Each month I host an open meeting at Browsers Bookshop, Woodbridge in Suffolk. We usually focus on modern fiction and the discussion regularly attracts around 20 people, men and women, of all ages.
How to be both
While most enjoyed the modern day story in this book of two halves, everyone felt challenged and some were exasperated by the cleverness of the author.
After me comes the flood
High expectations from a great cover and intriguing, if odd, opening, but everyone agreed the novel didn't deliver. Readers didn't engage with the characters or understand what was going on. Muddled and disappointing.
Give this book to all your friends - it's a warning of things to come! This was the consensus from an animated discussion. It was agreed there were flaws in the writing, but a fascinating book which had most enthralled.
Mornings in Jenin
A fascinating and moving book which provoked much discussion regarding the style of writing, but particularly the cultural and political setting. Very thought-provoking.
The best book he'd ever read, said one. There was no plot, no story, said another. Most felt it was beautiful and sad.
The Shock of the Fall
Most agreed this was a brilliantly written, enjoyable book about a difficult subject. Some found it too unsettling.
A thought-provoking, gripping and haunting account of the end of civilisation.
The Guest Cat
Is this really about a cat? A short, puzzling book. Repetition and clunky translation got in the way of overall enjoyment.
The Mussel Feast
A fascinating discussion as everyone seemed to respond to the book differently - a story of family, abuse, political allegory.