Browsers Book Group list for 2016

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. Due to the current pandemic, we are now meeting online and everyone is welcome to join in. Sign up to the e-newsletter here to receive details. Scroll down to take a look at the titles we've read over the year, and view the archive for past discussions.

28th November 2016
The Universe Versus Alex Woods
by Gavin Extence

An intriguing and entertaining novel raising issues of Aspergers and euthanasia with a touching friendship across generations.

31st October 2016
Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent

For some, knowing how the book was going to end proved difficult, but it was tremendously atmospheric and powerfully bleak in its description and characterisation. A fascinating novel, beautifully written.

26th September 2016
Lying under the apple tree
by Alice Munro

Despite much anticipation for this author, most of the group were disenchanted with the title story and uninspired to explore further. Keen fans of Munro stressed the appeal of the bleak subject matter.

30th August 2016
The Long View
by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Interestingly the younger women were distressed by the plight of the narrator. The older women accepted that was 'just what happened'. All agreed the writing was beautiful, but some came away from the book more downhearted than others.

25th July 2016
The Last Pilot
by Benjamin Johncock

An astonishing book enjoyed by all. So much to discuss regarding the science, the history, the relationships, the merging of fact and fiction, and the author's skill in making us believe.

27th June 2016
Our souls at night
by Kent Haruf

A slim book but so much to discuss - about old age, companionship, loneliness, love, regret, guilt, happiness, community, family, commitment, compromise, personal sacrifice. A beautiful, delicate, poignant short novel.

23rd May 2016
A Suspension of Mercy
by Patricia Highsmith

Almost unanimous in this being a good read, though dated and puzzling. Not representative of a master thriller writer, but many will be reading her other books.

25th April 2016
The Infatuations
by Javier Marias

An intelligent, clever, thought-provoking book for some, but the majority of this group felt that it was too much philosophising and not enough plot.

4th April 2016
I Am China
by Xiaolu Guo

A whole range of responses were recorded with this book. Beautiful writing, a compelling and moving story, thought some. Others felt the characters unengaging and the structure flawed.

29th February 2016
Tepper Isn't Going Out
by Calvin Trillin

Lots of laughter and lots to share in this unlikely tale about parking a car. Some wanted it turned into a sitcom, others were delighted with the design (incorporating a free bookmark), and only a couple gave up on it entirely.

25th January 2016
All the light we cannot see
by Anthony Doerr

Almost unanimous in our praise for this book - beautifully written, intriguing ideas, wonderful characterisation. Every page a delight, although a few people felt the descriptions overblown and the short chapters disjointed.