Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Hayley

      Downtime for Updates   01/26/2021

      The forum is going to be offline while our new hosts backup and update the site. We'll be back soon and you can check our twitter (@bookclubforum) or the patreon page ( bookclubforum.co.uk is creating a book community | Patreon ) for updates.   See you all soon!  
France

France's reading 2021

Recommended Posts

Print/Kindle

 

1. Begin Again - Ursula Orange ****

2. A Single Thread - Tracy Chevalier ****1/2

3. The Left Handed Booksellers - Garth Nix****

4. The Sixteen Trees of the Somme - Lars Mitterling *****

5. All The Ever Afters - Danielle Teller DNF

6 The Last Painting of Sara de Voss -Dominic Smith ****

7. The Burning Jane Casey ****

8. Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout ****1/2

9. Snow Song - Sally Gardner ***1/2

10. Trust -Chris Hammer ****1/2

11. On Chapel Sands - Laura Cummings ****1/2

12. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman *****

13. The Second Sleep - Robert Harris

14. Closed for Winter - Jorn Lier Horst ***

15. Eve in Hollywood - Amor Towles *****

16; Olive Again - Elizabeth Strout *****

17. A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik****1/2

18. Ayesha Again - Uzma Jaluddin ****1/2

19. The Unfinished Clue - Georgette Heyer ***1/2

20. Tales from the Folly - Ben Aaronovitch ****

21. The Mystery of Henri Pick **

22. The Religious Body - Catherine Aird ***

23. A Madness of Sunshone - Nalini Singh **1/2

24.Ink & Sigil - Kevin Hearne ****

25. The Strings of Murder - Oscar de Muriel  ****

26. The Queen of Bloody Everything - Joanna Nadin ****1/2

27. The Grove of the Caesars - Lindsay Davis ****1/2

28. I Am, I Am, I Am - Maggie O'Farrell *****

29. Troubled Blood - Robert Galbraith *****

30. Three Women and a Boat - Anna Youngsen ***1/2

31. Pulpit Rock - Kate Rhodes ****

32. After the Fire - Jo Spain ****

33. Writers and Lovers - Lily King ****1/2

34. The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes ****1/2

35. Normal People - Sally Rooney ****1/2

36. The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective - Susanna Stapelton ****

37. The Lost Future of Pepperharrow - Natasha Pulley *****

38. The Most Fun We Ever Had - Claire Lombardo ***1/2

39. The Penguin Lessons - Tom Mitchell ****1/2

 

 

Audio books

The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman ****

The Survivors - Jane Harper ****1/2

The Accusers - Lindsay Davies ****

The Postscript Murders - Elly Griffiths retruned

See Delphi And Die - Lindsay Davies ****

A Room with a View - E M Forster (read by Emilia Fox)

La Belle Sauvage _ Phillip Pullman*****

Deep Secret - Diana Wynne Jones *****

The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue - V Swarb - returned due to infuriating historical inacuracies which really started to grate.

Brazil - Michael Palin

 

Edited by France

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a feeling that I'm about to give up on The Second Sleep. I normally love Robert Harris's writing (who else can make the election of a pope exciting?) but I'm 200 pages in and it still hasn't caught my interest. Anyone else read it and think it's worth keeping on with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read it towards the back end of 2020 and I enjoyed it but the underlying theme of book is one I am very interested in. If you aren't enjoying it after 200 pages I would probably move on as the conclusion isn't anything special.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two easy reads but hugely enjoyable that I finished this week (going through nearly a book a day at the moment) are A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik about a school for magic users where the object is to stay alive long enough to graduate. It's YA but this far from being YA loved it. The other is Ayesha At Last which I'd have never read if I hadn't seen it praised to the hilt on several book blogs. It's a Moslem rom-com set in Toronto based pretty loosely on Pride and Prejudice. Though it's not perfect, there are a couple of really obvious steotypes, t's fresh, funny, zips along at a terrific pace and is a bit of an eye opêner too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Madness of Sunshine is a murder mystery set in New Zealand which I downloaded because the reviews promised brilliant scene setting. They're right there, the sense of place is incredible but sadly the story is an absolute mess. Nalani Singh is a very successful romance writer but seems to know little about suspense plotting, or I suspect, about the way the police operate. It doesn't feel real, however if you want to read something that will give an idea of just how beautiful New Zealand is then it's worth giving this book a go.

 

Ink & Sigil is the first in a new series from Kevin Hearne, the author of the Iron Druid series. Al MacBharrais is a sigil agent in Glasgow under a curse that makes anyone he speaks to for too long hate him so he has to communicate by text, nonetheless he still manages to do his job of basicially separating the worlds of faerie and humans and making sure they don't cross over illeagally. It's set in the same world as the Iron Druid books though Atticus and Oberon only have a very brief walk on part, it's written with a very light touch and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

 

If you haven't read any of the Iron Druid books I recommend those, they are huge fun and there's an irresistable telepathic Irish woldhound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, France said:

 

If you haven't read any of the Iron Druid books I recommend those, they are huge fun and there's an irresistable telepathic Irish woldhound.

Added to wish list! I need to hear more about the telepathic Irish wolfhound :lol:.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Hayley said:

Added to wish list! I need to hear more about the telepathic Irish wolfhound :lol:.

The Kindle version is 99p at the mo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, France said:

 

If you haven't read any of the Iron Druid books I recommend those, they are huge fun and there's an irresistable telepathic Irish woldhound.

