reserving.

Leilah’s gushing review of All Involved is now up on the Waterstones website.

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 17th June, 5.20pm for 5.45pm, Costa at Waterstones Doncaster.

Costa have agreed to lend us their carpeted area, and stay on for a short while again to serve us drinks and cakes, the loves.

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse, Piu Marie Eatwell

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse - Piu Marie EatwellThe extraordinary story of the Druce-Portland affair, one of the most notorious, tangled and bizarre legal cases of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras.

In 1897 an elderly widow, Anna Maria Druce, made a strange request of the London Ecclesiastical Court: it was for the exhumation of the grave of her late father-in-law, T.C. Druce. Behind her application lay a sensational claim: that Druce had been none other than the eccentric and massively wealthy 5th Duke of Portland, and that the – now dead – Duke had faked the death of his alter ego. When opened, Anna Maria contended, Druce’s coffin would be found to be empty. And her children, therefore, were heirs to the Portland millions.

The legal case that followed would last for ten years. Its eventual outcome revealed a dark underbelly of lies lurking beneath the genteel facade of late Victorian England.

Published: 07/05/2015

Publisher: Head of Zeus


All Involved, Ryan Gattis

All Involved by Ryan Gattis

For six days, Los Angeles is a city ablaze. For six days, seventeen people are caught in the chaos. For six days, Los Angeles shows the world what happens when laws are no longer enforceable.

Ernesto Vera is walking home from his job at a taco truck when three guys jump out of a car and assault him. Ernesto’s not in a gang, he’s not involved, but his sister is – and when Payasa hears that her innocent brother has been murdered, she wants revenge.

As widespread rioting breaks out across the city, Ernesto’s death triggers an astonishing sequence of events, not just for the gangs involved, but for the firefighters, nurses and law enforcement who must deal with the consequences.

In April 1992, after one of the most notorious, racially charged trials in American history, the city of L.A. exploded in violence. All Involved tells the interconnected stories of seventeen characters over six life-changing days, and transforms the truly extraordinary story of the L.A. riots into a vivid, electrifying and addictive work of fiction.

Published: 21/05/2015

Publisher: Pan Macmillan