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Hastings Library Book Chat Recommends

Book Chat reading April 22

Some terrific reads have appeared on the table at Hastings Library's recent meeting of Book Chat. Here’s the low-down on a bunch that were particularly recommended which you can find at the library. Click on the title for the catalogue link. If you want to join the chat, we meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the Sir James Wattie Room, at 10:30 am.

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
This is one of those books that seems a little ordinary at first, but then around half-way through something happens and you can’t put it down. Its protagonist, Diana O’Toole, is nudging thirty with her life all mapped out and everything going to plan. But when she’s stranded in the Galapagos Islands during a Covid lockdown she starts to rethink what she really wants.

Something to Hide by Elizabeth George
The latest Thomas Lynley mystery has the superintendent picking up a case from a detective who has died, with an autopsy suggesting murder. The case involves London’s Nigerian community, with discussion of FGM, a culture that is hard for Lynley to come to grips with and secrets hidden by a veneer of cooperation. It’s a fat book but so hard to put down you’ll finish it in a couple of days.

Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen
This book was very highly recommended – a story of betrayal, intrigue and murder in the global fertility market. Dog Park is where Olenka and a stranger sit to watch their children being raised by other people. The novel moves from Finland to Ukraine where women are exploited for their ovaries. A fascinating read that leaves you asking even more questions.

How High We Go In the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
It’s 2030 Siberia and Dr Cliff Miyashiro arrives to continue the research of his recently deceased daughter, where he discovers a plague released in the melting permafrost. The novel follows assorted generations of characters as the human race copes with a reshaped world. It’s a fascinating depiction of a scary virus that acts in unusual ways.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
This epic read was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It follows Marian Graves, a woman on the hunt for adventure who in 1950 embarks on a flight to circumnavigate the world, only to disappear without trace. Fifty years later, actress Hadley Baxter takes on the role to play Marian, drawn to the character as well as the mystery of her disappearance. Utterly fascinating says our reader.

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn
Yes, this is the story adapted for television and currently screening on Netflix. Good looking James has it all – a high-profile job in government, a beautiful wife and children. When he is accused of a terrible crime, his world looks set to tumble down around his ears. The narrative switches between Kate, the prosecution lawyer who is sure of James’s guilt and James’s wife Sophie, who can only believe in his innocence. Who is right? A terrific read.

Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine de Vigan
This novel follows the story of the author’s own childhood and her relationship with her mother Lucile. A former child model from a Bohemian family, Lucile is a teenager when Delphine is born. She’s extravert and wayward but deep inside there’s despair and delusion. A well written and interesting book that draws you in.

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
Funny but flawed young Sophie Straw becomes a television starlet in London after escaping Blackpool where she was Miss Blackpool 1964 – only she wasn’t Sophie Straw then, but Barbara Parker. Horny throws in a bunch of entertaining characters that keep things bubbling along and offers a bit of insight on the world of entertainment as well. A great read.

28 April 2022

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