Here's what some of our local reading groups thought of selected titles from the collection. Perhaps you or your reading group would like to try them and see if you think any differently.
If you are part of a local group who borrows our collection, or if you are a reader who has read any of the titles below, please feel free to email us at email@example.com with your comments or reviews. We can then add your comments to the discussion below.
All he ever wanted by Anita Shreve
Three of our members didn’t finish this book through boredom after page 293!! It got a very mixed reception: from enjoyable and well-written, to ‘wallowing in treacle’ and a complete bore. As usually happens, such diverse opinions always lead to a really good meeting, when the book is taken to pieces and discussed in great detail, with each of us wanting to get across to the others our strong feelings about the story and characters.
Sandie Shaw and the millionth Marvell cooker by Wendy Robertson
This was an easy read, which some readers found boring and others really enjoyed. Such a division makes for a good meeting. A good insight into life in the sixties, but we found quite a lot of errors in the timing of the events.
Not a mind-blowing experience, but for anyone who had worked in a factory in the sixties, it brought back many memories. Life in the raw!
The resurrectionist by James Bradley
What a well-written book this is. It was enjoyed by most of our members, only one not finishing it; a shame, as the last part of the story was not to be missed.
A book in three parts: before the downturn, the downturn, and the recovery. The descriptions of both people and surroundings were beautifully portrayed, even though the content at times was harrowing to say the least.
A good book to be recommended by all of us. A typical read which brought forth comments, often found in our group, that it was not one which some of us would have chosen; but so glad to have read.
Mr Norris changes trains by Christopher Isherwood
What a classic read. Only two of our number found it difficult to get into. As for the rest, we all enjoyed the read and the comments illustrated the extent of our pleasure in the book.
A very brave book to be published in the 1930s; a good insight into what was happeneing in Germany at the time. Colourful characters, even if some of them took some liking; but even this proved that it was a super read.
The remains of the day - Kazuo Ishiguro
This book has been warmly received by most of our members, with only two unable to ‘get into’ the story; if in fact there is a story to get into.
It is a one-off book, quite different from any other novels we have read, and quite worthy of the Booker Prize, in our humble opinions. Such comments as ‘sad and beautiful’, ‘fantastic’, ‘best-ever read’, ‘loved the use of the English language’ and ‘one of the greatest books’ were given, so you can imagine that it was loved by most of us.
It was felt by some that it had a slow start, but was made more interesting to those of us who had seen the film. A brilliant choice for our book group. Endless discussions took place about all the characters in the story; we felt to know the all.
Getting rid of Matthew - Jane Fallon
‘What a load of rubbish’ was the general feeling of the group. No one enjoyed it, and thought it even worse than they would anticipate a Mills & Boon to be.
Only one of our members (a man) thought that as he had spent time reading the book, he would try and make something of it, and spoke at great length; but didn’t convince any of the group to change their minds.
Keeping the dead - Tess Gerritsen
This was a thriller which started well and finished with all the ends neatly tied up. It had many twists and turns on the journey through the book; mummified bodies with bullet holes were quite an unusual feature to say the least, but it appealed to those readers who do not usually enjoy the thriller genre. A gripping book for the holidays, was our verdict.
Buddha Da – Anne Donovan
What a superb read this has been. Everyone in the group thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think it should be read by all book-loving folk.
On first impressions, and looking at the first page, we all wondered how we would get on with the Glasgow dialect. After the first couple of pages, we were in there without any problem.
Such a lovely story of real life, with wonderful characters and plenty of humour. A truly brilliant book; one of the best so far. We didn’t want it to end, but when the end did come it was to our satisfaction.
A thousand splendid suns - Khaled Hosseini
What a lovely book this is, and it was enjoyed by our members in varying degrees. Some really did enjoy it, but others felt it fell short of 'The kite runner'.
One member was reduced to tears whilst reading it, and yet another felt it to be rather like a fairy story. especially with the ending turning out as it does.
However, on the whole a jolly good book, and for myself well worth my second reading.
