Looking for some inspiration for your next great read? These ‘book club’ recommendations should have you covered whether you are looking for fact or fiction, an action page-turner or a gorgeous novel to lose yourself in. Enjoy!
THE DUST THAT FALLS FROM DREAMS – Louis de Bernières (2016)
In the brief golden years of King Edward VII’s reign, Rosie McCosh and her three very different sisters are growing up in an eccentric household in Kent, with their neighbours the Pitt boys on one side and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood adventure are shadowed by the approach of war that will engulf them on the cusp of adulthood. When the boys end up scattered along the Western Front, Rosie faces the challenges of life for those left behind. Can she, and her sisters, build new lives out of the opportunities and devastations that follow the Great War? Exceptionally well written and researched, to be expected from the author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
I AM PILGRIM – Terry Hayes
PILGRIM. The codename for a man who doesn’t exist. A man who must return from obscurity. The only man who can uncover a flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. The crime in question, a former Mujahid, now a skilled doctor, successfully weaponises smallpox to launch against the U.S. and only the narrator, a former Black Ops hero can find him.
Set post 9/11 this gripping and engrossing read is a must read for fans of this genre.
THE NIGHTINGALE – Kristin Hannah
Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. A wonderful Illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities, but also humanity and strength.
HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD – Robert Kolker
Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their 12 children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins – aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony – and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? Must be read to be believed and once started very much un-put-down-able.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING – Delia Owens
For years, rumours of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens. Such a heartfelt story, full of wonderful facts about nature and human nature. A testament to anyone who has ever had to “go it alone”.
AMERICAN DIRT – Jeanine Cummings
At a family party fifteen members of Lydia’s family are murdered by members of a local cartel. She escapes with her eight year old son and they make their way to the United States. The journey they embark on is one of courage and terror. The book is a real page-turner, difficult to put down, and beautifully written. It is clear that the author feels very strongly about her subject matter and you can’t help but join Lydia’s plight.
RED NOTICE – Bill Browder
In November 2009, the young lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight police officers in a freezing cell in a Moscow prison. His crime? Testifying against Russian officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million of taxes. Red Notice is a searing exposé of the whitewash of this imprisonment and murder. The killing hasn’t been investigated. It hasn’t been punished. Bill Browder is still campaigning for justice for his late lawyer and friend. This is his explosive journey from the heady world of finance in New York and London in the 1990s, through battles with ruthless oligarchs in turbulent post-Soviet Union Moscow, to the shadowy heart of the Kremlin. With fraud, bribery, corruption and torture exposed at every turn, Red Notice is a shocking political roller-coaster and true story.
If you’ve already read all of these, check out some of the others we have recommended, some for the youngsters in the family too.