Monday, 31 December 2007

The Shoe Queen - Anna Davis

This book was the last Tesco Bookclub book. It is light hearted and a fun, quick read. It is not particulary deep but good for a dull afternoon, or perhaps on holiday.

I did not find any of the characters interesting or appealing, and I do not think that in a face to face book group it would have any value, there was not enough to talk about, and it certainly is a woman's book. I am not sure what men would think of the pages devoted to describing shoes!

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

This is a brilliant book. It is narrated by Death and is set in Germany during WWII. Do not let this put you off. I found it utterly fascinating and it is a fantastic book for a reading group. It is about moral dilemmas, whether you would value your family first over the people you do not know, about loss, betrayal, the sacrifices that war brings to everyone, and how a nation could be persuaded/bullied into turning a blind eye. It was the last book that we read at Westbourne Library's reading group and we talked for over an hour about the themes and issues that this book raised.

The Holocaust Memorial trust has some excellent Reading Group questions, here is the link

Thursday, 13 December 2007

The Dig - John Preston

This is an interesting book, as it is a fictionalised account of the most famous archaeological dig in Britain in the modern age - that of Sutton Hoo.
There are touches and flashes that this book could have held so much more but perhaps in a book that is about real people the author was contrained by what he knew of them.
It is a gentle story that makes you want to read more. It is well written but ultimately not very exciting.
It would appeal to people who like archaeology, who like the time period - 1939, but it does not have enough in it to make it a worthwhile read for a reading group.