The North Recommends: Garden Village Book Club

In February of this year I asked people in our local community if they’d be interested in joining a book club.  The response was amazing.  Over 30 people expressed an interest – so in the end I had to set up 2 book clubs! Both meet once a month. The Book Clubs are named the Garden Village Book Club and there is a facebook page to keep members updated on what we’re reading and when we’re meeting.

A little about the books we have read –

In February the choices were Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine (Gail Honeymoon) and Burial Rites (Hannah Kent).  The first was my suggestion as I had read and totally enjoyed this book.  It was a popular choice and everyone else really enjoyed it. When Burial Rites was chosen, I thought it might be too serious and depressing for my tastes, but to my surprise I loved this book just as much. The characters were strong and believable and the descriptive writing transported me to Iceland in the 1800s where the book was set.  The other members loved this one too.

The books chosen for March were An Officer and a Spy (Robert Harris) and The Child (Fiona Barton). The Child split the group, some enjoyed it whilst others struggled with it. Although it was not my favourite book I quite enjoyed the read, even if I did guess what the twist was going to be at the end! I loved An Officer and a Spy – again not what I would have chosen at all, but it had me gripped.

April’s choices were A Man Called Ove (Fredrik Backman) and A Visit from the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan).  I found A Man Called Ove difficult to get into, but perseverance paid off and it turned out to be a good read.  I didn’t enjoy A Visit from the Goon Squad – although some others in our group did.  I think it was maybe just too cleverly written for me and I didn’t warm to the characters.

Finally, the May choices were Force of Nature (Jane Harper) and An Experiment in Love (Hilary Mantel).  I have read Force of Nature already and found it ok, but not a page turner. Admittedly, if it hadn’t been for the book club I might have abandoned it. But I am sure others in the book club will love it.  I am in the process of reading An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel – and I absolutely love it!  It is something about her style of writing, it just really strikes a chord with me, and the characters are very real.  I would happily read other books by her now and certainly will.