The interpretation of murder - Jed Rubenfeld
This read had very mixed results. About half the meeting really enjoyed it, whilst the remainder thought it a dreadful read and were glad to get to the end of it.
It’s amazing how one book can garner such varying responses, but talking through the various plots and content, one can see things from a different perspective than that originally arrived at.
It certainly gave us plenty to discuss, and those who enjoyed it were ready to read any other books by the same author.
The lollipop shoes by Joanne Harris
This was, on the whole, a disappointment to most of our readers, as we have so enjoyed ‘Chocolat’, and expected something of the same standard from this writer.
However, it did give us much to discuss, even though it was found to be tedious, and much too long, with the many plots just finishing up dead on the pages.
One reader did actually miss 300 pages in the middle, and even so got the gist of the storyline.
We felt it was a film in the making, and perhaps another book to follow on. The characters were well-defined; one felt to know them during the reading, but it was very far-fetched even so; an atmospheric journey.
Snow Flower and the secret fan - Lisa See
My, how we enjoyed this read and the discussions that followed were something else. Really though provoking; we thought the book good as both novel material and historical value.
Such a lovely story, and three cheers were given to the library staff for selecting this book for us! It wasn’t one we would have chosen, but we were so glad to have read it.
The foot binding, it is hard to believe, was being carried out so recently. We all liked the first person approach; almost like an autobiography.
The moon and sixpence - W Somerset Maugham
We all enjoyed this book ‘of its time’. What a way with words; so descriptive of people and places.
A truly wonderful writer. Some of us thought this would be rather highbrow, but, on the contrary, we all thoroughly appreciated the prose, and found the characters well described, if at times not liked very much. The writer is a true storyteller, leaving us wanting more.
Where angels fear to tread - EM Forster
This read didn’t go down too well with the members of the group. All were rather disappointed both with content and storyline. Where we did all agree was with the descriptions of Italy; beautifully set out, but other than that a big disappointment. We were all expecting a classic read, but felt cheated, especially after ‘Room with a view,’ which was great.
The people on Privilege Hill - Jane Gardam
What a read this was. Despite the fact we only had five members present due to holidays (we did get ‘write-ups’ from the other members), the meeting went on for three hours, making us late for supper!
We thoroughly enjoyed the array of differing stories. Some made us laugh out loud and others were quite sad, but the overall response was that we enjoyed every one and appreciated the change of genre from our usual reads. We took it upon ourselves to review a couple of stories each but we all had our views on every story, hence the longer meeting.
We certainly enjoyed ourselves, but then that is nothing new with Worlaby Readers.
Natural flights of the human mind - Clare Morrall
This book was generally received with good reports. Only one of our members thought it very much a female book (one of our gentleman readers) and had too many wrong 'facts' to mention. It was based on a poor story and took one's belief to breaking point.
All that said, we ladies in the group thoroughly enjoyed the read, wondering what we would do under similar circumstances. Although it seemed 'far fetched' (Harry turning up at the very end!) this didn't distract from our enjoyment of the story and its inhabitants. A jolly good book and one we were glad to have taken the trouble to read.
On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
I thought, on seeing the size of 'On Chesil Beach,' we would have difficulty in filling half an hour of discussion, let alone a couple of hours, but how wrong can one be.
The book went down a treat, enjoyed by all members to varying degrees but there was certainly much to discuss. We thought it was a novel 'of a certain time,' in other words before the pill and before anything and everything is discussed on the television and books. We did think with a little more effort on everyone's part the situation could have been much better but then a novel would not have ensued. The lack of communication, a dysfunctional home life, the clash of cultures all led to a super read and a very good meeting.
Verdict - a jolly good 'little book' and one well worth reading by a much-loved author. I would like to quote from one of our readers: 'A very perceptive book, well-written and sensitively handled. Enjoyed it even more the second time around but I think that anyone born in the late 60s and beyond will think it is hilarious. That two educated intelligent people could be so ill informed and so poor at communication, so ignorant of their partners. Both were equally unable to express feelings and show emotion.'