:D And the typo on the cover is irresistible, so I bought the Kindle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must agree with the praise for Troubled Blood, it's a very good read and doesn't feel anything like as long as it is. (It woiuldn't have harmed it to have trimmed it a little though.)  Even though the hardback is a brick I'm glad I read it on paper and not on Kindle, there are some very convoluted drawings from a police notebook which you probably don't actually need but they would have been unreadable on a small screen.

 

I adored Anna Youngsen's first book Meet Me at the Museum, it was fresh, funny and one of the only epistolary novels I've read where the exchange of necessary background information in the letters seemed unforced and natural. I was really eager to read her second, Three Women and a Boat but sadly for me it doesn't match up.  It's pleasant enough, about an unlikely friendship between two women and the owner of a narrowboat which they offer to take up-canal to be looked at while she has hospital treatment, for for me the feel-good factor is laid on too thickly and it all gets a bit saccharine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to disagree with Hux about Normal People, I might never have got around to reading it if it weren't for my book group as books that are so hyped make me deeply suspicious but I really enjoyed it.

 

I find her lack of speech marks annoying (as a writer myself I find that sort of look-at-me writing annoying and gets between me and the story) and in a couple of places I had to read paragraphs two or three times to work out who was speaking. Yes, she uses he says and she says but our eyes glide over those without really registering them (why there's no need to use opined, expostulated etc) and Rooney tends to hide her he/she says in the middle of her speeches so it had be hard finding them! That apart I love the way she writes, her way with words is incredible and I thought she really nailed how we go through life in a general muddle.

 

I really liked the ending too, but then I do like ambiguity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of speech marks was probably the only thing I liked. 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you enjoy  A Room With a View, France? It hasn't got any stars.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Hux said:

The lack of speech marks was probably the only thing I liked. 😂

Let's agree to disagree on that one! What I really enjoy about most book groups if that in general people don't feel that you're attcking them personally if you don't share their opinion or liking for a book. Unlike most Facebook groups! (And a real life book group where one of the members got furiously angry when you didn't agree with her.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, poppy said:

Did you enjoy  A Room With a View, France? It hasn't got any stars.

 

I love the book but have abandoned the audible version half way through, somehow the narration is just uninteresting. I might pick it up again later or might return it, I've got 9 months to make up my mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, France said:

Let's agree to disagree on that one! What I really enjoy about most book groups if that in general people don't feel that you're attcking them personally if you don't share their opinion or liking for a book. Unlike most Facebook groups! (And a real life book group where one of the members got furiously angry when you didn't agree with her.)

 

What?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2021 at 3:15 AM, France said:

If you haven't read any of the Iron Druid books I recommend those, they are huge fun and there's an irresistable telepathic Irish woldhound.

I just put Book 1 of the Chronicles on hold at the Library. should be available in a few days.

BTW, I finished reading The Giver Of Stars and rate it 4.5. I also rate The Book Woman From Troublesome Creek 4.5. Both are well worth reading with similar but different stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2021 at 8:15 AM, France said:

 

If you haven't read any of the Iron Druid books I recommend those, they are huge fun and there's an irresistable telepathic Irish woldhound.

 

 

Well, I don't know what a woldhound is (does it come from Dunny?) but it looks like the first book in this series - Hounded(?) - is just 99p on Kindle at the moment (yes, @Hayley, another book you cannot read at a discount price, until you find and charge up your Kindle!)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, France said:

I love the book but have abandoned the audible version half way through, somehow the narration is just uninteresting. I might pick it up again later or might return it, I've got 9 months to make up my mind.

 

The narrator makes a huge difference when listening to audible books. I've used LibriVox in the past and found several books unlistenable because of this.

I'm a huge fan of E M Forster, so glad you love the actual book. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Raven said:

 

Well, I don't know what a woldhound is (does it come from Dunny?) but it looks like the first book in this series - Hounded(?) - is just 99p on Kindle at the moment (yes, @Hayley, another book you cannot read at a discount price, until you find and charge up your Kindle!)

 

Did France mean "wolfhound", as there are Irish Woflhounds? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

 

Did France mean "wolfhound", as there are Irish Woflhounds? 

 

 

Sorry, I know what she meant, I was making a rather oblique Black Adder reference!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, poppy said:

 

The narrator makes a huge difference when listening to audible books. I've used LibriVox in the past and found several books unlistenable because of this.

I'm a huge fan of E M Forster, so glad you love the actual book. 

I agree about narrators - I never enjoyed Trollope until I listened to Timothy West reading The Warden, but then I think Timothy West could make the telephone directory sound brilliant.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Raven said:

 

Sorry, I know what she meant, I was making a rather oblique Black Adder reference!

 

Right!  I didn't watch Black Adder that much (don't judge me) so didn't get the ref.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Watchmaker of Filagree Street, a slightly-alternative world fantasy set in London, was one of my favourite reads a couple of years ago. I'm happy to say that The Lost Future of Pepperharrow, the sequel and set in Japan is every bit as good, perhaps even a little better. Very highly recommended.

 

The Penguin Lessons is totally different and an absolute joy. Tom Mitchell was a  23 year old paying for his travels in South America by teaching in a boarding school in Buenos Aires when he came across an oil covered penguin that he took back to the flat he was borrowing to wash clean and return to the sea. Except the penguin refused to leave so Tom ended up by smuggling the penguin, by then named Juan Salvador, back to his school where Juan rapidly became an unoffical mascot. I It's a short book, and not the best written stylistically speaking but that doesn't matter at all, I can't believe anyone reading  it wouldn't fall for penguin charm! Very well worth searching out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×