Another twelve months has whoooooshed by and another twelve book club titles have been ticked off of the list.
If you were here at the start of the year and you’ve joined in each month throughout, then you should have twelve new books on your shelf that you didn’t have a year ago. Twelve hand-signed beautiful publications from twelve very different Authors. You’ll have read domestic fiction, contemporary fiction, sci-fi, romance, psychological thrillers, historical suspense, crime and Christmas Fiction. You’ll have been to Somerset, London, the USA, New Zealand, Cornwall, A Lighthouse, and many other fictional and real locations. Here’s a list of what the book club has read this year:
January – Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon
So many topical issues that are current even today, were covered throughout the past and present aspects of this book. I really loved Holly’s sensitive handling of these and many of her approaches to the issues were thought-provoking and insightful. So too, is the reminder that the older years talked about in the book weren’t that long ago at all…
February – Fall by West Camel
This is a book with so many meanings, not least that title… Fall. Yet the book itself moves along without hurry. It’s a gentle read. The pace was beautiful. My reading, however, was not. I stole chapters whenever I could because I couldn’t tear myself away. So much falls, so much unravels, but everything about this book has been so well constructed and put together. Title, cover, artwork inside… to the very last word on the final page. Fall.
March – The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson
The most beautiful literary characters are within the pages of this book. I’m sure that they’ll both be firm favourites in 2022 as others start to read this. I felt the emotionally raw situation of both Bethan and Lockie’s situations – the authenticity of their characters and the characteristics that make them both very unique.
The storyline itself is as individual as the characters that make it work. Without going into anymore detail than the blurb gives away, the idea of striking up a conversation through letters in the window feels traditional, cosy and yet ‘different.’
April – Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox
Molly and Gene are you and I… they are everyday people living ordinary lives. Those around them are doing the same – and that’s what makes this book beautiful and almost, at times, believable. Above all else, I think it challenges the reader and asks ‘what would you do?’
May – Mimic by Daniel Cole
This is a book that will have you astounded, shocked and laughing, all in equal measures. Plus you’ll likely have the urge to research some of the happenings because Daniel introduces some fascinating elements in his books – and in locations that might be familiar to some.
June – The Stranding by Kate Sawyer
I was absorbed by Ruth’s story, her character, her flaws, her strengths and her loves. So often we read stories of survival despite the odds and barely ever do the survivors question… ‘Why me…?’ Ruth does, constantly, and it’s refreshing to see her examine the odds in such detail. She’s relatable and that’s what also gives this book a unique undertone.
July – Return to Blackwater House by Vikki Patis
This book had such a complex storyline that I was gripped from start to finish, wondering what the next twist or reveal would be! This book was really hard to tear myself away from, it’s a storyline that you can easily become immersed. Characters, setting and storyline are all really compelling.
August – Nothing Else by Louise Beech
This is a story of trauma & grief, and the power of music to escape devastating and challenging times. It explores the powerful and often fragile bond between sisters, and the courage and love to continue in the face of the darkest times.
September – The Resort by Sue Watson
Sue Watson is the Queen of atmospheric reads. I’ve said it before and firmly stand by it again. This book was compelling, not least because of the irritating characters (characters you love to hate really make a book!), but also because of the setting. Sue always carefully researches her settings and you just know that the feelings she writes into the pages of her books are ones that she herself has pictured or felt whilst stood in similar places that have inspired her.
October – It Was Always You by Emma Cooper
Emma creates characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. Meet Ella, Will and Cole. The three main characters within this book that you can’t help but like, flaws and all. Emma Cooper has an incredible talent for weaving ordinary characters into storylines that will grip you from start to finish. She writes about their ordinary lives but in such a way that it’s fascinating. In the middle of these incredible characterisations, Emma drops little references to childhood, times gone by and… AND… music. Oh yes indeed… the big music references that made The Songs of Us so beautiful are back sprinkled throughout this novel and I loved those so much.
November – The Lighthouse Bookshop by Sharon Gosling
My goodness someone needs to hand me the keys to the Lighthouse Bookshop pronto! The cover and the title completely drew me in, and that added with lots of social media buzz around this book made me decide that it needed to be a book club title this year. I was not disappointed. This book was written in such a way that I actually felt bereft when I had to put it down and get on with ordinary life things. I missed the characters, the setting and the storyline.
December – A White Christmas on Winter Street by Sue Moorcroft
It’s lovely to be back in Middledip without the pressure of sticking with a series – the beauty of Sue’s books mean that you can dip in and out of them and you’ll see familiar settings and characters but without the need to join up the dots. Snow, fairylights, cookies and charming characters like Wilf and Nan Heather…the pages of this book deliver festive cheer and seasonal treats throughout. This was the perfect book to kick-start my festive reading this December!
So if you’ve been here for all or part of it, dipped in and out, stuck with us the whole way through, been to the Author events, the zooms online, cheered us on from afar when we headed to the RNA Industry Awards… thank you. It’s been a journey this year and we’ve loved it, we couldn’t have done it without all of you. Here’s to the next twelve book club titles…