Book Club in Sheffield

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Each month we choose a new book to read and discuss.

You can choose to read the book beforehand or just come along for tea and listen to the discussion! It's up to you. This is a relaxed group and you don’t have to have read the book to be able to come to the events. Just be mindful that you will hear all about the book. That may be a good thing. It may be a bad thing depending on how you look at it.

Please come prepared to pay at least £2 on the night for Book Aid International.

Book Club is on the first Thursday of the month, meeting at 5:30pm for tea and the book discussions start at 6:30pm. This is not a Spice exclusive event: there are usually around ten of us taking part, but new readers are most welcome!

Upcoming books are below. All prices are at Amazon and correct at 14 December 2023.

May

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor, sits in the waiting room of the city's preeminent psychiatrist as he anxiously ponders the particularly intimate nature of his neurosis. When the enigmatic, intensely beautiful Hettie Bull walks in, Lysander is immediately drawn to her, unaware of how destructive the consequences of their subsequent affair will be. One year later, home in London, Lysander finds himself entangled in the dangerous web of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal and spies that is slowly, steadily, permeating every corner of his life...

Kindle: £5.03; Paperback: £6.99


June

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home - a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse - but not with John. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb.

Kindle: £4.99; Paperback: £6.99


July

We have two books to choose from in July - read one or both!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

‘Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.’

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.

In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Kindle: £4.99; Paperback: £8.99

Edith and Kim by Charlotte Philby

In June 1934, Kim Philby met his Soviet handler, the spy Arnold Deutsch. The woman who introduced them was called Edith Tudor-Hart. She changed the course of 20th century history.

Then she was written out of it.

Drawing on the Secret Intelligence Files on Edith Tudor-Hart, along with the private archive letters of Kim Philby, this finely worked, evocative and beautifully tense novel – by the granddaughter of Kim Philby – tells the story of the woman behind the Third Man.

Kindle: £4.99; Paperback: £8.27


August

Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang

White lies: When Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name Juniper Song.

Dark humour: But as evidence threatens June’s stolen success, she will discover exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

Deadly consequences… What happens next is entirely everyone else’s fault.

Kindle: £7.99; Hardcover: £8.49


September

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One of the world's most famous novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, blends the natural with the supernatural in on one of the most magical reading experiences on earth.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's great masterpiece is the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and its miracles. A microcosm of Columbian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book, and only Aureliano Buendia can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny. Blending political reality with magic realism, fantasy and comic invention, One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the most daringly original works of the twentieth century.

Kindle: £4.99; Paperback: £9.19


October

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.

Kindle: £5.99; Paperback: £7.69


November

Devil's Breath by Jill Johnson

I've always been better with plants than people ...

Eustacia Rose is a Professor of Botanical Toxicology who lives alone in London with only her extensive collection of poisonous plants for company. She tends to her garden with meticulous care. Her life is quiet. Her schedule never changes. Until the day she hears a scream and the temptation to investigate proves irresistible.

Through her telescope, Professor Rose is drawn into the life of an extraordinarily beautiful neighbour, Simone, and nicknames the men who visit her after poisonous plants according to the toxic effect they have on Simone. But who are these four men? And why does Eustacia Rose recognise one of them?

Just as she preserves her secret garden, she feels inexplicably compelled to protect her neighbour, but Eustacia soon finds herself entangled in a far more complicated web than she could ever have imagined. When her precious garden is vandalised and someone close to Simone is murdered with a toxin derived from a rare poisonous plant, Eustacia becomes implicated in the crime.

After all, no one knows toxic plants like she does . . .

Kindle: £4.99; Paperback: £9.19


December

We have two books to choose from in December - read one or both!

Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

If you want to get away with murder, play by the rules.

Years ago Malcolm Kershaw wrote a list of his 'Eight Favourite Murders' for his Old Devils mystery bookshop blog. Among others, it included those from Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt's The Secret History.

Now, just before Christmas, Malcolm finds himself at the heart of an investigation - as an FBI agent believes someone may be re-enacting each of the murders on his list.

Can the killer be stopped before they get away with eight perfect murders?

Kindle: £4.79; Paperback: £5.00

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

It's Easter in Reading – a bad time for eggs – and no one can remember the last sunny day. Humpty Dumpty, well-known nursery favourite, large egg, ex-convict and former millionaire philanthropist is found shattered beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.

Following the pathologist's careful reconstruction of Humpty's shell, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his Sergeant Mary Mary are soon grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, the illegal Bearnaise sauce market, corporate politics and the cut and thrust world of international Chiropody.

As Jack and Mary stumble around the streets of Reading in Jack's Lime Green Austin Allegro, the clues pile up, but Jack has his own problems to deal with.

And on top of everything else, the Jellyman is coming to town...

Kindle: £4.99; Paperback: £8.27

books

Extras

  • Please pay a £2 minimum donation on the night to Book Aid International www.bookaid.org.
  • Pay for your own food if joining the group for tea.

Location & Itinerary

17:30. Meet up for tea

18:30. We start to discuss the book.

Food & Meals

Why not come along at 5:30 and join the group for tea?

You can check out The Old Queens Head menu here.

Meeting Point

We meet in the downstairs dining room. It's on your right as you come in from the main entrance from the street.

Getting There

Old Queens Head is on Pond Hill located between Sheffield Bus Station and Ponds Forge Sports Centre. If driving, leave the Park Square roundabout by the exit signed Ibis, Travel Lodge and Ponds Forge. Drive past the hotels and under the bridge. There are a few on street parking places available on Pond Hill right outside the pub, and more on Pond Street. Street parking is just £2 all evening. Alternatively the Ponds Forge multi storey car park is just nearby.

See Parkopedia for Sheffield city centre parking.

We meet in the room to the right of the main entrance from Pond Hill.

Availability & Pricing

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Member£0.00Available
Guest£0.00Available

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Old Queens Head, 40 Pond Hill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 2BG

Host & Everything Else

You may get most from Book Club if you've read the book first, but don't worry if not - you're welcome to come along and hear what others have to say about it.

Gill Ware

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I really enjoyed this evening, a great opportunity to chat about books with like minded people. I'm really looking forward to the next one even though the choice of book isn't something I'd normally read.

A sociable evening discussing a variety of books, in a convenient location.

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