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
It’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.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
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.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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.