Welcome to the Book Club Cafe. I am delighted you have decided to check out my blog. I have set up this site so I can chat to people about books. Each month there will be reviews of the book club choice. Recommendations of good reads and ongoing discussions.
So I thought I would start with the last three books I read, which were:
‘The Paying Guests’ by Sarah Waters. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
It’s set just after the Second World War and it’s all about a girl called Frances and what happens when she and her mother take in two lodgers, called Lilian and Leonard Barber. It is a great read. A real page turner.
Then I read ‘The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe’ by Alexander McCall Smith. A light fluffy read. As comforting as a warm blanket. He remains one of my favourite authors for when you need something relaxing, entertaining and comforting.
And I have just finished reading ‘Why be Happy when you could be Normal?’ by Jeanette Winterson. What a great read. God but that woman can write. It’s her memoir of life growing up as an adopted unwanted child with the cruel and very bizarre Mrs Winterson. An absolutely fantastic read with plenty of references to literature, and a bit of a cliff hanger too, as she searches for her real mother. I loved it and had it read in 3 days.
So onwards. More books to be read. Today in the library I picked up two Virginia Woolf books. ‘Mrs Dalloway’ and ‘A Room of One’s Own.’ I have never read any Virginia Woolf and felt it was high time I did. Am I in for a treat? I hope so!
Right, time for a cup of tea. Till next time. Look forward to hearing from you.
10 thoughts on “Welcome to the Book Club Cafe!”
Full text of Street Haunting here:
Give it a distraction-free 20 minutes – you won’t be disappointed…
You are too kind for posting this. I have just finished reading it and thought I would reply
while it was still fresh in my mind.
First of all, what a brilliant first sentence for a story:
‘No one perhaps has ever felt passionately towards a lead pencil.’
I was taken with it from there and it only improved.
Her descriptions of night time London are fascinating and atmospheric.
I also love her flow of consciousness as it seems she is escaping from herself into the
I will comment more on my next blog post when I have finished reading the other two
Woolf books. But thank you so much for drawing my attention to this one.
I am growing more intrigued by her writing every day!
Hi Shane. Delighted to read your post. What a brilliant name for a dog! Your comment is very timely as I am about twenty pages into a ‘Room of One’s Own,’ and I have felt exactly what you describe – hooked in one sense and then at other times I fear I may fling it out the window! No doubting however her brilliance both as a writer and an intellect. I will certainly seek out that essay. Thanks so much for the recommendation.
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Best of luck with the blog, Justine. I look forward to more posts.
Hopefully you enjoy Woolf. She’s not absolutely to everyone’s tastes, and you won’t be on your own if you occasionally feel like throwing it aside, but when you get hooked, you’re fully hooked.
Our dog – a tearaway Irish terrier pup – is called Mrs Dalloway, and one of the most exceptional pieces of non-fiction I’ve ever read was Street Haunting, an essay Woolf wrote about walking around London in winter in search of a pencil. I strongly encourage you to see that out (I believe it may be online in a place or two).
Hi Lynnseybelle. Thanks so much for adding your valuable comments. Now, where to start?! OK, firstly delighted you are going to give Jeannette Winterson’s memoir a go. Honestly I don’t think you will regret it. In fact later I think I am going to post a video she did at the Dublin Book Festival two years ago. She reads a couple of chapters from the book. It might give you a flavour for it.
As for ‘Life after Life’ by Kate Atkinson. I totally understand what you mean. I adored it but I did initially find the concept hard to grasp. It was quite awhile ago now that I read it. I think what she is trying to get across is the idea of what your life would be like if you had the chance to live it again, so you could make different choices and each time you would have learnt something from the time before. Either that or it was a bit of a ‘Sliding doors’ scenario. Either way I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I am sure someone else will have a much better explanation!
Feel free to share your ‘mediocre’ read. Reading is a totally personal experience and in our book club we often have people who couldn’t stand a book and those who loved it. Makes it very interesting! Thanks again for stopping by to the Book Club Cafe!
Hi Sheelagh. Thanks for your comment. It is so interesting you mentioning the Rosie Project and the next one in the series. I attend a book club in Dublin once a month (which I mentioned I will blog about on here too!) but I have had to miss the March and April meetings because I am currently doing a journalism course which runs on the same night. Anyway what did I miss but ‘The Rosie Project.’ So I had considered reading it myself and now that you recommend them, there are another two books to add to my growing pile!! I will have to start compiling a list for people. Yeh, that’s a good idea, that’s what I’ll do!! Thanks for stopping by and delighted you are following!
Hi Justine love your idea. I have recently read three books. Two great and one mediocre …. In my opinion! One of the great ones was Elizabeth … Made me uncomfortable about my own future but was totally gripped to both story lines. A most unlikely sleuth you’ll never meet. Absolutely loved it! Will say no more in the mean time. I need a new book so am going to give Mrs Winterton a go. I also would love someone to give me some of their thoughts on Kate Atkinsons Life after life. Loved it but not sure I truly understood it??? I won’t mention the mediocre one in case someone is reading it!! Love x
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Have you read the Rosie project ? Absolutely hilarious book I really enjoyed and have also finished the Rosie effect, the sequel – I can recommend both 😄
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Thank you so much Clare. I will let you know for sure. I plan to read them over Easter. I am really enjoying ‘Elizabeth is Missing at the moment.’ I am hoping to continue to mix a bit of reading modern stuff with classics I feel I should have read! J,
Great recommendations! I will check them out. I have never read any Virginia Woolf either. Shame on me! I look forward to hearing what you think of them.
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