Book of the Month

Book of the Month – A woman in Berlin

This is by no means easy reading. I found I could only manage a few chapters at a time before turning to something more cheerful, but I always came back to it. It’s an important story which happened within living memory and we should never forget the barbarism, but also the courage and instinct for survival, of which humans are capable.

Books of the Month – Maya Angelou’s autobiographies

This month Madge reviews Maya Angelou’s autobiographies, which tell the amazing life story of this truly inspirational American poet and author.   I started reading this series of autobiographies – six in total – by Maya Angelou, just before Christmas. I finished the series in eight weeks; a record for someone who reads one or two […]

Book of the Month – Anne of Green Gables

This is a children’s book, full of broad humour involving Anne’s misadventures with, variously, ice cream, puffed sleeves, hair dye and accidental drunkenness. However, it can still be enjoyed by adults who will, perhaps, have more understanding of some of the strong emotions it invokes.

Book of the Month – Lantern Slides

This is a great book to dip in and out of, ideal for reading on trains or in coffee shops, and a perfect introduction to Edna O’Brien’s beautiful writing.

Book of the Month – A Traveller’s Life

A Traveller’s Life by Sheila Stewart is a life’s story we should know about. The joys, tensions and traditions of a member of one of Scotland’s best known Scottish Traveller families provides a welcome antidote to the negative press reports of Traveller conflicts with settled or ‘scaldie’ communities such as the long running Dale Farm dispute and of the extravagances displayed in Channel 4’s My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

Book of the Month – The House of the Spirits

This is an ambitious tale of one family’s fortunes and sorrows over three generations. Set in Latin America, this is an exotic landscape full of superstition and religious fervour, and old ways of life that are resistant to the changes that are slowly taking place.

Book of the Month – The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’ Farrell

Following a family bereavement, a young girl called Esme Lennox arrives in Edinburgh from India. She is wild spirited and as she grows up she rebels against the social codes of how women of her class should behave. She is labelled as troublesome and a series of traumatic events lead to Esme being cut off by her family and erased from their collective memory. This is the vanishing act…..

Book of the month – Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

This is a splendid read, Sarah Waters creates some unforgettable characters, and we are kept in suspense as the truth and lies mingle in this wonderful book full of thieves and ladies, fraudsters and innocents, madwomen and murderers.

Book of the month – Runaway by Alice Munro

Runaway is a mediation on a variety of themes, most obvious being that of flight or escape. Her characters flee in a variety of ways – successfully, unsuccessfully, with large rebellion and small. Munro perfectly captures small town life in all its difficulties and beauty.