Book Club Reviews

As most of our book clubs have started to meet again in some capacity, either online, in cafes or in their homes I thought it would be nice to share with you some of their book reviews.

The Cultcha Club book club recently read ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri and rated it a solid 6/10.

Our Dundas Readers just finished reading ‘The Umbrian Supper Club‘ by Marlena de Blasi which they rated 5/10.

You can read both clubs comments below.

Enjoy!

Jody

Cultcha Club – ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri

Nuri, a beekeeper, struggling to hold onto hope as he leaves war torn Syria, with his wife, Afra, blind from the horrors she has seen.  We follow their journey as refugees as they attempt to make their way to England, seeking asylum, hoping to reunite with his cousin. 

This book is beautifully written despite its tragedy.  Hauntingly beautiful, at times blurring the lines of reality.  While this book is fiction, it felt incredibly real and as if we were reading a personal account.  We watch the couple not only struggle with the physical journey, but also their relationship and finding hope and happiness after all they have endured due to things beyond their control.  While the writing is lovely, and the writer knows her subject well, we felt the story lost its way a little in the middle. 

Dundas Readers – ‘The Umbrian Supper Club‘ by Marlena de Blasi

Our library book club choice. A small group of mainly elderly Italians meet each Thursday night for supper. Previously their leader Miranda has cooked for them but as she is aging they begin sharing the meal preparations. Food is the predominant obsession for these people and it is an inextricable element of their culture and everyday lives. Over food and wine, in seemingly endless quantities, five of the women in particular share intimate life stories.

The book is well written but the enormous amount of often repetitive details about food began to be quite nauseating. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in Italian food and culture I think you’d enjoy it and might even be tempted to try making one of the many recipes at the back of the book.

Book Review – The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Jane Harper’s books continue to be popular among our City of Parramatta Libraries book clubs. With all three titles out each month. In February Cultcha Club book club read ‘The Lost Man’, and thoroughly enjoyed it! Which is great because they have waited very patiently for their turn.

Happy Reading!

A twisted tale that kept us guessing all the way through. Lots of twists and turns with a few red herrings that kept the pages turning. We absolutely loved it! Now the third book of Jane Harper’s that we have read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Harper knows how to sell the scene. A wonderful turns of phrase that makes the reader feel the environment as if they were living it. In ‘Force of Nature’, we could feel the closeness and density of the forest, and in ‘The Lost Man’, we could feel the heat and remoteness of the Queensland outback. The unrelenting heat and neighbours that are three hours way.

We loved the relationships between all the characters, and the way their secrets unfolded. How our opinions of each of them changed as they changed and grew throughout the book. In particular, we loved the story lines and relationship between Nathan and his son, Xander.

We loved this book! Highly recommended!

8.5/10

Cultcha Club

Available as eBook from our BorrowBox Library

Available as eAudiobook from our rbDigital Library

Book Review – Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

ABOUT THE BOOK

A murder… A tragic accident… Or just parents behaving badly? What is indisputable is that someone is dead.

Big Little Lies will take you on a roller coaster ride with the secrets of the three women.  

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She is funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mum Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.

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Book Review – My Family And Other Animals

My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

ABOUT THE BOOK

Escaping the ills of the British climate, the Durrell family – acne-ridden Margo, gun-toting Leslie, bookworm Lawrence and budding naturalist Gerry, along with their long suffering mother and Roger the dog – take off for the island of Corfu.

But the Durrells find that, reluctantly, they must share their various villas with a menagerie of local fauna – among them scorpions, geckos, toads, bats and butterflies.

Recounted with immense humour and charm, My Family and Other Animals is a wonderful account of a rare, magical childhood.

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Book Review – The Umbrian Supper Club

The Umbrian Supper Club by Marlena De Blasi

ABOUT THE BOOK

Evocative and intimate, The Umbrian Supper Club recounts the life stories of a small group of Umbrian women who gather each week in an old stone house in the hills above Orvieto to cook, to eat and to drink. And, equally as important, to talk.

During their meals together, they recount the memories and experiences of their gastronomic lives as well as those of their more personal histories. For a period of four years, it was Marlena de Blasi’s task, her pleasure, to cook for the Supper Club. What she learnt, what they cooked and ate and drank and how they talked form the fundamental truths of this book.

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