White Ceramic Teacup With Saucer Near Two Books Above Gray Floral Textile

Welcome to April’s update from our friendly reading group!

Firstly, we gave our congratulations to one of our group, Chip Tolson, who has just published his third novel ‘Puffball Paradox‘. Liz had the paperback, and the cover was admired plus the fact that the pages were white showing the words distinctly. Both paperback and Kindle ebook are available on Amazon.

Our group certainly enjoy reading and the number of novels discussed this month was diverse. We read two chosen books with very different comments being voiced.

Book One: ‘The Red Bird Sings’ by Aoife Fitzpatrick

The Red Bird Sings‘ came highly commended by Jane, but it generated a mixed response. Sandra found it a ‘slow’ read and queried why it had that title when there was no reference to it in the novel?

Bob found it boring and over-written, but Faye really liked the character of Lucy. Generally, though Faye didn’t like it. Theresa read the beginning and wasn’t sure of the plot so read the last chapter, which she found to be excellent and explained so much. There was some demonstrative acting at this stage which impressed us and explained that ending. She also questioned the title.

Carol didn’t finish it as she found it a miserable read. Liz was about to read it but took note of everyone’s comments.

Book Two: ‘The Bookbinder of Jericho’ by Pip Williams

Our second book, ‘The Bookbinder of Jericho‘ was a brilliant read and liked by all our readers. Some of us had read Pip’s debut novel, ‘The Dictionary of Lost Words’, and some of the characters also featured in ‘The Bookbinder of Jericho’. Compliments were flying regarding this book.

Liz commented that it had all the ingredients of a good read; the time and place settings and believable characters. Details that can only be revealed after in-depth research made this a page turner. Bastianne and Peggy in their own ways rising above such adversity; Maude and Lotte helping each other, the living history experiences of Tilda and Jack in WWI. Liz has read it twice and it just might come off the bookshelf for a third time in the future.

Sandra loved the book and particularly liked the act of remembrance in the cemetery scenes. Chip told us about a bookbinder relative. His telling brought that period of history alive as from 1910 to 1920 life was hard and certainly world changing. WWI, Spanish flu and the pact forged between Suffragettes and the Government that eventually won some women the vote were significant pointers explored.

Faye loved the book as well as ‘The Dictionary of Lost Words’ as she always likes to improve her knowledge. Very enjoyable. Carol also loved it as she thought Pip Williams was an honest writer who makes her readers relate to circumstances.

I think we can say that this book, ‘The Bookbinder of Jericho‘ is a winner!

April Book Chat

Our group always discusses book topics and Eddie spoke warmly about Lynne Reid-Banks, the author who we had just heard had passed away. Some wonderful comments and Eddie said the ‘L Shaped Room‘ is currently available on Kindle.

Everyone had recommendations this month and relayed what they had read.

Eileen is reading her classic of the year; Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’.  She’s enjoying the depictions of 19th century rural life, but not the wordy descriptions at the start of most chapters!

Liz read one of her last Yeovil Literary Festival books, ‘The Book of Beginnings‘ by Sally Page. This is a warm read where unusual characters gravitate towards each other for different reasons, then find their own new beginnings. It was good getting involved in characters making it hard to put down.

Theresa read Chip’s collection of short stories – ‘Pebbles‘ – and praised it highly. She had also read a book with a local setting – Wincanton – but linked that with books about the horror of slavery. She had also read ‘The White Queen‘ by Philippa Gregory. On that subject Liz recommended a second Gregory novel ‘A Respectable Trade‘, one of the best describing that abhorrent period of history. We all decided that Philippa Gregory is an excellent writer!

Another recommendation from Theresa is the Medicus series by Ruth Downie, crime novels set in the times of the Roman Empire.

Carol read ‘The Eagle of the Ninth‘ by Rosmary Sutcliffe, a children’s adventure historical novel. This is part of a series of three historical novels. She also recommended ‘The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi‘ by Shannon Chakraborty, an historical fantasy novel and the first of a planned series of three. Carol also read another Marianne Franklin book – ‘Mistress of the Art of Death‘ – which, although gruesome was witty and enjoyable. Another recommendation from Carol is ‘The Last Thing She Told Me‘ by Linda Green, a heart-breaking story of secrets, loss and regret.

Chip enjoyed ‘The Twist of a Knife‘ by Anthony Horowitz. From Chip’s description, this one sounds intriguing. Anthony is one of the many amazing authors who will be visiting the Yeovil Waterstones in the coming months, so visit their website for details.  We always enjoy their wonderful events.

Faye is enjoying ‘Opal Country‘ by Chris Hammer as it is set in Australia as she is keen to learn more about that country, and a book will certainly take the reader into that interesting setting.

Sandra read a really good novel by Lia Middleton – ‘Your Word or Mine‘. Now that sounds intriguing!

Coming Next Month

This was such an interesting meeting with so many excellent books being discussed and mostly recommended. Our ‘To Be Read’ piles are growing with such diverse books which deliver something for everyone.

Next Month we have chosen to read:

Our Next meeting is Tuesday, 14th May at 12 noon in the Lounge of the Westlands Entertainment Venue. See you there!