Book club shortlist

MARCH 2019

A couple of times a year we put together a shortlist of books and our (Women Aloud St Albans) members vote on the ones they’d like to read for our monthly book club.

If you’re local to St Albans and want to come along to our monthly book club you can reserve your place here on meetup. If you can’t join us in person; we’ll post each time we’re reading a new book….and you’re very welcome to get involved by commenting on the blog post to let us know what you thought of the book.

Here’s our latest book club shortlist…

  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
    1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol hotel. Rostov has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. (480 pages)
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
    Pino wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s just a normal teenager, but his days of innocence are numbered when his home is destroyed by Allied bombs. In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents make him enlist as a German soldier – a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he’s recruited to become the driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand man. Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by love. (524 pages)
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
    In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter called Circe is born. Scorned and rejected by her kin, she turns to mortals for companionship, and when love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. (352 pages)
  • A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray
    They were famous queens, unrecognised visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians. They all pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world. Jenni Murray presents the history of Britain as you’ve never seen it before, through the lives of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, whose lives embodied hope and change, and who still have the power to inspire us today. (288 pages)
  • Crocked Heart by Lissa Evans
    When Noel Bostock – aged ten, no family – is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz, he winds up in St Albans with Vera Sedge – thirty-six, drowning in debts. Always desperate for money, Vera is unscrupulous about how she gets it. On her own, she’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team. Together they cook up an idea. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all…(352 pages)
  • Educated by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She didn’t have a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never been. No medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals. As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it. (400 pages)
  • Milkman by Anna Burns
    In this unnamed city, middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. (368 pages)
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
    The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare, a 17 year old Red girl, it seems like nothing will ever change. Until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace and discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to try to bring down the Silver regime. (416 pages)
  • The Cows by Dawn O’Porter
    Tara, Cam and Stella are very different women. Yet in a society that sets the agenda, there’s something about being a woman that ties invisible bonds between us. When one extraordinary event rockets Tara to online infamy, their three worlds collide in ways they could never imagine – and they discover that one woman’s catastrophe might just be another’s inspiration. Through friendship and conflict, difference and likeness, they’ll learn to find their own voices. Sometimes it’s OK not to follow the herd.
  • The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es
    Lien wasn’t taken from her Jewish parents – she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es – the grandson of Lien’s foster parents – knew he needed to find out why. A story about love and misunderstanding and how our most painful experiences – so crucial in defining us – can also be redefined. (288 pages)
  • The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
    Days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the decision to walk the 630 miles from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Carrying only the essentials on their backs, they live wild in the landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey. (288 pages)
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
    South Carolina, 1964, this is the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped by the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s ‘stand-in mother’, Rosaleen, insults three racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon – a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world. And there she starts a journey of understanding, about the world and the mystery surrounding her mother. (384 pages)
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
    Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed … Again. It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode, Evelyn, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. And until Aiden – one of the guests – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over. The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping…(528 pages)
  • The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
    It’s been ten months since Anna Fox last left her home. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits, watching. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family. But one evening, a scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something horrifying. Now she must uncover the truth about what really happened. But if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself? (448 pages)
  • You by Caroline Kepnes
    When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works, he is instantly smitten. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. And the obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences…A chilling account of unrelenting, terrifying deceit. (432 pages)

I hope there might be a book or two in this list which sparks your interest. And if you’re local to St Albans, you’re very welcome to join our Women Aloud St Albans book club >

Happy reading. x


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