Books We've Read...

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January 2009

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
(BCBC1)
Teresa This was a very unusual and enjoyable book. I never really warmed to Henry's character though I'm not sure why and this made it difficult to become fully immersed in the love story. It was interesting to find out about Clare's life in a way that was not chronological. An interesting idea and overall a good read. 7 [edit]
Jo This book is one of my favourites. It was the second time I had read it and it had not lost its charm. I loved the way the story jumped around and it gave an insight into not only Henrys life but also his wife Clare. It was intriguing to read and as long as you were not too worried about following the 'time line' too closely. An excellent concept for a book and was very well written. 10 [edit]
Gillian A surprisingly convincing read - could it be possible that Henry's medical condition actually could exist??? Once I got my head round the premise of the novel I was addicted and could not leave this book down. Not sure about the ending, however, but it would be very difficult to have a satisfying conclusion to a rather peculiar story. Like others, this was the second time I'd read this and it remains one of the best and most unusual books I've ever read. 9 [edit]
  Average: 8.67  

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February 2009

Woman's World by Grahame Rawle
(BCBC1)
Teresa This was an extremely funny book yet at its heart was a very tragic story. I particularly loved the way it was written, using language from the 1950's and 1960's. There was a wonderfully lecherous villain, whom I really wanted to boo, who thankfully got his comeuppance. I sympathised very much with the main character. A good read.. 7 [edit]
  Average: 7.00  

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March 2009

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
(BCBC1)
Teresa I felt that the main female character, Roseanne McNulty, was well drawn - I recognise that kind of passivity, the way she fell victim to the events which unfolded. I also felt the priest was a very authentic character - I have come across that sort of misogynistic and intolerant male (unfortunately). However some of the story didn't add up and the ending was disappointing and not very believable. On the whole I think some of the characters were good but the plot was weak which was a shame as I believe it could have been a better book. 6 [edit]
Sue ... 6 [edit]
  Average: 6.00  

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April 2009

Precious Bane by Mary Webb
(BCBC1)
Teresa Although it took me a few pages to get into the Shropshire dialect and the old-fashioned language, I soon found myself engrossed in this book. I loved the very unconventional main character Prue. To say she was courageous sounds somewhat patronising, however a woman who can rescue her beloved from the jaws of death as well as withstand the unkindness and ill-treatment meted out to her because of her impairment, is my kind of woman - a real heroine. An absorbing read also because of the descriptions of the countryside and way of life in the early 1800's. The only thing that jarred was the slightly preachy, moral tone that Mary Webb occasionally employed. Nonetheless this book is a real treasure. 9 [edit]
Gillian My mother recommended this book to me many, many years ago and I was pleased to have the chance to share it with members. A great book, which gave a fascinating portrayal of an incredibly rural, isolated community and raised awareness of the status of men and women in that society. 10 [edit]
  Average: 9.50  

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June 2009

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
(BCBC1)
Gillian There were storylines in this book that I found utterly unbelievable but if I put those to one side in my brain, there was much that I did enjoy in this novel. There were some scenes which I found incredibly poignant. The photographs were a bit surreal! 6 [edit]
  Average: 6.00  

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July 2009

The Trial by Franz Kafka
(BCBC1)
Gillian I had tried to read this book many years ago and had given up at about page 3. I managed to get half-way through this time but was so totally depressed by it that I couldn't bring myself to finish it, and ended up getting the rest of the story from Wikipaedia! The group discussion brought out themes that I'd not appreciated as I read it, and I sort of wish I had persevered - but on reflection, I'm probably still relived I didn't. Interesting but hard work. 4 [edit]
  Average: 4.00  

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July 2009

This Book Will Change Your Life by A N Holmes
(BCBC2)
Gillian I didn't like the title and was prepared to dislike this book wholeheartedly. However I was really surprised to find that I really warmed to the central character, and hos situation and how he turned his life around really made me think - and I thoroughly enjoyed the utterly bizarre events that transpired along the way! I now wish I'd bought the book, rather than getting it from the library as my pre-conceived ideas made me think I really wouldn't want to keep it. In short, good fun and thought-provoking. 8 [edit]
  Average: 8.00  

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October 2009

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
(BCBC1)
Gillian When going through my Graham Greene fad a few years ago I deliberately left this one out as I didn't fancy it at all. It's still never going to be one of my favourite books, but I was fascinated by the subject matter and all the issues raised. It certainly gave me a lot to think about. Both sides of every argument were skillfully portrayed and I have found it hard to decide sometimes which side I am coming down on - for example I still don't know if I actually like Pinkie a little bit, and dislike Ida! The discussion was stimulating, and I could see why this book appears on some examination syllabuses (syllabi?). 8 [edit]
Sue One of my favourite ever books. It is so redolent of the 1950's with crowds travelling to Brighton on the train, pubs closing for the afternoon, and gang warfare. The character of Pinkie is particularly brilliant, there's so much more to him than is obvious at first. 10 [edit]
  Average: 9.00  

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November 2009

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
(BCBC1)

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December 2009

The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth
(BCBC1)

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September 2009

The Return by Victoria Hislop
(BCBC2)

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October 2009

Missing by Mary Stanley
(BCBC2)

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November 2009

The Secret River by Kate Grenville
(BCBC1)

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