The Mumsnet Book Club - what to read in 2018
Planning to read more this year? Join a book club with a difference – one with brilliant recommendations, fast-paced literary conversation, as well as discussions with the authors themselves, all from the comfort of your own home. Here's how it works – and what we'll be reading over the next few months
What is Mumsnet Book Club?
Mumsnet Book Club has been running in various forms since 2007, when we read our first book – Country of Men by Hisham Matar. Since then, we’ve read a book (pretty much) every month, discussed the book over the course of the month and rounded up with a live webchat with the author. Over the years we’ve had discussions with literary legends such as Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and Kazuo Ishiguro, as well as some brilliant debut authors including Jessie Burton and Kit De Waal. This year we’re hoping to introduce you to more authors – both debut and accomplished – and a host of great books. Interest piqued? Find out how you can get involved below.
What are we reading this year?
Set against the social and political turbulence of contemporary Nigeria, Stay with Me weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. A happily married couple Yejide and Akin are faced with childlessness in a society that sees a childless woman as worthless and that insists it is the duty of the husband to take another woman to bear his offspring. Shortlisted for last year's Baileys Prize, this short but beautiful novel will stay with you until long after the final page.
April: The Cows – Dawn O’Porter
Columnist, TV presenter and director Dawn O'Porter broke through into literature with her YA novels Paper Aeroplanes and Goose. Both received great reviews and she was for praised for her humour and her ability to capture the very essence of adolescent life. Her unique voice and wit shine through in her first adult novel. We follow the lives of three women, distinctly different but united in their determination to not '#followtheherd', and watch as their lives become inextricably entwined. The Cows deals with some hefty issues such as fertility, sexism, online identity and death, but it does so with poignancy and plenty of humour.
May: The Awkward Age – Francesca Segal
The much-awaited second novel from Costa First Book award winner Francesca Segal. Once again she hones in on the lives of a north London family and meticulously inspects the six characters as they grapple with the complexities of the blended family life and modern day demands – primarily, the constant pursuit of happiness for our children.
June: Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
In the grassy, well-manicured suburb that is Shaker Heights, the Richardsons’ home is ablaze – the result of a number of little fires started at the house. So begins this extraordinary novel which proceeds to retrace the family members’ steps, to uncover how they got to this point. The novel dissects the relationships between the family and the wider community, exploring the gulf between the rich and the poor, and looking at race, belonging and what it really means to be a mother.
Books we've read
February: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
Our first book of the year has sold to over 30 countries, was snapped up for a film by Reese Witherspoon within days of publication and has recently won the Costa First Book Award – not bad for a debut from an author who became a full-time author in her 40s. So why has the book created such a buzz and does it live up to it’s hype? We believe it does. It’s a unique and life-affirming book that perfectly depicts the loneliness of life and the power of kindness, seamlessly mixing pathos with laughter and drawing the reader into the strange and extraordinary world of the narrator, Eleanor Oliphant.
How the book club works
How do I join?
Everyone is welcome to join the Mumsnet Book Club. Make sure you’re a registered member and signed up to our fortnightly Books newsletter to be the first to know about the latest book, and to hear about our other competitions and bookish news. Dates for all webchats will be announced in the newsletter and on the Book of the Month discussion thread. There will also be opportunities for those who join that month's live discussion to win free copies of the following month’s selected book.
Meet the Book Club bloggers
This year, we welcome six bloggers from Mumsnet Influencers’ network who will each read and blog about the selected books each month. One blogger will be chosen to be the Book Club chair, who will join the discussion during the month on the thread and lead during the webchat. They will also have the opportunity to interview the author for their blog. So you don't miss out, we'll be linking to all blogs from the Book of the Month pages.
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