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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:09 am 
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Dear All,
If there is a book you have enjoyed (classic, light reading, even, shock, horror, chick lit!) then please post your suggestion here. On Wednesday 26th I shall set up a poll asking you all to vote for one book from these. You will have three weeks to read the the book with the highest vote and then we can get together to compare notes. As there has been discussion of "To kill a mocking bird" that is my nomination.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:25 am 
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I have actually recently thought about reading "To kill a mocking bird" again, so would go with that.

For something a bit more modern how about Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/ap ... anreview29


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:42 am 
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I can't see any reason not to start with TKAM - I last read that when I was 19 so it would be good to dig it out again.

Great idea!

I think Mike should be sent a personal invite. He can always make the tea if he doesn't want to join in. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:00 am 
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OOH, I can't decide already!!!!!

I want to read both the books already suggested, but I have one of my own which I'm about to start which I'm going to suggest.

Now it's not the sort of book I would expect anyone to normally read unless they're interested in the subject BUT (and it is a BIG but!) this subject is dear to my heart and, having read the sequel already (yes, I always do things back to front, but if you knew the books you'd see it doesn't matter) I know what a quality read it is.

It's called 'Somme Mud' 'The experiences of an Infantryman in France, 1916 - 1919' and it's by E P F Lynch. This is not a novel, but it does read like one.

The write up:


'It's the end of the 1916 winter and the conditions are almost unbelievable. We live in a world of Somme mud. We sleep in it, work in it, fight in it, wade in it and many of us die in it. We see it, we feel it, eat and curse it, but we can't escape it, not even by dying.

Private Edward Lynch enlisted in the army aged just eighteen. As his ship set sail for France, the band played 'Boys of the Dardanelles' and the crowd proudly waved off their young men - men who had no notion of the reality of the trenches of the Somme; of the pale-faced, traumatized soldiers they would encounter there; of the mud and blood and the innumerable contradictions of war.

Upon his return from France in 1919, Private Lynch recorded his experiences on the Western Front in twenty school exercise books, perhaps i the hope of making sense of and coming to terms with all that he had witnessed. Edited and published here for the first time, Lynch's story is a rare and precious find: a personal account that vividly captures the horror and magnitude of the First World War, written from the perspective of an ordinary infantryman.

Told with dignity, candour and surprising wit, Somme Mud stands as a testament to the power of the human spirit - for out of the mud that threatens to suck out a man's very soul rises a compelling true story of humanity and friendship.

An extract:

'On I go till a burst of machine-gun bullets goes phut, phut, phut into the mud around me. I jump high and dive for the safety of a nearby shell hole. I', just in it when the gun lets go again, chops the rim of the shell hole, splashing mud on my hands and face and putting the breeze right up me. I'm now sorry I became a runner, sorry I ever became a soldier at all. I can't stay in this shell hole all day, much as I'd like to. I know that the enemy gunner is on to me and I'm not game to think what might happen to me if I leave the hole, but I grab my fear hard for I know the colonel is waiting, and brigade and division are waiting for my message. With a bound I am out of the hole and fly to my left as I hear the gun open on me again. Into another shell hole, no pause, up and off to my right again and into another ...........'

If you even want to begin to understand what it's like for soldiers in war time, this is the book to read!!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 am 
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PS: thanks BM for putting this up, I had to get tothe shops whilst it was still quiet (I hate crowds :evil: ) so go as early as I can on a Friday :D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:26 am 
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Just read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and it is the best book I have read in a long time. It is about a book club which was set up when Guernsey was under German occupation during the war. The Times describe it as Charming..one to lift even the most cynical of spirits. It would be great for a book club read.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:38 am 
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I'm afraid if we're going down the historical novel route you will lose me. I suppose though if everyone suggests their favourite book, there will be as many suggestions as members, so please do carry on. I'd have you all reading obscure German stuff! (Or David Lodge, which I'm currently loving).


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:38 pm 
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The one that got the most passionate discussion (and polarised views) at our bookclub was "We Need to Talk about Kevin" by Lionel Shriver.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:22 pm 
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I might dip in if you're reading anything interesting, but I'll pass on anything girlie if you don't mind.

I'm still thinking about my own suggestion/s.

[edit - err - is that Wed 26th of May??? Or did you mean 21st?]



Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Child 44 's a great book - what about Mudbound?

Liking the infantryman too but doubt he'll have sufficiently broad appeal

just finished Wolf Hall which might be a bit obvious - and this one - Sacred Hearts, Sarah Dunant - about a woman forced into a convent. It's gutsier than this blurb makes out

'Serafina, a willful, emotional & furious girl, has just been ripped from her proposed marriage and sent by her noble family to Santa Caterina. During her first night inside, such is her violent, incandescent rage that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is sent to her cell to calm her with a draft of herbs. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal. And while outside the convent walls the forces of the Counter-Reformation push for ever more repressive changes, Serafina's rebellious spirit challenges not only Zuana but many other nuns who have made peace with the isolated life.

A rich, captivating, multifaceted love story, Sacred Hearts is a novel about power, creativity, passion -- both secular and spiritual -- and the indomitable spirit of women in an age when religious, political, and social forces were all stacked against them.'

But whatever we choose will try to get involved - I've always wanted to join a bookclub but too much work to ever have the time. havent read TKAB since school - dont feel overly enthused but no doubt it would be good for me

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