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RovingBookClub

Roving Book Club

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” ― Neil Gaiman

Voyage of the Heart by Soraya Lane

Voyage of the Heart - Soraya Lane

Read by Una - Nice light read. Would be good for a Home Library Service customer. Follows four English World War 2 brides marrying US soldiers. Deals with their adjustments to their new lives and circumstances in America.

Violets are Blue by James Patterson

Violets Are Blue - James Patterson

Read by Angela B - Unimpressive, poorly written, with short pointless chapters and an uninteresting storyline. (but blue cover ticked on our staff reading bingo! :P)

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do

The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir - Anh Do

Read by Angela B - Sad, inspiring, delightful. Made me laugh out loud in places. I couldn't put it down! Changed my view on refugees. 

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

The Dressmaker - Rosalie Ham

Read by Vincenza - I just loved it. The setting the quirky, stylized characters straight out of a Baz Luhrmann story.  My favourite person was the policeman. 

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Firefight - Brandon Sanderson

Read by Tiffany - Great continuation of the story from Steelheart, but there are references to a major fight in the intervening time which seems to have been e-published only, which is mildly irritating but not story breaking.

 

So funny, still playing with David's lack of metaphor / simile skill. Great dialogue, action aplenty, double crossing, heroes and villains. 

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Read by Tiffany - A well told story with a character as its central touchpoint who dies in the first chapter .. as we skip from pre to post apocalypse and back we discover the threads between our other characters and why they are the people they are.. 

Why I left Goldman Sachs by Greg Smith

Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story - Greg Smith

Read by Marguerite - Hugely educational reading experience on global economics and dealing futures. Begins with his recruitment and the tension of the Goldman Sachs recruitment process. Proceeds through Smith's rise in the firm until he cannot handle the hypocrisy any longer. Efficient use of prose and Smith's genuine personality shines. Couldn't put it down.

The Turning by Tim Winton

The Turning: Stories - Tim Winton

Read by Marguerite - 20 short stories set in Western Australia. Bleaker than I normally read. Resonant of time of life and human impulses to connect. Winton's writing is wonderfully non-judgemental. Very impressive.

The People In The Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

The People in the Trees - Hanya Yanagihara

Read by Tiffany - Disturbing in so many ways.
Norton Perina is the most abhorrent main character I have read through. From the beginning he is arrogant and self-absorbed.
Perina is obviously gay, describing a male colleague in glowing terms (proceeding to erotic dreams), whilst a female colleague is described in misogynistic and repulsive terms .. everything about her disgusts him.

 

 

Discovering the lost tribe sodomises boys on coming of age, he states that both this knowledge and his colleagues shocked reactions show how social lines are drawn by collective decision, not moral absolute .. but he never harks back to this later, and the distinction is never drawn between homosexuality and paedophilia which made me very unhappy.


As the story proceeds into Perina's 60s, he admits a little fallibility, mostly of the 'my mistake was trying to do good' variety. I kept reading trying to see where the book would go - was his conviction a mistake? Was his arrogence his downfall? Did he or didn't he?

 

The Epilogue of violent repeated sodomy of a troublesome adopted child, and admission of committing the same with all the boys he adopted, leaves no doubt - and this reader disturbed beyond measure.

(show spoiler)

Life after life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Read by Marguerite - Spans 1910-1965 England. A bit twee with some quaint colloquialisms. Rhythm and flow of new lives well executed. Surprising amount of depth.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings: A Novel - Sue Monk Kidd

Read by Una - Based on a true story. Two women yearning for freedom, one a slave, one a white woman who owns her. Ended somewhat abruptly. Sad but great. 

All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

Read by Una - Well written, brilliant. Easy to read with short chapters. Couldn't put it down!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures - Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia

Read by Melissa - more substance and information than the movie with a different ending. Unsure whether I will read the second in the series as the storyline finished satisfactorily to me.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp

Read by Melissa - All about living in the moment. Very bad and the movie is worse!

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel - Anne Tyler

Read by Julieanne - Subtly written but draws you into the story of a family getting through every day life. Abruptly changed track to the parents of the mother and then parents of the father, which was a bit jarring. Like Maeve Binchy with substance. Anne Tyler's last novel and not her best (author of The Accidental Tourist). 

The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Possibilities: A Novel - Kaui Hart Hemmings

Read by Julieanne - Hemmings is also author of The Descendents. The Possibilities has an idyllic setting in Colorado. The main character's son dies in an avalanche 3 months prior to the start of the book and she is dealing with her overwhelming grief and guilt. As life goes on both for her and around her, she discovers aspects of her son's life she didn't know. Hemming's writing is very descriptive and I was drawn in straight away from the first page.