Top Picks for Book Groups

book club

I’ve mentioned my book group previously. I love them all dearly but they’re not flash at reading the book. That would drive some people mental but, after 15 years, I’m okay with it. On the upside, whenever my book group actually does talk about the book for more than a few minutes, the book was obviously a good pick.

Over the last month or so, two of my Twitter buddies have asked for book group recommendations. Here’s what I suggested (all being books that got my book group really talking) – Continue reading

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

I raved (and still do) about Loving Frank, so naturally I had very high hopes for Nancy Horan’s much-anticipated second book, Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the love this time.

Horan has again delved into biographical fiction, this time chronicling the love affair between Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson (known as Louis), author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne (shame on me, I have not read any of Stevenson’s stories).

“Louis suspected each of them, in his or her own way, was an exile – from bourgeois values, family crests, unhappy love affairs, childhoods too long spent in church pews.” Continue reading

Spring TBR list


It’s supposed to be a Top Ten for The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday but if I look back on my past Summer/ Autumn/ Winter/ Spring Top Ten TBR lists, I’ve never actually completed any.

So this time I’m going to be realistic. I’ve made a list of six. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for Gatsby fans


Everywhere I turn I’m seeing Gatsby – fringes on dresses, Bakelite accessories and sublime Art Deco curves in furniture design. Get a little Jazz Age into your reading list as well.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a topic rewind. I’m going all the way back to January 2012 when The Broke and the Bookish looked at their Top 10 Historical Fiction picks… And then I’m rewinding a little further to the glorious years between 1920 and 1940 when the order of the day was bobbed hair, cloche hats and gin cocktails. Of course we must start at the very top with Gatsby.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Basically I’m beside myself with excitement waiting for this:

But what else is on the ‘Gatsby’ reading list? Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Make You Cry

Arm yourself with a king-sized box of tissues.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is a freebie, so I’ve picked the Top Ten Books to Make You Cry…. Nothing like a depressing start to November, hey?!

I read Jonathan Tropper’s latest release (One Last Thing Before I Go) through tears (of sadness and laughter). I happened to mention on Twitter that I had to stop reading the book a number of times because I was making a spectacle of myself whilst waiting for my son’s guitar lesson to finish (sobbing, there was snot and no tissue).

My sister-in-law revealed that she had never cried reading a book. Ever. I fired off some titles that had me bawling like a baby. Nope, has never cried. Which made me wonder, am I overly emotional? Do I get too caught up in what I’m reading?

So this list is really for my sister-in-law – I need to find the book that will move her to tears!

1. Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett – without question the saddest, most heartbreaking book I have ever read. When I lent it to a friend she asked “Will I need counselling?”. “Yes,” I said, handing her a box of tissues. Get it on Kindle here. Continue reading

Recommend A… Book Someone Else Recommended To You

I’m not sure if I can keep up with oodles of memes (I’m trying hard with Top Ten Tuesday) but I do like this one – Recommend A… from Chick Loves Lit. One book recommendation a week shouldn’t be too strenuous!

This week’s topic is ‘Recommend a book someone else recommended to you.’

It’s an interesting topic. As an avid reader I find people are recommending books to me all the time. Problem is, I have specific tastes and a massive TBR pile! So I must admit, there are only a handful of people whose recommendations I follow to the letter. One of these people is my dear friend Jo – it’s rare that we don’t agree on books. She made two particular recommendations to me last year that made it to my list of very favourite books of all time – When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman and Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. Continue reading