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Upcoming events (5)
Synopsis: In 1983, Ma Jian turned 30 and was overwhelmed by the desire to escape the confines of his life in Beijing. With his long hair, jeans and artistic friends, Ma Jian was under surveillance from his work unit and the police, as Deng Xiaoping clamped down on 'Spiritual Pollution'. His ex-wife was seeking custody of their daughter; his girlfriend was sleeping with another man; and he could no longer find the inspiration to write or paint. One day he bought a train ticket to the westernmost border of China and set off in search of himself. Ma Jian's journey would last three years and take him to deserts and overpopulated cities, from scenes of barbarity to havens of tranquillity and beauty. The result is an utterly unique insight into the teeming contradictions of China that only a man who was both an insider and an outsider in his own country could have written. 336 pages This will be an online event via Zoom. You'll need to RSVP to the event to see the link. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Synopsis: Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running. American Dirt is an unforgettable story of a mother and son's attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. 480 pages The cost of the meetup is £2.00. Looking forward to seeing you there!
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews - 338 pages Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf's latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go. What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe - 506 pages It is the 1980s and the Winshaw family are getting richer and crueller by the year: Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn't; Henry's turning hospitals into car parks; Roddy's selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy's squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators. But once their hapless biographer Michael Owen starts investigating the family's trail of greed, corruption and immoral doings, the time growing ripe for the Winshaws to receive their comeuppance. . . My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite - 242 pages When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede's long been in love with him, and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other...
The Plague - Albert Camus (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Plague-Penguin-Modern-Classics/dp/0141185139/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394634040&sr=8-1&keywords=the+plague) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Plague-Penguin-Modern-Classics/dp/0141185139/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394633848&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Plague)Not all of us had read this book and those that did, more than half of them, gave it marks of 5-7 out of 10. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wasp-Factory-Annivesary-Edition/dp/0349139180/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394633990&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Wasp+Factory) This was well received and all but one at the discussion had read the book. This was an interesting discussion. Portnoys' Complaint - Philip Roth (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Portnoys-Complaint-Philip-Roth/dp/0099399016/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394634075&sr=8-1&keywords=portnoys+complaint) This caused a bit of controversy - as well it might. Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rivers-London-1/dp/0575097582/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394634101&sr=8-1&keywords=Rivers+of+London) A bit of a mixed bag this - Rated between 2 to 9. We all felt that is seemed like a TV ready episode. But most enjoyed it. All but 2 had read the book fully. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unlikely-Pilgrimage-Harold-Fry/dp/0552778095/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404209957&sr=1-1&keywords=the+unlikely+pilgrimage+of+harold+fry) Another book that split the group! Most found it a lovely. uplifting story, although one or two thought it a bit twee. Still, a lively discussion as always but on the whole I think the group liked it. Kill Your Friends - John Niven (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kill-Your-Friends-John-Niven/dp/0099516675/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404210109&sr=1-1&keywords=kill+your+friends+john+niven) So from a gentle story last month, straight into a book full of foul mouthed debauchery. Yet another "marmite" book, with some feeling it was a bit vile, and probably a bit too explicit. On the other hand some thought it was hilarious, although we all agreed that the lack of redemption for the main character was jarring.