Book Club -
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Recommended by Helen Heath
A true story of India told by an ecaped Australian prisoner. Many descriptions of city slums will be familiar, but this reformed armed robber and heroin addict managed to make a change to his own life, resulting in signicant changes for the people he began to help.
Harem by Colin Falconer. Recommended by Helen Heath
A riveting interweaving of fact and fiction, set in the time of Suleyman the magnicent, which illustrates different aspects of life for a variety of the inhabitants of Stamboul.
The Other Side of Israel by Susan Nathan. Recommended by Helen Heath
An account of the author's arrival in Israel as a British Jew, and her subsequent decisions about where and how she would live.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Recommended by Fiona
All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Recommended by Fiona
The Sisters’ Brothers by Patrick deWitt. Recommended by Fiona
The Other Sister by S T Underdahl.
Josey Muller's regular life--studying with her best friends, planning for the Hollidazzle dance, and gossiping about hot guys--is shaken like a snow globe when her parents drop a bombshell: she has a sister! Pressured to give up the baby they conceived in high school, her parents are overjoyed to reunite with Audrey. Even Josey's brothers are cool with it. No longer the only daughter and the "smart one" in the family, Josey struggles to accept her infuriatingly friendly, witty, and talented older sister. But feelings of betrayal and jealousy threaten to boil over when she learns that Audrey is on her way to becoming a psychologist, Josey's life goal. Just when she's given up on ever feeling like a sister to this stranger, a new side of Audrey is revealed . . . and their real-life nature versus nurture experiment offers a fresh start for them both.
Two Bothers by Ben Elton.
Synopsis: Berlin 1920 Two babies are born. Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood.
Brian Gullivers Travels by Bill Dare.
Brian Gulliver's Travels is a satirica lcomedy series and also a novel created and written by Bill Dare, a modern pastiche of the Jonathan Swift nove Gulliver's Travels. The series revolves around the character Brian Gulliver, played by Neil Pearson. Gulliver is a travel documentary presenter who at the beginning of series is revealed to have been missing for six years, claiming to have travelled to the previously undiscovered continent of Clafrenia.
His stories lead him to being put in a psychiatric hospital where they believe that he is suffering some sort of delusion.
Sand in the Wind by Robert Roth.
A first novel relating the experiences of a Marine Corps nile squad in Vietnam beginning with a group which considers itself kind of an elite -- all the men went to college. Presumably this raises the articulation level a few notches but it has no effect at all on the fatality factor. There is Chalice who is in the war to write a book; Lieut. Kramer, who thought it might be one way to commit suicide; Forsythe, drug dropout, former Berkeley protester, whose presence accounts for another point of view; and assorted "lifers" -- officers and enlisted men, who have made their own pact with the Marine Corps. But the book has more to do with incidents than with character: the Parris Island indoctrination -- "It's not the greatest war but it's the only one we've got"; the tortuous patrols in search of Vietcong, the pot parties, atrocities (cannibalism), the day by day actualities of killing or of being killed. Roth's treatment reads as if he had kept a diary of every soggy footstep he took through the rice paddies. And the bush. And of every cursed benediction bestowed upon a C-ration. If you can accept that then the book has a certain numbing kind of fascination.
Novels by Cimananda Ngozi Adichie.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerianwriter.She has been called "the most prominent" of a "procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.
Her story "That Harmattan Morning" was selected as joint winner of the BBCShort Story Awards in 2003, and she won the O. Henry prize for "The American Embassy". She also won the David T. Wong International Short Story Prize 2002/2003 (PEN Center Award) and a 2007 Beyond Margins Award for her short story "Half of a Yellow Sun".
A family move to New Zealand where the child, Finn, has a fatal fall. Only his mother knows the truth and the family's dream becomes a nightmare.
Meander by Jeremy Seal
Author Jeremy Seal's journey along Meander River from East to West.
The American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
A fictionalised account loosely based on the life of Laura Bush.
The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman
Novel where one person's justice is another person's loss – a moral choice.