Together with a few other NZ bloggers (Laura, Samantha, Lizzy and Madi), I’m part of a monthly book club. A book club has always appealed to the book nerd in me; so often we can get stuck in a rut of a particular genre (or author) because it’s comfortable. Having a different person choose the book each month gets me out of my zone and enjoying stories that I might not have otherwise chosen. The fantastic company, honest conversation and delicious food is none too shabby either, especially after what are sometimes challenging weeks! I thought I’d share some of our recent picks with you,
Written from the perspective of a patient with early-onset Alzheimers, it follows Alice’s decline from college professor into someone that struggles to remember the relationships she has with the people around her. I hadn’t seen the film so I was going into the book completely fresh. I loved that it was written from her perspective, the use of Alice as the unreliable narrator really gave me insight into what it is like for someone with the disease. As a fellow teacher and a mother, I’m not going to deny that there were moments in this book that brought tears to my eyes.
The Rosie Project
Before it was even discussed in the novel, I’d already diagnosed the protagonist, Don Tillman, with being on the autistic spectrum. Running his days with maximum efficiency, he decides to tackle his love life with the same efficiency by designing a questionnaire. A pity and a blessing then, that he falls for Rosie – one of the questionnaire’s most unsuitable candidates. I think that Simsion does an amazing job of making you love his characters. No single character in the novel is without flaw, yet he somehow makes them endearing. I didn’t expect to like this book, and it’s not one that I would have chosen on my own based on the blurb, but I really enjoyed it. So much so, I went and read the sequel straight away!
Fates and Furies
A story written in two halves, showing a relationship from both a husband and a wife’s perspective. Covering an extraordinary span of time, it tackles the ideals of both love and honesty and makes the reader examine what it means to be truly happy. It takes a few chapters to really engage you but then it’s hard to put down. I think that Lizzy said it best when she compared it to Gone Girl – in the end, no character comes out untarnished and you think that everyone is a little bit obnoxious. Groff is not shy about showing the gritty, harsh side of her characters and it makes for engaging reading!
Do you take part in a book club? Or have any recommendations for what we should read next?