The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and David & Stephen Baxter

About the book

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No Man’s Land gone? 2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive (some said mad, others dangerous) scientist when she finds a curious gadget – a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a…potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way Mankind views his world for ever. And that is an understatement if ever there was one…

 

Reviewed by Women Who Read

A lot of the same. A clever concept but not a thrilling read”

star rating **

 

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading book set

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/borrow-book-sets.htm

A Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

About the book

From the moment Ross’s fiancée Aimee was killed in a car accident, he’s been trying to die too. But life won’t let him go. His only hope now is that Aimee will come to him.

So when he hears of strange happenings at an ancient Indian burial ground near his sister’s home, he heads to Comtosook – desperate for rumours of a haunting to be true.

What he finds there is not Aimee’s ghost, but Lia, a very real woman whose life is filled with as many troubled secrets as his own . . .

 

Reviewed by New Milton WI Group 3

An interesting book – some loved it – some couldn’t get into it. Well woven characters”

star rating ***

 

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading book set

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/borrow-book-sets.htm

That Old Ace in the hole by Annie Proulx

About the book

Folks in the Texas panhandle do not like hog farms. But Bob Dollar is determined to see his new job as hog site scout for Global Pork Rind through to the end. However he is forced to face the idiosyncratic inhabitants of Woolybucket and to question his own notions of loyalty and home.

Reviewed by U3A Group 1

Enjoyed by all. Wonderful evocation of the deep South – people and places and a fascinating story.

Star rating: ****

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set
 
 
 
 
 

The Shipping news by Annie Proulx

book cover

About the book

A darkly comic portrait of human life and possibility. Quoyle is a hopeless hack journalist working in New York. When his two-timing wife dies in a road accident, he retreats to his ancestral home on the coast of Newfoundland where he must confront the unpredictable forces of nature and society.

Reviewed by Queen Mary’s College Library Reading Group

We liked this book very much although some found it hard going at the beginning. It’s a large and complex novel incorporating themes of regeneration, redemption and the power of love to change people’s lives. The characters are diverse and most of the action is played out against a bleak Newfoundland, dominated by the sea. Some felt the role of the women characters to be rather passive but there are also some strong women like Agnis Hamm with her ability to overcome all kinds of hardships. There’s lots of humour in the novel too and much to think about and discuss.

Star rating: not given

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set
 
 
 
 

The Dig by John Preston

About the book

In the long hot summer of 1939 Britain is preparing for war. But on a riverside farm in Suffolk there is excitement of another kind. Mrs Pretty, the widowed farmer, has had her hunch proved correct that the strange mounds on her land hold buried treasure.

Reviewed by Abbotts Ann WI

Good, interesting read – names and places – content of story – true facts. Details formed into an intriguing story

Star rating: ****

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set
 

Thud by Terry Pratchett

About the book

Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. Anyway, it was far away and a long time ago. But if Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch doesn’t solve the case of a murdered dwarf, he could see the whole battle again, fought right outside his office.

Review by Locks Heath Reading Group

It was an experience to have read, never having explored a Terry Pratchett publication before. There were so many characters making it very hard to start and the promised laughs were few and far between. However, after our discussions and analysis of the life situations touched on, one or two of the reading group members who gave up before the end (or never got started) thought they weould have another attempt. It was decided that “thud” wasn’t one of his best and those who “had a go” probably wouldn’t read another Pratchett story.We thought it merited 1 or 2 stars.

Star rating: *

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set
 
 
 

Feet of clay by Terry Pratchett

About the book

Someone is murdering old men, the Patrician has been poisoned, the clay workers have started committing suicide, and there is a werewolf suffering from pre-lunar tension.

Reviewed by Botley Book Circle

We had polarised opinions of this book. Generally felt difficult to get into. Quite enjoyable when the plot started towards the middle. Generated a new Pratchett fan.

Star rating: **

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set

 
 

La Cucina by Lily Prior

About the book

La Cucina tells the story of Rosa Fiore, a solitary middle-aged librarian, who has resigned herself to a loveless life, and expresses her passionate nature through her delicious cooking.

Reviewed by Eastleigh Library Wednesday Afternoon Group

We were of mixed opinion over this, a good laugh, atmosphere, enjoyed the descriptions of the cooking. One member of the group compared it to Joanne Harris’ “Chocolat” but did not think it as good. Characters not very attractive and found the ending indecisive.

Star rating: ***

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set
 
 

The Butterfly house by Marcia Preston

book covers

About the book

“I was fifteen when my mother finally told me the truth about my father. She didn’t mean to. She meant to keep it a secret forever. If she’d succeeded it might have saved us all.” When a hauntingly familiar stranger knocks on Roberta Dutreau’s door, she is compelled to begin a journey of self-discovery leading back to her childhood. But is she ready to know the truth about what happened to her, her best friend Cynthia and their mothers that tragic night ten years ago?

Reviewed by Wallington Village

Read in a flash. Couldn’t put it down. East to read yet the book dealt with real issues. Complex plot kept you guessing until the end. Creditable characters were all important. All but one of the group loved this book and would read another by the same author.

Star rating: ***

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set
 
 

 
 

Yellow birds by Kevin Powers

About the book

Poet and veteran Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival.

Reviewed by Women Who Read

Well written but very poetic language and for the subject matter that, at times, made it seem a bit unreal. We found the time leaps quite complicated to keep track off. Worth reading but a real long lasting war classic.

Star rating: ***

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set