Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bookclub catch up and books for Everyone!

Back home after after a spell in Natal and some travelling and we had such a lovely bookclub last week with lots to talk about.....and even books!
It was my turn to buy books this month and I left it a little late to research and order the best reviews books online so I resorted to a visit to the local bookstore and took 2 of their recommendations plus two random choices. I was horrified at the price of books here in SA (am so used to downloading onto my Kindle) or ordering from Amazon. Anyway I bought Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; Esther's House

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

As fast as an express train and compulsively readable - this kept me awake late into the night!
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their patio. As lonely as she is she begins to  feel as if she knows them and creates names for them.  Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. 

Esther's House by Carol Campbell

I haven't read this yet but I love a local read and this title made me think of The Housemaids Daughter that bookclub so enjoyed,
Random Struik tell us,"Esther Gelderblom has been waiting for a house for twenty years. In the bitter Oudtshoorn winter she and her friend Katjie queue to ask when their names will finally appear on the government’s list of housing recipients. Esther dreams of a home for her daughter Liedjie, who plays the keyboard for the Bless Me Jesus church, and for her husband, Neville, who will then get his life in order. But corruption is rife as housing officials manipulate the list for favours. When Katjie’s shack burns down, the two women take matters into their own hands, occupying two empty houses and setting in motion events that will compromise everything they hold dear. 
Esther’s House is a story of greed, power, and the fight for what is right when good people are pushed too far.

The School of Life Cookery School by Nicky Pellegrino

In a remote Sicilian mountain town, four women arrive at a cookery school, each at a turning point in their lives. Moll is a foodie and an exhausted working mum on the holiday of a lifetime, Tricia a top lawyer is taking a break from the demands of her job and family. Valerie, consumed by grief  following the death of her partner, is trying to figure out how to live without him, And recently divorced Poppy has come to Sicily to learn about the place that her grandfather was born before emigrating to Australia, Luca Amore runs the school, using recipes passed down to him by generations of Amore women and he expects this course to be much like the others - but as sparks fly, friendships are made, secrets shared and nothing will ever be the same again. 
I haven't sampled this but it looks a nice holiday read and with Easter around the corner I though it was a good buy, Also the cover looked delicious!

My second random selection is The Widow's Confession by Sophia Tobin. Its a thriller set in Broadstairs in 1851 and was inspired by a painting of Ramsgate seaside exhibited in 1854. What can I say - it just looked readable and I hope that bookclub will enjoy it!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

 I am currently reading this and thoroughly enjoying it. Most of bookclub have read it and I got a last minute request to look for the sequel "The Rosie Effect" which was my 5th book purchase. If its as good as the first book - its a winner. The Rosie Project is laugh out loud funny! 
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.  Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

So they are our reads this month. I also enjoyed Mrs Hemmingway by Naomi Wood whilst travelling and while in Singapore I started to read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan which is still waiting to be finished on my Kindle. 

Happy Reading everyone - nothing like settling down at night with a good book and Easter Chocolates!