october-2017

October Reads


This selection features some very recent publications and some older classics. From warm and humorous to raw and harrowing, we hope you enjoy them all. James

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

"A must read for any fans of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, this is the first in a new trilogy set in the same world. Beginning a decade earlier, Lyra Belacqua is just a baby but already interest in her whereabouts is growing... Like meeting up with an old friend, this book offers familiarity alongside a brand-new adventure." - Louise Hare

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

"This novel is bleak. In his last book, The Fault in Our Stars, Green dealt with the subject of cancer. Somehow, Turtles All the Way Down, is more harrowing. It focuses on the mental illness suffered by Aza Holmes and deftly pulls the reader down into her thought spirals. Green doesn’t try to sugar-coat this experience. I felt quite raw after reading it. It’s by far his best work." - Peter Coles

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

"Although I was already a Shirley Jackson fan having loved We Have Always Lived In The Castle and The Lottery, something about the title of this one put me off. It felt a bit procedural. I'd also heard that the film based on it was dire. However, stuck with nothing to read one day and this on my kindle I decided to give it a go. This book was amazing. Yes it did feel a little procedural at first but this was a trick! Once the main character, Eleanor, was introduced the story became something else, anxious, ambiguous, and truly haunting. A great winter read." - Melanie Jones

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Easter Parade by Richard Yates

"Excellent but utterly devastating. Yates warns in the first line 'Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life...' and he's not kidding. Easter Parade follows Emily and Sarah Grimes from childhood to their fifties, examines their life and love choices and shows in unflinching, callous detail what becomes of them. It left me harrowed but in awe." - Kate Ellis

Easter Parade by Richard Yates

Unexpected Lessons in Love by Bernadine Bishop

"A cleverly crafted novel with much humour, irony and warmth. Perhaps its greatest triumphs are its anti-climaxes, when the novel really sings. Wonderful characters become our friends as we better understand them and their flaws." - Alison HItchcock

Unexpected Lessons in Love by Bernadine Bishop

Karoo by Steve Teisch

"Set in the nineties, this is a brilliant satire that moves through comedy to tragedy. It tells the story of hack screenwriter – Saul Karoo – who knowingly destroys a masterpiece, both to make it commercial and to win over Leila, a wannabe star and the mother of his adopted son. Karoo is a morally reprehensible alcoholic but the reader is on his side throughout as the inevitable tragedy unfolds." - Elinor Johns

Karoo by Steve Teisch

Blitzed by Norman Ohler

"File under ‘stranger than fiction’. The first non-fiction work of a novelist, ‘Blitzed’ is an account of massive drug use by the Nazis, from the Fuhrer’s notorious injections through to the widespread use of crystal meth under the brand name ‘Pervitin’. Whether it was housewives making short work of domestic chores or tank commanders driving without stopping for 96 hours, the whole of Nazi Germany was affected." - James Kennedy

Blitzed by Norman Ohler

Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

"In this engrossing tale set in 17th Century Holland, the protagonist Griet goes to work as a maid for a famous artist Johannes Vermeer. Chevalier puts two contrasting individuals together – a girl from a poor background and rich and famous artist – and allows a fascinating relationship to develop between them." - Usha Rowan

Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier