Browsers Book Group list for 2020

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.

26th October 2020
The Forest of Wool and Steel
by Natsu Miyashita
28th September 2020
The Confessions of Frannie Langton
by Sara Collins

Slavery and freedom, race and class, love affair and murder. This was breathtaking and compelling for some, too ambitious with unlikeable, unengaging characters for others. A lively discussion explored themes raised and puzzled over writing style and plot developments.

31st August 2020
You Will Be Safe Here
by Damian Barr

Beautifully written, moving and a challenging introduction to a little known and overlooked disturbing episode in history. Others thought the narrative disjointed with horrifying and brutal language.

27th July 2020
The Offing
by Benjamin Myers

A wonderful, gentle, 'soothing' summer read, everyone agreed, and the characters and setting were appealing. The vivid descriptions of food and landscape were a little overdone in parts, some felt, but overall this was a huge hit!

29th June 2020
Warlight
by Michael Ondaatje

Mixed feelings. Some couldn't speak highly enough about the vivid descriptions and the powerful sense of atmosphere. A Dickensian London and a fascinating exploration of spying, secrets, danger, family, parenting. Others felt there were too many questions unanswered and the book was in two parts.

25th May 2020
The Friend
by Sigrid Nunez

An intriguing book with something for everybody. The author explores the writing process, particularly writing classes and literary circles, friendship, animal bonds, grief, loss and healing. Rather self-indulgent, some felt, in the author's many references and quotes. Is this a novel as memoir, or a memoir as novel?

27th April 2020
Lost Children Archive
by Valeria Luiselli

For our first online video book group, we had a lively discussion. This rich, multi-layered, clever, thought-provoking read brought many different responses - some hated it, some loved it, but most found there were elements they enjoyed.

30th March 2020
The Great Level
by Stella Tillyard

Most felt this was a beautifully written book with many interesting themes with the love story between Jan and Eliza appealing and the historical setting fascinating, but the group was divided in who they felt was the most convincing narrator.

24th February 2020
Middle England
by Jonathan Coe

A few thought this wasn't as good as the author's previous titles, but most thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and helpful overview of the recent Brexit years. A lively discussion!

27th January 2020
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
by Olga Tokarczuk

There was a unanimous approval of this quirky, unusual, often amusing and subversive tale. Though some thought the ending disappointing.