Book Club - Previous Reading Recommendations

The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw   Recommended by Kate Davison

Set in Malaya mainly 1941-42, with Chinese, Malay, British and Japanese protagonists, plus different cultural groups.  Winner of Whitbread First Novel Award 2005.
 
The Song of Achilles by  Madeline Miller    Recommended by Kate Davison

A fictional biography of Achilles.  Good for historic setting before and during Trojan War.  Winner of 2012 Orange Prize.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett      Recommended by Kate Davison

Shortlisted for Orange Prize.  Raises moral questions about corporate involvement in healthcare, preservation of Rain Forests and their peoples, attitudes to age and childbearing.
 
(Kate has a paperback copy of The Harmony Silk Factory which she can make available.)

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy    Recommended by Kate Davison

Published 2011 by And Other Stories.  The TLS review called it 'a statement of the power of the unsaid' while The Independent commented 'Allusive, elliptical and disturbing---'  I agree that it is disturbing but it's also a page turner (just 150 pages), set in the hills above Nice at a time when there were still Francs not Euros.

Pure by Andrew Miller   Recommended by Fiona Thompson

A skilful parable of the French revolution involving an engineer who is ordered to exhume the ancient cemetery of Les Innocents and demolish its church.

The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan   Recommended by Fiona Thompson

A detailed insight into the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

The New Republic by Lionel Shriver   Recommended by Fiona Thompson

A savage satire on journalism and terrorism.

Casual Vacancy by J R Rowling     Recommended by Fiona Thompson

The antipathy of the Harry Potter books.

The author Carlos Ruiz Zafon     Recommended by Fiona Thompson

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell by Susanna Clarke  Recommended by Jo Wallace

This is a long but, I think, a wonderfully compelling book, written in the style of a 19th century novel, about 2 magicians during the time of the Napoleonic Wars.  Don't be put off by the length or the subject, read it and see.

Other Recomendations

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

The Secret History by Donna Tart

The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco

 IQ84 by Haruko Murakami