March CUBE café|bar Book Club Review

It was lovely to welcome new faces to our book club this month and great to hear the books we chose were so well received!

The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding (suggested by Phil who will definitely be allowed to recommend again!)

Stephen thought it was a great recommendation “the best book I have read the entire time I have attended book club!” He felt the history it covered over the time span of the house was some of the most important in history and described it as “riveting - the owners of the house illustrated German history perfectly” 10/10

Fiona felt it was a brave book, particularly as the author went against his family’s wishes to write the book as it dug up history which they had gone to great lengths to bury. “I thoroughly enjoyed it as it was both interesting and fast moving. I wish I had read a hard copy as I didn’t get all the foot notes on the kindle which is disappointing” 9/10

Clare loved the individual stories and felt Thomas Harding did justice to each of them; because of this book she now has a far greater knowledge on the topic. 9/10

June doesn’t normally “do history but this really captured me, it’s written so well - I was engaged and involved with characters from the very beginning. He really brought the characters to life” June felt that the concept was very unique: a story with a fixed place where everything goes on around it 9/10

Phil loved the fact the house is now a museum and would like to visit it. He loved this book particularly because it gave him a perspective he hadn’t before considered. He also loved the concept of a static thing with events going on around it - “it’s a book to keep and read again” 9.8/10
Phil has also recommended a film on the back of this book, The Woman in Gold, for those who would like to see more on this theme.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Phil was a bit sceptical about this novel, as it’s not his usual style of book, but was surprised to find he actually enjoyed it, although not quite finished it. Phil described it as a family saga and found it very funny with some good marital advice including “don’t judge a 50 year marriage on one bad year”. He has also already bought another book by Jonathan Tropper. 8/10

Susan, who recommended the book, described it as “a tad pornographic in places” although she liked the tone and humour. The book was the story of a family coming together for the funeral of the father. Susan described it as “not literature but not chick lit” and didn’t quite get a feeling for the father character who she would have liked to have known more about 8/10

Fiona agreed but, in contrast, didn’t mind not knowing more about the father.  She found the beginning a bit shaky “a bit too trashy American to start, the sex was ok”. However, she felt there were a lot of loose ends to the characters stories which she wanted to know more about, although the group agreed that this reflected real life and so most didn’t mind 8/10

Overall the group felt there was a lot of therapy throughout this book with some good advice.

Both books generated some great discussion. Those who attended wanted me to remind them of another film “The Untouchables” - a French film about an aristocrat who becomes a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident and is cared for by a stranger, who is just looking for someone to sign his job seekers form. It’s a true story and brilliant.

On our Reading List next month:

The Bigamist by Mary Turner Thomson and/or Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Join us on Thursday 27th April at 7.30pm to discuss - we will also be choosing titles for the next few months so it will be a great time to join us!




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