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please help - got to choose my Book Group book

(29 Posts)
UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 22-Jun-15 19:40:16

Hello fellow MNers, please help me out here. I've got to choose the next book for my book group and am stumped.

Books we have enjoyed recently include:
Elizabeth is Missing
Gillespie and I
We are all Completely Beside Ourselves
The Miniaturist

One or two of the group did mutter that as it will be a holiday read for most people, please can it not be anything too dreary (we recently did Burial Rites which went down like a lead balloon).

I was wondering about "Us" by David Nicholls. I haven't read it myself but it had a good review in the Sunday Times. However, someone said to me that it was very like "The Rosie Project" which I hated.

Has anyone read "Us"? Is it too lowbrow? Or any other ideas?


Radiatorvalves Mon 22-Jun-15 19:44:59

What about the new Rachel Johnson book about ghastly rich people and their iceberg houses in Notting Hill?

MegMurry Mon 22-Jun-15 19:47:38

What about The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett.

Perfect book club fodder.

stevienickstophat Mon 22-Jun-15 19:48:09

Us was good.

I quite liked Nick Hornby's Funny Girl too, if it's a light read you're after.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 22-Jun-15 19:57:37

If it doesn't need to be fiction, how about The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson? I've just read it and will give you loads to talk about.

meandjulio Mon 22-Jun-15 20:01:29

Arthur and George
Life after Life? Maybe more of an autumn read.

Allgunsblazing Mon 22-Jun-15 20:03:55

I read 'us' and absolutely loved it. I hated the rosie project, they're nothing alike imho.

meandjulio Mon 22-Jun-15 20:08:50

How old is the average age? If you are all at least 50 over 40, you might enjoy According to Mark by Penelope Lively.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 22-Jun-15 21:50:55

thanks for all the suggestions. I have read a Rachel Johnson previously and it would not have gone down at all well in our group I'm afraid, but maybe this one is an improvement on the one I read? I do quite like Nick Hornby, so that's a possibility. Not heard of "Versions of Us" so will check that one out. I'll also check out the Penelope Lively - I've read some of hers but not that one. Most of us are around the 50 mark, so it might suit by the sound of it.

We've already read "Arthur and George" (which we liked). We haven't done "Longbourn" but I know most people in the group have read it, including me. I did wonder about "Life after Life" as I'm looking forward to reading it when I have the time but we have already done a couple of Kate Atkinsons previously.

Allguns I'm quite encouraged by the fact that you liked "Us" but hated "The Rosie Project". I also thought the plot, from what I could gather, sounded perfect for a book group consisting of middle aged women with sulky teens who will be reading this on their summer holidays.

I'll be heading to Waterstones at the weekend to make a decision and will have a look at all the books suggested here.

bookwormbeagle Mon 22-Jun-15 23:08:24

How about one of the following:
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - loved this book
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
H is for Hawk by Helen forgotten her surname!

hackmum Tue 23-Jun-15 08:32:40

Us is a great read, imho. So is Funny Girl. (Funny Girl is particularly wonderful if you have any memory of the 60s - I don't know how old you all are.)

thunderbird69 Tue 23-Jun-15 10:59:32

Also recommend Life after Life
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer
any of the Lisa Genova books
The Aftermath - Rhidian Brook

ShanghaiDiva Tue 23-Jun-15 11:03:23

Life after Life went down well in our group, also Me before You (for something lighter) by JoJo Moyes.
I liked Us.
What about a YA novel?

Gumnast2014 Tue 23-Jun-15 11:04:58

Casual vacancy jk Rowling went down well gete

MarianneSolong Tue 23-Jun-15 11:05:42

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

StupidBloodyKindle Tue 23-Jun-15 11:48:33

I read Us and Rosie project. I cannot really see the comparison besides the male narrator being a bit thoughtless, one due to ASD the other due to lacking spontaneity. I didn't particularly rate Us, as none of the characters* appealed to me but it is a holiday book.

*dad stick in the mud/mum boho creative/teen sulky wreckless
There was once a truly abysmal film with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer called the story of us...this reminded me of that, because it is dealing with a mismatched couple who you are meant to root for but could not care less for

Jon Ronson's So you've been publically shamed is excellent. You could then discuss some of the differences in outcome of the cases, social media, more recent shamings eg rachel d, also ethics of interviews and off the record.

Allgunsblazing Tue 23-Jun-15 19:16:49

marianne, yy to Elena Ferrante! Excellent writer, all her books touched me.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Tue 23-Jun-15 21:52:44

Lots of suggestions, so thanks very much.

We're definitely a fiction book group, so I won't be taking up the non-fiction suggestions for the book group, but I am really interested in reading the Jon Ronson for myself.

Decisions, decisions grin

KatharineClifton Tue 23-Jun-15 22:10:25

How about Ann Hoffman's Practical Magic - one of my very favourite books (and films).

Also recommend The Psychopath Test, read very little these days but read it in one sitting.

KatharineClifton Tue 23-Jun-15 22:16:31

Or Ann Tyler's Ladder of Years would be ideal holiday reading. It's about a woman who literally walks away from her whole family on holiday at the beach and makes a new life. I read this when my DC were very small and it gave me very pleasant dreams for a long time.

Bloodybridget Tue 23-Jun-15 22:29:41

My group just read Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut, it's a novel about EM Forster's life in the years when he was thinking about and writing A Passage to India, and two significant emotional/sexual relationships which were particularly important to him. I really enjoyed the book and obviously it led to discussion of Forster's work too. Recommended!

Jinglebells99 Tue 23-Jun-15 22:35:42

My group are just reading "The immortal life of Henrietta Lack." It's really grabbed my attention.

Meow75 Tue 23-Jun-15 22:40:27

I love love love loved The Silkworm and The Casual Vacancy. There is another Robert Galbraith (J K Rowling), with the same character - The Cuckoo's Calling - perhaps a little ... unsummery ... based on your OP they are all brill.

tadpole39 Tue 23-Jun-15 22:41:35

Henrietta lack was my book club choice, jingle, I love it, found it fascinating but half the group refused to read it because It was "about cancer" and therefore depressing. Their loss!

Grammar Tue 23-Jun-15 22:45:11

The Children's Act...Ian McKewan? Maybe not a 'holiday read' but I don't always see the point in's either a page-turner..'can't put it down book' or you just don't like it, it doesn't make much difference to me where or when you read a good book

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