February 2022’s meeting of the Wellbeing Reading Group was a little different to the norm, as we asked our members to participate in a show and tell. Boy, did they come through! We were introduced to favourite books, current reads, and added titles to our “to read” lists. It’s fabulous to find out what literary pleasures our reading group friends enjoy when they’re not reading our monthly selected tome, we’re a very diverse group.
Normal service will be resumed next month, when we’ll be reading The Windsor Knot by S.J.Bennett (contact the library if you’d like to borrow a copy to join in), but for now, here’s a roundup of our recommendations to add to your book pile!
The man who dies twice- Richard Osman. The sequel to the smash hit Thursday Murder Club, this was recommended as a funny, clever, yet easy read. The reader enjoyed the characters immensely, and especially the advancing age of the detectives, and thought it was a perfect holiday read. Some of the group already had this on their to read list, a few were just waiting for the paperback to come out. We left this recommendation wondering who would play the characters in the upcoming Stephen Spielberg film of the first book.
Word Perfect- Susie Dent. A few oooohs went round the meeting as this title was produced on screen. From the Queen of words and Countdown, this is full of word etymologies, with a different word for every day of the year. Explaining meanings and the origin of words, this appealed to our group of readers, and was immediately added to a number of birthday lists. A second set of oooohs was heard, as we found out that the book on display was not only a Christmas present but also a signed copy. Major present giving points there!
The Miniaturist- Jessie Burton. Our next recommendation was a novel that tells the story of a young woman in the 1600s in Amsterdam. Marrying into a wealthy family, with a strange sister, our protagonist is gifted a miniature cabinet replica of the house in which she lives, and sets about furnishing it. Little packages arrive throughout the novel, containing furnishings from the miniaturist, which comment on or predict events that have or will happen to the family. It’s an intriguing read, heartily recommended by our reader, with the added promise of a sequel out there ready to be read. If this one piques your interest, we have a copy in the William Harvey Library to borrow.
Rag and Boyd: The fabulous zoo- Helen L Brady. It’s always splendid to hear of books by local authors, so this book was a great addition to our meeting. Described as Harry Potter meets Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London books meets Lord of the Rings, this is one for the fantasy fans. Our reader whizzed through the book, and it looking forward to reading the next instalment.
A Gentleman in Moscow- Amor Towles. Telling the story of Count Alexander Rostov, this award winning book takes us to Moscow in the 1920s. The Count was deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, escorted from the Kremlin and in to the Hotel Metropol, to live on indefinite house arrest. Thoroughly recommended by the reader, this is another one for the wish list.
Footnotes: A journey round Britain in the company of great writers- Peter Fiennes. Described as wonderful to dip in and out of, reading a chapter at a time, this describes how the landscape influenced and inspired the writing of great authors, including Enid Blyton in Dorset, Wilkie Collins, J.B.Priestley and Charles Dickens. Our reader had visited some of the places described, but was inspired by the book to visit more.
Europe’s 100 Best Cathedrals- Simon Jenkins. Continuing with the travel theme, we moved on to cathedrals. Who doesn’t love the architecture of a magnificent cathedral? This coffee table book has its owner dipping in to read about a range of European cathedrals, with stunning photographs to illustrate the illuminating descriptions. Again, the book included buildings already visited by our reading group member, as well as providing a list of future places of interest.
Black Magician Trilogy- Trudi Canavan. Recommended to them by a family members, this fantasy young adult trilogy was an unexpected hit with another of our reading group. An easy, fast-paced read, these tell the story of an untrained magician making her way into the elite magician’s guild in an epic fantasy world. Our reader is looking forward to borrowing the next trilogy in the series- we’re all for borrowing and lending our favourite books!
Jack Reacher series- Lee Child. Recommended as a series of books with a thriller formula which works, these are easy to pick up and the reader knows exactly what they’re going to get. A rollercoaster thriller ride with lots of action, and a tough modern hero. If you’d like to pick one up, there are several in stock at William Harvey Library.
Other recommendations and books on our waiting lists included Stephen King, Raymond Feist, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads and The New Silk Roads. We’ve all stocked up our reading wish lists, and we hope you’ve found something which you’d like to read. The Reading Group would like to extend a arm invitation to join us at our reading group next month. The time and date will be widely advertised, or you can check out our reading group page.