Books We've Read...

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January 2006

One by Nigel Pickard
(BCBC1)
Gillian I found this a difficult, depressing read. A very distressing insight into autism, but as a read I thought "Curious Incident" was more effective. 4 [edit]
  Average: 4.00  

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February 2006

Perfume by Patrick Suskind
(BCBC1)
Gillian Like "Kevin", I'm glad I read this but didn't find it enjoyable at the time. Bits of it still pop into my mind, which I always think is a sign of a good book! 6 [edit]
Sue This story is a real classic. It's a fascinating book about a murderer with an incredible sense of smell. I've heard it's soon to be a film, and I'll be seeing it! 9 [edit]
  Average: 7.50  

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March 2006

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk-Kidd
(BCBC1)
Gillian One of my choices so I can't be too critical - but it was a light read compared to others! Good story though, set in an interesting time of American history. Enjoyed trying out the coke and peanuts recipe!! 7 [edit]
  Average: 7.00  

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April 2006

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
(BCBC1)
Sue Too depressing for me - I couldn't finish this book. 3 [edit]
Gillian To say I'd enjoyed this book wouldn't be quite accurate, but I'm glad I've read it. I thought I'd guessed the climax of it but was wrong - it was worse than I'd thought. 7 [edit]
  Average: 5.00  

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May 2006

The Gunseller by Hugh Laurie
(BCBC1)
Gillian Must confess not really my type of read, but I did enjoy some bits. Could really hear Hugh Laurie's voice as I read it. At risk of sounding sexist, it may be better suited to men? 4 [edit]
Sue A bit of a 'boy's own adventure' but it was fun and fast-moving. 5 [edit]
  Average: 4.50  

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June 2006

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
(BCBC1)
Gillian To my surprise I loved this book. It dealt with the same subject matter as "We need to talk about Kevin", but it was much more readable and humorous. I'll keep this to read again. 9 [edit]
  Average: 9.00  

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July 2006

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
(BCBC1)
Gillian Probably my favourite book so far of the group. I'd looked at it in bookshops many times but didn't think I'd like it - how wrong was I! Love the ending. 10 [edit]
Sue A super book. A bit weird with some surreal parts, especially the interlude on the floating island. I will be keeping this book to read again some day. 9 [edit]
Kathryn One of my favourite books of all time - I'd read it before and wanted to see what other people thought, so suggested it for the reading group. Having been to India, indeed to Pondicherry where the eponymous hero is raised, it has special resonances for me. The action quickly moves on though - and it is the hypnotic, hallucinogenic events at sea that I find fascinating - and the logic of how our 'hero' survives. A quirky tale with depth and heart - and one I'll be reading again and again. 10 [edit]
  Average: 9.67  

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September 2006

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
(BCBC1)
Gillian Fascinating! I'd never have picked this to read myself, but months later some of the facts keep on popping into my head. 8 [edit]
Sue A really interesting read which was our first delve into non-fiction. Full of fastinating stories and facts, although many of these were based on American culture and therefore some material which was assumed by the authors to be familiar needed looking up on the internet. 7 [edit]
  Average: 7.50  

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October 2006

The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes
(BCBC1)
Gillian A difficult read, but in retrospect I realised I'd enjoyed quite a lot of it! Found the last chapter very interesting - never thought of getting bored when you are dead before! Didn't like Parenthesis chapter at all. 7 [edit]
Sue Worth persevering to the end, although some of the chapters are definitely better than others. I'd recommend missing the half chapter (parenthesis) as this is pure self-indulgent twaddle. 6 [edit]
  Average: 6.50  

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November 2006

Atonement by Ian McEwan
(BCBC1)
Sue An amazing book. I couldn't believe I was half way through and we were still on the same day, viewing the same events through the eyes of the different characters, each with their widely differing interpretations. 9 [edit]
Gillian I'd put off reading this book for two years but loved it. As it moved from the events of one day into periods later in the lives of the main characters, I was totally caught up in each episode. Great twist at the end, which meant I had to re-think every idea I'd formed of the book as I read it... 9 [edit]
Chris I think this has to be one of my all time favourite reads. It has several distinct sections which are centred around the two main characters who we first meet as girl aged 13 and a young man just out of public school. A certain set of events then unfold which have a profound effect on their lives and relationship. We subsequently meet them again as WWII unfolds. The writing is in turn, beautifully engaging as is peers at the characters thoughts - I seem to remember having being gripped for about 50 pages and realising that we were still one the same day; and dramatically moving, as when the first batch of soldiers arrive at the hospital where our young lady is working. The writing has a lovely touch and the plot itself I found to be very poignant. And to top it all off, later on it moves into the area of being self-referential. What more could you ask for? 10 [edit]
  Average: 9.33  

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